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Dealing with unsolicited parenting advice...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

How do you handle unsolicited parenting advice from family members who are:

a.)not qualified

b.) ten years younger

c.) without children themselves

d.) any or all of the above

 

I have some family members who fit some or all of the above. They think that when I don't adhere or quickly agree with their parenting suggestions or ideas that it's because I think I'm the perfect parent or that I'm the expert parent. Obviously, no parent is perfect. I do a lot of reading and research about parenting though, so if I'm talking about what I know it's not because it's only my opinion, it's often times founded on sound research or statistics. I'm proud of what I know, but I'm pretty humble about not knowing it all.

 

I find it frustrating when my family members without information, children, or even childcare experience try to suggest I should change my ways of parenting. For example, I was told the other day that I needed to teach my child what no means because if I don't now that they'll never learn. It's laughable. My LO is not even two yet! My child knows very well what the word no means, but has quite an opinion and mind that sometimes decided to listen and many times does not. But I think learning it and respecting it will come in due time. I want to be respected by my children and for my children to respect others, which comes in many forms, one of which is learning to adhere to being told no. Expecting my not even two year old to listen every time, though? That seems very unrealistic. I cared for children other than my own for 15 years before having my own. I took care of many well behaved children and not one always listened when I said no. 

 

So... I want to know how put a stop to people offering unappreciated advice when they don't know what they're talking about? I want to be kind, not mean, but I also want the advice to stop! I don't mind if it's helpful, but when it's not... enough is enough. And I've really had enough. 

post #2 of 6
I think those with no practical experience are easier to deal with than those who have children. Simply smile and say "we'll see what you think when you have children of your own", then change the subject. By the time they have children, that conversation will be a distant and unimportant memory.

Sorry, just noticed this is the single parent forum. Still, this is general advice that I think would work well even if you're single.
post #3 of 6

I just say ok and change the subject. Doesn't mean you have to take their "advice". If they are serial offenders you can set the boundary but if it's just an occasional comment here and there I would probably let it slide.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I think those with no practical experience are easier to deal with than those who have children. Simply smile and say "we'll see what you think when you have children of your own", then change the subject. By the time they have children, that conversation will be a distant and unimportant memory.
Sorry, just noticed this is the single parent forum. Still, this is general advice that I think would work well even if you're single.

That's normally my response. I usually get an eye roll and a dirty look, like they know better. Ha! Unfortunately, I don't see children in these individuals future anytime soon....which is what makes their advice pretty frustrating.

 

Thanks for your encouragement. I need to just look away before the eye roll. :)

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoeyZoo View Post

I just say ok and change the subject. Doesn't mean you have to take their "advice". If they are serial offenders you can set the boundary but if it's just an occasional comment here and there I would probably let it slide.

That's the problem. I'm dealing with "serial offenders." If it was every once in a blue moon, I'd be fine. We are talking multiple times a week and I've had enough. :-/ I've said things like wait until you have children, you'll see. Being a single parent is not as easy as having a partner. You need to read about the information you're proclaiming as fact (when I know it isn't). Sounds silly that I'm frustrated because I, being the educated parent, certainly know more than those offering unwanted "advice" but goodness, it's wearing me out. :-/

post #6 of 6

I just tell serial offenders when they can show me their perfect children, I'll listen to their advice.  That really stops non-parents in their tracks.  Unfortunately, I have the opposite problem- my Mom is my serial offender.  She doesn't get the hint when I respond with, "Yes, and look how well YOUR children ended up."

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