Episode 88: When Should You Interfere In Other People’s Parenting?

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We’re talking about grades: what do you do when your kid is obsessed with getting great grades? Plus, when is it OK to butt in if you think someone else is making a bad parenting decision? You can listen at the bottom of this post!

A father yelling at his son, while holding his arm roughly

Check out this week’s sponsor, Kopari! We’ve been using various Kopari Coconut Oil products, and we’ve become huge fans. You can join us with 20% off of your order! Just go to KopariBeauty.com/Parenting.


Rebecca is still bitter about Amy changing her blog’s name from “Selfish Mom” to “Amy Ever After.” And Andrea is not wearing purple, because she moved recently and hasn’t had a chance to unpack enough of her fall clothes. It’s finally chilly in NYC!

The Myth Of The Straight-A Student

What do you do when your child is obsessed with getting great grades? NYC is famous for parents stressing over getting their kids into the right pre-school, then the right elementary school, right on up the line to a top college. Many schools all over the country put a ton of pressure on kids to be straight-A students. So what happens when the kids internalize the pressure and obsess over their grades? An article in the Washington Post had some great suggestions for lessening the pressure, without totally letting kids off the hook for getting good grades. Some suggestions include looking beyond the obvious, big-name schools, backing off so they can fight their own battles, and focusing on character development instead of grades.

Plus, our friend Jessica Lahey’s book, The Gift of Failure, was mentioned in the article. It’s a really great resource.

When (If Ever) Should You Butt In When It Comes To Parenting?

Last week, a woman in Texas tried to intervene when she saw a man in a Wal-Mart dragging his daughter around by her hair. He had wrapped his daughter’s hair around the shopping cart’s handle, so she took pictures, and then asked him to stop. When he refused, she called the police. Ultimately, the police said that they couldn’t arrest him because he had a right to discipline his daughter. So the woman posted the pictures to Facebook, and they went viral.

A really interesting article in the New York Times expanded on this topic and asked when is it OK to interfere in someone else’s parenting decisions? Rather than a stranger spotting abuse in a public place, the article focused more on what happens when friends or grandparents butt in about parenting styles or decisions. The tl/dr version? It pretty much never works out well. There were many examples in the article of friendships being destroyed over someone butting in.

One great suggestion from the article for grandparents was a one-and-done rule: the grandparents can butt in once for an issue, and that’s it. No matter what the parents do with the advice, they can’t butt in on that topic again.

Want to read more about using viral posts to get the police to take action? Amy wrote about it on Tom’s Guide.

Bytes of the Week

Amy’s Byte is the incredibly awesome new Will & Grace video, made especially for the presidential election. The show didn’t miss a beat. The writing, the set, Grace’s hair, Karen’s cleavage, everything was the same and just as great as when the show was on. You have to watch it.


Andrea’s Byte is a very cool, high-tech ceiling fan. The WiFi-enabled Haiku Ceiling Fan works with the Amazon Echo, can be installed indoors or outdoors, and has an LED light with 16 brightness levels. Neat!

Haiku Ceiling Fan

Rebecca’s Byte is a ten-episode serial podcast for kids, The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel. You can subscribe to it in iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts, or you can listen to it on YouTube!


Episode Links

The Myth of the straight-A student, and six ways to debunk it, by Phyllis L. Fagell – Washington Post

The Gift Of Failure, by Jessica Lahey

Other People’s Parenting: When (if Ever) to Interfere, by Michele Willens – New York Times

New “Will & Grace” Scene About 2016 Election

Haiku Home L-Series WiFi-Enabled Ceiling Fan

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd generation)

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel:

Subscribe on iTunes

Episode 1 on YouTube

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