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Unwanted Parenting Advice

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We all have received unwanted parenting advice from parents, friends, co-workers, strangers – you name it. It can really get on your nerves not to mention have you questioning your parenting skills. A few simple tips to help with unwanted parenting advice:

  1. It’s about them not you - It’s hard, but try not to take the advice personally or as a sign that you aren’t doing something right. People often give advice from their own need rather than yours.
  2. Trust your parenting “gut” – Everyone has a different approach to parenting, but you know your family and baby the best so go with your gut.
  3. Be ready – Unsolicited parenting advice often catches us off guard, but having a ready response helps. It could be as simple as “Thank you. I’ll think about that.” or a simple smile to acknowledge them.
  4. Look who’s talking – Consider who it is who is giving you advice. A complete stranger probably doesn’t need as much attention and tact when you give a response as a relative does.
  5. Listen and learn - We learn something new every day. It’s easy to become defensive about our parenting styles, but you never know who has tidbits of wisdom to share.

How do you handle unwanted parenting advice?

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7 Responses to “Unwanted Parenting Advice”

  1. Heather July 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    My mother and many others areo always complimenting me on how good of a mother I am. However, my mother-in-law always has something to say, and her and I have very different views on just about everything. It is a very frustrating situation. Even though she does tell me I am a great mom, she still has input on just about everything. I just pretend to listen and smile. Keeps the friction to a minimum.

    • MichelleH July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      Heather,
      Sounds like you found a good strategy for handling unwanted parenting advice! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brandi July 18, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    I just keep telling myself that I have to be polite. Our babies aren’t even here yet and we’re already being told how to do things! I figure everyone thinks their way is the best, and what works for them may not work for us. Sometimes, I have to tell people that, but I try to do what Heather does and just smile and nod. LOL

    • MichelleH July 18, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      Brandi,
      It is difficult to just smile & nod, but as you say it may be the ticket to less confrontation!

  3. Gladys Parker July 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    I am very glad you added the last point! As a mother of 4 I often see things I wish I had not like a mother having her 4 month old baby on a trampoline with other children bouncing. That is shaking baby syndrome waiting to happen. On the other hand the same girl gets advice to start feeding her baby cereal and baby food so she won’t take so many bottles and I hope she doesn’t listen to that. Being selective is very good advice. I wish every child an informed mother!
    Gladys P

    • MichelleH July 20, 2011 at 7:41 am #

      Words of Wisdom Gladys! Thanks for your comment.

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