For instance, some kind parents suggested that, in order to save precious time in the morning, we pick out Lydia’s clothes the night before. That only works when she doesn’t change her mind in the morning. But thanks anyway.
But it’s not just the suggestions that are at issue; it’s how they are presented. For example, Lydia needed to take an oral medicine that she did not like for an infection.
Good way to give advice: Have you tried putting it in yogurt or ice cream?
Bad way to give advice: Why don’t you just put it in yogurt or ice cream?
The second way is bad because it suggests, more in the accompanying tone than in the content, that hadn’t even thought of it, and that we’re totally incompetent parental rubes. (I may be, but I certainly don’t need you to TELL me so.)
As a matter of fact, we HAVE tried to put the medicine in food. She can taste it. (As can I.) But she STILL has to take the antibiotic.
This means, unfortunately, me holding her while her mother administers the medicine. Even before a single drop touches her lips, she struggles and says, “Hey, guys! Hey, gu-u-u-ys!” This is NOT how she usually refers to us. We find it very funny phraseology and have to stifle laughing as we give her the unwanted liquid. She pouts for about two minutes, then seems to forget all about it as she seeks out hugs. Very interesting, this parental trip.