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Is it ever ok to tell another mom that something is wrong with her kid or her parenting?

i have a good friend who is really strugggling with her kid. i think the kid has some sensory issues and it would be easier for her to deal with him if she knew that. But i don't feel it's my place to tell her. i had a friend give me some feedback on parenting once and the relationship has never been the same. have you ever had success giving a parent feedback like this? if yes, how did you do it? thanks!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:17 AM on Feb. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (35)
  • Never give another parent parental advice if they don't ask for it!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:19 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I think it is okay to tell a parent that you think their child may have sensory issues. You just have to be smart on how you tell her. The child is suffering and that is not right.

    Answer by gammie at 10:23 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Sometimes parents do know how kids look and act really academically and socially but doctor, school says too early to test or an appointment is pending. And, those parents just want it private.

    If the child you're thinking of is preschool just try conversing comfortably about that you heard your town/her town has a great pre kindergarten preschool screening program (hopefully it does) and comment isn't that great for kids who could benefit from that.

    Some kids are extra exceptionally shy or even outgoing that can be overpowering without a developmental issue.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:23 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I think it's different in a case like that. Sometimes people are aware of conditions that we ourselves may not be- so if someone doesn't suggest that a condition may be there, how are you supposed to know?

    I think as long as you offer the suggestion in a caring sensitive way, you've done nothing wrong. I don't think that alerting a parent to a possible medical situation is critising their parenting skills.
    People can be sensitive and touchy, and the mom may get offended at first, but if she does get it checked out I think it would be worth it in the long run for the child's sake.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:29 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • If you really feel the need to reach out and say something to her, and you really think that she and the child's doctor will never come to the conclusions you have without your pushes, then I'd frame it delicately in a way that doesn't say "I have already diagnosed your child and this is what is wrong." I'd wait until she brings up a concern such as "It worries me that Sally doesn't do [blank] yet and all the other kids do." That opens to door. Then you could say something like "Well, all kids develop at their own pace, but if it really worries you then you shouldn't hesitate to have her evaluated. It can't hurt right?"

    I can't stress how much you should avoid blurting out what you suspect the diagnosis is. It's unnecessary and it could cause her undo worry. It would also increase the chances of strain on your friendship.

    Let her open the doors to the conversation, then you just make a slight suggestion.

    Answer by beckcorc at 10:29 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I think its okay depending on what there child did.

    Answer by 3beautbabies at 10:29 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I would never give advice or my opinion to someone I didn't know well. My sister and my very closest friends, I didn't just blurt out "I think you need to do such- and- such." I might offer as a suggestion "Have you ever thought about doing such- and- such?" IMO, if it is phrased as a genuine question without any hint of superiority or a know it all attitude, it goes over much better. If my friend doesn't like what I've got to say, I don't take it personally and I explain to them that it was only my opinion, they can consider and decide to do nothing, they can try it out, or they can tell me I have no idea what I'm talking about. It was just a suggestion, and not meant to insult their parenting or intelligence.

    Tact is very important.

    Answer by Crystal1124 at 10:30 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • I would go about it by being on the subject already before saying anything and just be very very nice about it. I think they are only truly offended if your harsh or mean in some way.

    Answer by 3beautbabies at 10:32 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Children first!!!

    Sometimes you will lose friends over this, and I have.

    Who comes first the kids, so you should talk to them in a playful way, or nice way it depends how you two are. Yes, you should say something, or try to do something to help. If she is a true friend, she is not going anywhere.

    Answer by KFree907 at 10:37 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

  • Telling another parent how to parent or what they're doing is wrong is different than what you are asking here. I think telling others what YOU think is best for their child is rude & uncalled for. What you're doing is bringing up something that may help answer her ?'s of what's going on w/ her kid. Say something like "I've noticed that little Sally doesn't seem to....have you ever thought about having her tested for sensory issues?" The intent behind what you are saying is the most important, if she feels like you care & are trying to help she'll be more open to it then if she thinks you're being judgemental. Just let her know you care about her & if you weren't her friend you wouldn't have brought it up.

    Answer by Nyx7 at 10:37 AM on Feb. 5, 2010

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