Kate Tuttle: In last week's Motherlode blog in the New York Times website, Lisa Belkin printed a letter from Lillian, mom of 3-month-old Alice, who went on a crying jag during a trip to the grocery store. As they were checking out, another mother leaned over, tapped Lillian on the shoulder and told her that "long-term crying" was very bad for her child.
As Lillian recounts it, her first reaction was to wave it off ("I've got it"), and her second was rageful tears. That sounds about right.
Belkin goes on to recount times she has both received and offered unsolicited parenting advice, and the dozens of comments after the piece tell of even more. It seems that every mother out there has been on the receiving end -- and a lot of us, though we admit it somewhat sheepishly, have also been guilty of giving unwanted parenting advice to total strangers. Why on earth do we do this? And is it ever, ever helpful?
What's the best or worst parenting advice you've ever given or received?