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Unwanted Parenting Advice

How to stick to what you believe in without the annoying criticism.

There is no doubt that raising children isn’t easy. I can’t tell you the number of times that both my husband and I have wished for an instruction manual on how to raise our kids.

However, it never seems to help when I hear someone else adding his or her 2 cents about what to feed your kids rather than the fast food burger and fries you gave them one night out of the month or what they should be wearing when someone else thinks it’s cold outside. 

The point is, family and friends often want to offer advice to help solve what they think is an issue.

Unfortunately, every parent will experience unwanted advice at some point in their life, whether it’s from someone they know or a complete stranger. Below are a few tips on how you can avoid such a situation:

●     Stick to your guns. Don’t let an unsolicited comment convince you that your parenting skills have gone mad. Raise your family the way you feel is best and decide later if the advice was worth it.

●     Don’t complain. I have often heard people complain about their child not sleeping, extended use of the bottle, poor grades in school and so on. If you’re taking the time to bring up the subject then chances are you’re looking for advice.

●     Sometimes people just like to be heard, which is why it might be best to let it go in one ear and out the other. That being said, thank them and move on. Whether you choose to follow the advice is up to you.

●     Try to refrain from telling everyone your personal business. The more details people know the easier it will be for them to offer unwanted advice.

●     Don’t be contradictive. If you can’t stand it when someone else tells you what he or she thinks then try not to do the same. If you are known to give undesired advice then it might come back to haunt you.

●     Ask that your rules be followed. If you have a babysitter coming over or if your kids will be staying the night somewhere then consider typing up a routine schedule so that person knows exactly what you expect. If your child is only allowed to watch educational TV or has a bedtime of 8 p.m., write it down. That way your rules are followed and nothing else.

Despite your best efforts, there will always be someone with something to say about how you’re raising your family. Perhaps it’s because they have so many of their own experiences to base their opinions on, while at the same time they might not even realize what they’ve just said. In any event, decide what’s best for you and your family while showing people that you are capable of making good decisions. That way, they may be less likely to offer their opinion when it’s not invited.

cynthia August 17, 2011 at 02:40 PM
Great article. I wish advice like this was available to me 11 years ago when I had my baby. I felt very criticized by family members who always had to put their 5 cents regarding my child. It made me feel like the worst mom on the planet that I couldn't get my child to stop crying at times and to sleep through the night. My worst critic was my mother in law who found fault in everything I did. http://www.peoplesinsight.com/articles/2-relationships/147-my-monster-in-law

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