Young mothers despise unsolicited advice, particularly from experienced mothers. Sometimes, experienced mothers belittle the natural competency of young mothers. Perhaps, this is why many young mothers resist counsel from seasoned mothers. What if seasoned mothers feel the need to provide unsolicited advice because they genuinely care. What if being condescending is not their intention. What if they do not want another mother to repeat their mistake. Recently, I learned this might be the case, and it is great wisdom not to disregard unsolicited advice from seasoned mothers.
Recently, a seasoned mother advised me to give the little one a pacifier. Her reason was that she believes her teenage son still sucks his tongue because she refused to provide him with a pacifier when he started sucking his tongue in infancy. Based on personal research, experience, and preference, her advice seemed off. I argued that every child is unique, and my first little one did not need it. Hence, such advice is not for me. This woman does not know I am a new parent educator, and I teach parents what to do with their babies, I thought to myself and later told my spouse.
A few days later, the little one started sucking his tongue more than I had previously observed. I had a choice, ignore or follow the seasoned mom’s advice. I chose the latter, and it helped.
Being teachable has great benefits. Pride says I do not need help or advice from anyone, while humility says there is always something new to learn. Let’s do a heart check. We need community. We need one another.
1 Corinthians 12:15-26 (NIV) reveals God’s heart for community:
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Thank you for reading.
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