What better topic to begin with than the topic of Advice?

Generally unsolicited and mostly well meaning, strangers give advice to mothers from the time she is visibly pregnant. From “You are having a natural birth, aren’t you” to “you really should enroll your 18 month old in Chinese/Russian/Arabic classes now” these tidbits are usually unwelcome and irritating. The well-mannered mother knows to smile politely and change the subject or leave the room as soon as possible.

Certain ill-mannered mothers will react to such advice with loud complaints to their friends and family: “How annoying! That lady just told me to put a hat on my baby! As if I don’t know the temperature outside! She should try keeping a hat on an 11 month-old!” Maybe she has. The well-mannered mother remembers that such outrage is an inappropriate response to well-meaning, though misguided behavior.

Needless to say, the well-mannered mother should never give advice unless expressly asked and then only on the subject at hand.

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