How many times have you gone into the grocery store for one specific item and end up leaving with $200 worth of groceries minus that one item? I go to the grocery store almost every day to pick up that one item forgotten on a previous trip, and oftentimes I leave with something a little extra I didn’t go there for — unsolicited parenting advice. Not just any unwelcome unsolicited advice — the passive, backseat-driving kind of advice that’s directed at your kid but meant for you.

It doesn’t just happen at the grocery store; it happens anywhere when I’m out with just me and the kids. Strangely, it doesn’t happen when my husband is with me, at least not as often. Maybe I just have one of those faces that invites unwelcome comments.

I know there are lots of people out there who love to tell others what to do and think they know better, but if you’re going to be one of those people, at least have the guts to direct your comments at the “offender.” Don’t tell the 8-month-old baby in the front of the cart that her feet are cold and that she needs socks. And don’t tell the kid standing in the back of the cart that he needs to sit down so he doesn’t get hurt.

Do they think I don’t know that my baby is sockless and my son is acting like a hooligan? Of course I do. I’ve already scolded him. But some people can’t resist. Have mercy on a mother (or father) trying to shop while controlling two kids fighting swords with loaves of French bread.

So just like how no one likes listening to a backseat driver telling you how to drive, no parent likes unsolicited advice from a stranger, even if he/she has a point.