The Non-Parent Problem

You have to love the non-parent. Their children will be perfect. That’s right I said will be. The non-parent is that person who doesn’t have kids yet but knows exactly what’s wrong with yours.

My youngest child has always been a challenge. While I’m not sure what is compelling his behavior I do know that non-parents have even less of a clue about it than I do. When he was 2, and completely non-verbal, we visited a church while out of state visiting family. The Sunday school teacher, a non-parent who had met my child for the first time only an hour prior,  informed me that he wasn’t pronouncing his “phonomes” (pronounced “F0 – Gnomes”) correctly. She said this with such pride that you would have thought she’d found a cure for AIDS.

She apparently failed to recognize that I majored in Speech Pathology in college. I’m also fully aware that phonome is not a word, medical or otherwise. It was wrong but there was a sadistic glee in signing to him that we were leaving and watching her stand there nodding, like she was waiting for him suddenly start talking. For the record he did start talking, 3 years later, after having speech therapy.

I have discovered over the last few years that the best way to deal with non-parents is by using humour.  Humour disarms the non-parent who is completely prepared to try to convince you that they know best, despite being a non-parent. The trick is to be subtle, as in the example above. This allows you to defuse the need to punch them without starting a verbal altercation. Often they either walk away baffled that they missed some obvious sign of the problem or they stand there trying to pretend that they “knew it” all along.

Please feel free to share your non-parent stories in the comments.

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