Does it feel like everyone who gives parenting advice seems to think they know more than you do? And is the unending stream of criticisms and perceived judgements driving you nuts? Maybe we can offer a helpful perspective to curb those feelings.
Whether you have a little bundle of joy on the way, already have a child, or two, or maybe you are considering the idea of children someday, there will almost always be people in your life that will want to give you parenting advice. Even strangers will give you their two cents, regardless of how well or poorly they did with their own children.
It seems like everyone thinks they know it all, and you know nothing. And while neither is necessarily true, it is easy to become bitter at the thought of one more person giving unsolicited tips on how you should raise you kids. Especially when opinions abound on everything from what school they will go and what age to send them, to their recommendations for baby products.
Taking the good and leaving the bad
To be fair, a lot of current parents just want to help, but others seem to only chime in when they can point the finger and tell you how much you are failing. Those are the voices that must be tuned out, but they can be ignored with kindness and in a way that doesn’t torpedo the interpersonal relationship you may have spent a lifetime building.
To keep feelings from getting hurt, and keep your sanity, there are a few tips and tricks you might try to deal with parenting advice you didn’t ask for.
- Hear them out: Sometimes, while you might not want to hear it, they are giving you pure gold. Good parenting advice is always worthwhile to take in, even if you don’t use it. Although, after thought and consideration, you just might.
- Smile and nod when its bad: It is next to impossible to steer clear of all parenting advise, but the easiest way to avoid parenting advice is to let whomever is talking finish what they have to say, then say something like “I’ll think about that” or something else that allows you to change the subject. It is the most courteous way to get out of a conversation you never wanted in to be in.
- Useful dialogues: The person who will give you the most advise will probably be your mother or grandmother. They typically come from a place of love, but often their information can be a little out-of-touch with the child rearing of the 21st century. Let them know of new practices and practical applications, and if necessary, site updated sources, like authors or doctors.
- Know your stuff: If you want to stop unsolicited advice, it is best to have your own information and education in check. Read, listen, learn. Join online groups, join mommy-and-me classes, and remember, take the good, and leave the bad. You will know which is which on an instinctual level, as well as through proper research.
The author loves to read and research things and has been the giver and receiver of tips for parenting, she has found it difficult to take recommendations when the person giving it did a questionable job with their own kid, but still takes it with a grain of salt.
Conclusion: In many cases, most people have benevolent motives when distributing any advice, but more so when it comes to parenting. Raising a child and raising them to be a healthy, well-tempered, and productive member of society benefits the world. But ultimately, they are still your child, and whether you politely decline parenting advice, or angrily dismiss it outright, is up to you. Have you been the recipient of good, or bad, recommendations for raising your child?