No one can give you better advice than yourself. – Cicero
But what I don’t get is why you would chose to leave your eight children with a babysitter, when they have a father nearby. – Bonnie Fuller
Among the many lessons of the digital age is one that probably isn’t a surprise to anyone who understands human nature – people love to give unsolicited advice. When our own lives and problems feel overwhelming, it can feel almost intoxicating to hop on the internet and give our opinion on issues big and small. Is Obama being truthful about his reasons for authorizing military action in Libya? Who was the worst dressed at this year’s Oscars? Should Teen Mom’s Amber go to jail for domestic violence? My answers: I really don’t know, that’s subjective and I’ll leave it to the courts to decide.
Those of us who blog about Kate Gosselin are especially attuned to what I like to call the Busybody Brigade. Whether the topic hair brushing in the kitchen (hygienic?) or whether the Gosselin children should attend private school, G bloggers far and wide sit by their keyboards ready to offer their judgment. Apparently, their own lives are just so darn well adjusted that they have heaps of time to offer (unsolicited) advice to Kate. Are you an unmarried childless lawyer not yet 30? Hurry up and start a blog because Kate desperately needs your perspective on ALL issues related to child rearing (and some not; this lawyer has an opinion on nearly everything). Are you a dowdy middle aged woman who likes to gossip about your neighbors? Where have you been all this time? Kate has been waiting on the edge of her seat for your advice too!
Now we have Bonnie Fuller. Bonnie. Bonnie. Bonnie. A quick Google search of your name leads to an embarrassment of riches. Bonnie, did you really chew out a Make-a-Wish employee because she didn’t book you first-class to Hawaii? Did you berate your husband because he didn’t find a suitable school for your daughter? There are so many Bonnie Stories; I smell a future article focused exclusively on Ms. Fuller! Bonnie has been writing about Kate for a few months now – right about the time she started getting cozy with a “Gosselin source.” The fact that said source may be giving Bonnie a one-sided or even entirely inaccurate picture doesn’t faze BF in the least. Similar to your average Gosselin blogger sitting in yoga pants at her keyboard, Bonnie has loads of advice for Kate. But what is it based on? Does Bonnie know the complete unedited story regarding the Gosselin divorce and custody agreement? I’d hazard a guess that the answer is no. So why should Kate (or anyone) read Bonnie’s words and do anything other than chuckle and roll their eyes?
Cicero had it mostly right. Family and friends are important – they can provide honest feedback, guidance and a sounding board when we are faced with life’s decisions. Strangers on the internet? Not so much. At the end of the day, each of us is the captain of our own ship. And mothers and fathers make the decisions regarding their children – not the Busybody Brigade.