Because we parents spend so much time
complaining to each other sharing best practices, we often find ourselves in situations where another parent is sharing an approach or technique that we have learned or read enough to know is less than optimal:
"Hot dogs are your two-year-old's favorite food, you say? And he only eats them whole?"
"Vaccinations? Who even knows if those work? We do know they gave a number of celebrity's kids Autism."
And those are the easier ones - often it's more like the parents who don't want to "stress" their children with any pressure to establish regular sleep routines, but describe a house full of parents and kids who haven't had more than two hours sleep in row for years.
The challenge, and the question I have, is this. In those rare instances where you feel you really have something important or useful to share:
How can offer people you care about suggestions without either making your friends defensive, or by coming off as someone who considers themselves a parenting expert? (I am all too aware that the most important job I've ever had is also the one I'm least prepared to handle.)
My instinct is always to start soft, so as not to seem too pushy "I think I read that hot dogs might be a bit of a choking issue for kids that age," but that seems to go badly, because the softening on my part makes it easy for them to brush it off ("My pediatrician told me what to worry about, and didn't mention that - it's fine"). And at that point, pushing harder is starting to feel like an unwanted intervention.
And I know I can "mind my business," but I see that as a last resort; I'm talking about cases where I care about both the parents and kids, and respect the parents.