How to Deal with unwanted parenting advice!
While an occasional, well-meaning comment may be okay, too much unsolicited parenting advice can be annoying and put a strain on relationships. Here are 10 ways to respond to unwanted baby advice:
1. Listen before you react
It’s natural to be defensive if you feel you’re being judged. Chances are, you’re not being criticized; rather, the person is sharing what they feel to be valuable insight. Listen before you react. And, rather than starting an argument, it’s sometimes best to smile, nod, and make a non-committal response such as: “Interesting!” Then, go about your business–your way.
2. Pick your battles
If your mother-in-law insists that your baby wear a hat when she walks him to the park (even if it’s not overly cold or hot), let her pop one on his head. It won’t cause any long-term effects, other than placating her. Don’t, however, capitulate on issues that are important to you or the health or well-being of your child.
3. Avoid “hot” topics
If your brother is pressuring you to let your baby cry to sleep (but you would never do that), then don’t complain to him about your baby getting you up five times the night before. If he brings up the topic, then distraction is the best route.
4. Educate yourself–and others
Knowledge is power. Protect yourself and your sanity by reading up on your parenting choices. Then, rely on the confidence that you are doing your best for your baby. If your “teacher” is imparting information that you know to be outdated or wrong, share what you’ve learned on the topic. You may be able to open the other person’s mind. Refer to a study, book, or report that you have read. Many people accept a point of view if a professional has validated it. If your own pediatrician agrees with your position, say, “My doctor said to wait until she’s at least six months before starting solids.”
5. Learn to be vague
You can avoid confrontation with an elusive response. For example, if your sister asks if you’ve started potty training yet (but you are many months away from even starting the process), you can answer with: “We’re moving in that direction.”
6. Ask for advice
Your friendly counselor is likely an “expert” on at least a few issues that you can agree on. Search out these points and invite guidance. She’ll be happy that she is helping you, and you’ll be happy you have a way to avoid a showdown about topics you don’t agree on.
7. Memorize a standard response
Have a standard response such as: “This may not be the right way for you, but it’s the right way for me.” Use it whenever unwanted advice comes your way.
8. Be honest
Try being honest about your feelings. Pick a time that’s free of distractions and choose your words carefully, such as: “I know how much you love Harry, and I’m glad you spend so much time with him. I know you think you’re helping me when you give me advice about this, but I’m comfortable with my own approach, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d understand that.”
9. Find a mediator
If the situation is putting a strain on your relationship with the advice-giver, you may want to ask another person to step in for you and mediate the situation.
10. Search out like-minded friends
Join a support group or on-line club with people who share your parenting philosophies. Talking with others who are raising their babies in a way that is similar to your own can give you the strength to face people who don’t understand your viewpoints.
how do you deal with unwanted parenting advices mommies?share with us your methods...