I have posted on this board before because I'm one of four brothers and no sisters. For that reason alone, I am offering this question for discussion here because I can't find a more appropriate board on iVillage.
If anyone can suggest one, please tell me.
The link below is a very recent article on the BBC's UK website: 'Why don't some parents like taking advice from non-parents?'
When the British NHS (National Health Service) was established in 1948, my parents were visited - without invitation - by a young District Nurse. Her remit was to visit families of children under 16. My Mother readily invited her in because she and Dad were so grateful for this wonderful and free source of medical care - until the nurse insisted she should examine her sons. At which point Mum sent her packing - telling her not to darken her door again (or words to that effect).
Some many years later, my mother told me how deeply she was incensed by "that young 'flibbertigibbet' of a girl," barely out of her teens, telling her how to care for her boys while she herself was chlidless. And that's the point I want to make.
My wife and I have fostered some 35+ children over a twelve year period, many short-term and some long term. We no longer foster now because of our circumstances. But we recall the social workers who visited us in those years. And and in those years we discussed the remarkable difference between well-meaning social workers, bereft of children of their own who had been 'trained' in child care, compared with those who had personal, hands-on experience with a child of their own. The difference was chalk-from-cheese.
Was Mary Poppins an example we should aspire to, with no children of her own? It's a conundrum so near to my heart. My very, very dear Aunt, who finally died in my arms at the age of 93, was blessed with countless children who she loved unconditionally throughout her life as a Primary School teacher - and who loved her in return. Her virginity was totally irrelevant.