I personally cringe inside when I am given parenting advise directly, out of no where, and without my asking for it.
For example, I took my son to see his grandmother on his dad's side, at an apartment complex during the summer. I arrived really early and my little guys grandma wasn't home yet. I went to the apartment complexes' main building (Leasing, swimming pool, etc.) to ask "Is there a kids area with like slides or swings?".
The Manager informed me that the apartment complex did NOT have one. My question was answered. I had to think of what I was going to do with my active little boy, who was at that point, tired of all the toys he has played with during the very long car ride to grandmas house.
Plan C: The Manager decided to give me my Unwarranted Parenting Advise by politely suggested to me that I can give him some toys to play with while I wait. ... ... ... I needed a moment with myself in order to keep from turning green and growing out of my clothes until I became Miss.Hulk!
But I did manage to dig deep and politely let her know that I knew that, and I was just asking where the kids area was.
I don't know why something so simple, nearly had me lose it. Maybe it was my hormones from discontinuing breastfeeding? Or maybe she thought I was babysitting and needed suggestions that was bare minimum simple. I have not one clue! The manager was only trying to be helpful, rIght!?
Usually it's not a great idea to get into politics/religion/money or the death penalty if you want to keep some of your friends.
But it seems to be an unfiltered tongue when it comes to parenting. Which may be the touchiest subject out there.
Breastfeeding vs bottle, co-sleeping vs crib, how much tv, how you bath them, how this and how that. Whether they don't have kids, failed to raise their own correctly, have kids that are nothing like you or your family. Everyone has an opinion in the matter!
I realized I never wanted to get that angry at something so small about parental advice that ever since then I make sure to let others share their advise no matter how cringe worthy it may sound that I have either thought about trying that or if I have already tried it
- 1st I let them know my "Parenting Style" is more of a "Go with the Flow, Trial and Error". I'll try many different ways until I get a good end result. Any outside advise given to me I'll hear it out, keep it in the back of my mind as I test many different ways out for the best fit for the moment.
- 2nd I listen like I said I would and close with "That sounds interesting, maybe I'll try that, I'll have to see how this whole thing goes"
BAM! No Hulk, just pure conversation that leads right back to me having confidence over making the best choices for the little guy of mine.
I've reached out to other moms out there, and came across some excellent tips that I can't wait to share below on how they handle the advise they didn't ask for.
"As a newly divorced mom raising an autistic son and running a design business at home, here is how I often respond to advice from others... esp my own mom:
Thanks for that suggestion. It's interesting that you offer that because since _______ (child's name) has been doing/taking/eating _______ (name of product, technique etc), he's improved...
That may work for you but we are all just so unique and it's important that I follow my gut along with how my body reacts to...
The important thng is how I feel and not what you want simply because its happens to be your personal opinion on the matter. For that very reason, I study and research ________ (topic) to better educate myself then apply accordingly.
Hope this helps!"
"I get a lot of unsolicited parenting advice from all sides. Most of it doesn't really suit me because I have a different parenting style than they do. But I generally stay polite, thank them for their interest and do whatever the hell I want.
The worst is when I get lectured by "friends" who don't even have kids. I have a friend who is constantly telling me I'm not doing enough for my kids because I don't take them to the doctor for every sniffle.
My husband's best friend keeps telling me my boys need haircuts.
It's unreal how okay people think it is to tell you their thoughts. But again, I generally just smile and thank them and then put it out of my mind."
My Mom Made That
"I usually get a lot of advice from older people about the number of layers a child should be wearing, or when they should be eating solids, or weaned. With that, I've learned that in reality, not only am I more up-to-date than they are, I usually have more experience with young children.
I just smile and nod. It's not worth arguing with them.
Now that I have a tween, I get advice and suggestions from family and others about how I should handle him. I'm less confident in parenting this age (it's my first time with a tween), so I actually engage with them in conversation, even if unsolicited.
I think a lot of people are trying to interact and have a relationship with your family in some way, and just want to feel helpful.
I do have a couple of people who don't have kiddos and are friends who offer advice. My line is usually, "It's a lot easier to tell people how to raise children than it is to actually raise them."
Then I just disengage."
"Unasked, unwanted advice is not usually well-received - at least not by me.
Especially when you're talking about one of my 6 kids or the way I parent!
However, there were two ways I usually responded if someone gave me this type of advice.
Thank them and tell them I would think about it.
Say something non-discriminating like, "Oh really?" or "Oh? That's interesting that you think that."
THEN I would go home and think about it.
There are a few things to consider here as well:
Does the person care about me and my kids? If so, then I should consider what they had to say. Take a few days and cool off, then look at it objectively.
If the person doesn't seem to care about me or my kids, I just let it slough off in a "consider the source" attitude.
However, even if the person seemed to be doing it for the wrong reason, I always tried to evaluate to see if there was any truth in their criticism. After all, I did want to be the best mom, so even the worst advice-giver might be right - much as it pained me to admit it.
One other point: if someone told me that they didn't think my husband was doing thus and so right with our kids, I always told them to speak to my husband.
I will never be a part of using that to tear down my man. Even if I agreed with them, I would not use that as an opportunity to level the playing field.
I figured if they thought it was serious enough they'd be willing to approach my husband. If they were just using it to tear us down or to tear him down to me, then they wouldn't take the time to talk to him - and we were all winners."
How do YOU Handle Unwarranted Parenting Advise??
I would love to see a picture of your little you's at #chocolatemamalovesvanilla on any of the following social media sites: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!