073: How to Handle Sticky Social Situations with Returning Champion Miss Conduct

Today Robin Abrahams, author of the weekly Miss Conduct advice column in Boston Globe Magazine, returns for her second hangout on We Turned Out Okay! (Robin and I first spoke last fall, in episode 42, so click here or go to weturnedoutokay.com/042 to hear our first conversation together.)

In honor of Mother’s Day Robin has a special article coming out in this Sunday’s Globe Magazine, “A letter to moms from a woman without children;” in it she makes some very kind and wonderful promises to her friends with kids, such as “I will take the lead in scheduling social events, because you’re managing more social calendars than I am.” We start today’s conversation talking about Robin’s article – and then move on to her delightful book, Miss Conduct’s Mind over Manners: Master the Slippery Rules of Modern Ethics and Etiquette.

In this guidebook for modern living – for getting along with other humans – is a tiny, wonderful few pages about breast-feeding in public; Robin and I talk about the perils of both breast-feeding and formula feeding in public, since both leave parents equally open to beratings from strangers! Robin shares great advice with us about how to deflect criticism, from strangers and friends and family.

Next, Robin answers some listener questions:

  • Anne asks “I’m considering homeschooling my preschooler next year, and I’m getting major pushback from my husband’s family. (My husband is on board, just not his parents and siblings.) They live nearby and we do see his parents a lot, how can I keep family relations positive in the event that we homeschool their grandson in the fall?”
  • MJ, who is planning a family trip involving traveling in the same car with her estranged mother-in-law for ten days, asks “please help me with easy situation diffusers and ways I may not have thought about to keep this trip as conflict free as possible…”
  • I wonder “what happens if you’re at the playground and a parent scolds your child – for doing something perfectly within his rights, in your opinion?”, a situation which I found myself in a few years ago.

Robin shares great advice for each of these situations, so you’re sure of some great takeaways from our conversation!

Today’s show is sponsored by Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child, the book I wrote for you if you are the parent of young children!

It’s getting some great reviews, including this one from Heidi de los Andes: “I really enjoyed this quick, clear and caring parenting book. Just like the author advocates in dealing with children, she couches her advice from a position of empathy. The book draws from the same general philosophy of instilling self-reliance as the Free Range Kids book by Lenore Skenazy… I also appreciated that it was a quick read (about an hour) and had lots of tricks and techniques you can start using right away.”

It’s available as an E-book in Amazon right now… To check out Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics click here or go to Amazon.com and search the name. I hope it helps you in your everyday parenting!