I don’t want to hear it.
You may be the best parent in the world. You may have excellent advice that would make me — a stretched-thin single dad — a much, much better parent.
Still, I don’t want your advice — unless I ask for it.
A reasonable request, right?
Yet I’ve known many people — particularly women I’ve dated — who seem to think it’s their duty to tell me how to raise my 13-year-old son.
Do I look like an incompetent parent? I’m not. I’ve been Connor’s primary caregiver since he was 2.
Listen, raising a child — particularly as a single parent — is a very personal, and sometimes trying, experience. I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve learned a thing or two.
Why do people who don’t understand the relationship between Connor and me think it’s OK to weigh in on parenting issues? Like his bedtime, his chores, the amount of time he spends with his mom.
I did a Google search, hoping to find articles on how single dads should handle unsolicited parenting advice. I didn’t find any.
All the stories I saw were directed at single moms.
Hello. Divorced dads can also have primary custody.
I have a theory. I think some people presume that single dads are less equipped to be fulltime parents than single moms. So these people think they’re helping a poor clueless single dad — like myself — by offering some parenting pearls.
Wrong. They’re being presumptious.
If I grow close to a woman I’m dating, I’ll certainly consider asking her advice on a parenting issue. But please, ladies, let me ask.
In my book, it’s a dating deal breaker to elbow your way into the world that Connor and I share. Instead, stand outside and observe. I might invite you inside.
When I’m ready.