It seems like the minute you announce your pregnancy, everyone starts jumping in with unsolicited parenting advice. It can be frustrating, especially after you give birth, and your new mom anxiety gets amplified by what may seem like a steady stream of criticism. âYouâre carrying him too much! Youâll spoil himâ one person will say. Then, if you follow her, another will look at you with horror. âYouâre ignoring your baby? How could you just let her sit there and cry?â
Here are some ways to deal with the unsolicited parenting advice, so you can gently avoid their interference, avoiding any hurt feelings while raising your child, your way.
Donât be defensive
People are not giving advice because they think youâre incompetent. Maybe this is their way of showing concern, or are simply eager to pass on their experience as moms. Since every child and every parent is unique, their tips may not work for you. But it wonât hurt to listen, if only to acknowledge their sincere intentions.
In one ear, out the other
If you donât agree with what they say, donât pick a fight, just tune them out. Smile, make listening noises, nod, and say something neutral but non-commital, like âOh, thatâs interesting.â Or, âI guess thatâs one way of doing things.â
Choose your battles
If your mother wants your child to listen to Mozart because she thinks it will make him smarter, go ahead. It wonât make any difference to you either way. But stick to your guns in important issues, like whatever directly affects his health, confidence, or your discipline methods.
Avoid the battles
If your sister-in-law has been hounding you about training your baby to sleep through the night, and youâre not sold on the idea, avoid giving her the opportunity to âpreach.â Donât complain about how youâre never getting sleep, and when she mentions that youâre looking haggard and is about to launch her tirade, quickly change the topic: âHey, did you catch the game last night?â or âOoops, I have to go to the bathroom.â
Arm yourself with facts
Youâll be less prone to react to comments if you are confident about your choices as a parent. It helps to read parenting magazines or websites, weighing your options and arming yourself with information. You can share this information with other people or just quietly remember it when they try to sway you. Besides, one of the best ways to shut another person up is to say, âMy doctor saidâ¦â or âThe American Pediatric Society saidâ¦â
Photo from savvysassymoms.com
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