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How do you respond to advice?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Unsolicited or just part of a conversation, sometimes the advice I get is quite plainly something I would not do. I don't make decisions lightly and I can almost always back up what I say on the spot. Too often though, I feel like my reasons for doing what I do are percieved as criticism or judgement of the other person, OR I feel like I stumble, appear to lack confidence and so sacrifice any credibility I might have. I have some pat answers that I use when I don't care to get into it, but I wish sometimes I could make myself heard without feeling so telly or wishy washy...what do you guys say? How do you say it? I don't want to change the world, I'd just like to be able to talk about some of this stuff without feeling defensive or hesitant

For instance, I have heard "Just give her milk, she's old enough for homo", and "Set up a sticker board for potty training, it worked really well for me", and "I just tell her cryings all finished and she stops crying".

Can you help me out?

post #2 of 16

Re: How do you respond to advice?

Originally posted by Alstrameria

"Just give her milk, she's old enough for homo"
"I guess I just don't see the point in giving her milk from another species when mine is perfectly good."
"You know, there are tons of studies that show cows milk really isn't good for people."

"Set up a sticker board for potty training, it worked really well for me"
"That's great. I'm glad it did."
"Many people have told me that learning to use the potty goes really smoothly if you are patient enough to wait for the child to be ready. I don't see any reason to push it before then."

"I just tell her cryings all finished and she stops crying".
"Really? I would hate it if someone said that to me so no, I don't think I will say that to her."
"Isn't it interesting how eager we are to censor our children when they try to express their unhappiness?"

I feel for you. It is hard to find the right tone for a response when someone is essentially meddling in your life and (sometimes) implying that you are an ignorant or incompetent parent.
post #3 of 16
i hate advice!!!!

i go with what i want and i feel is the best. the only advice i take is from dw.
post #4 of 16
To be honest, I think most people just like to talk about themselves. So I would probably respond to their advice in these situations by just asking them follow up questions and letting them talk. For example, to the person who said "Set up a sticker board for potty training, it worked really well for me" I might act interested and say something like "oh, what was it like" and then they would maybe describe the rewards or the illustrations they used or whatever, and maybe their dd got little mermaid stickers and m & m's or something, and that would just naturally lead to a new topic of talking about little mermaid and what movies and tv shows our kids were into (or whatever). I guess I'm just thinking that I'd sort of "dodge" the whole issue by delving into specifics with the person and then using that to move on to a new subject. It's non-confrontative, and doesn't really express my "view" at all, but I think my view comes out when I bring up a topic at other times.
post #5 of 16
I love hearing advice.

I always listen to what they say.

If it's just noise, I say "I see".

If it fits into my world view, I agree.

If it doesn't, then I look at them and say (surprised), "you're kidding right?"

Sometimes I get something that really sets me thinking.

post #6 of 16
I posted this somewhere else but it works so well for me, I'll write it again. My sister does it, and I have copied her with mostly great results. She says, with a lovely smile and a nod, " That's one way..."
post #7 of 16
I am having to learn to accept advice gratiously myself.

We live very close to my inlaws now. My mil LOVES to give advice about how she raised her kids and how she thinks I should be raising mine..and it almost ALWAYS goes completely against how I want to raise mine.

She thinks I'm terrible becuase my 22 month old dd isn't potty trained and I don't even plan to START with the potty until she's 2...she can't believe I want to let her lead the training!! When she says "potty training only takes 2 days" or "why is she still in diapers" I say "I'll bring her here and you can train her" that shuts her up.

My own mother thinks I should be spanking..when she gives me the step by step on how to do it I just say "I'll keep that in mind" but don't do it. Or I say "positive discipline is working for us so far" or something like that.

I tend to become defensive initially when people give advice like that..I try not to though, I try to just let them give the advice..and then NOT FOLLOW IT!!

When Cassidy was a baby, I was so much less confident and tended to follow the bad advice..and so I did alot of things that weren't instinct and I sorta regret that stuff now. I won't make that mistake with Aidan!

Of course, I LOVE advice that goes along with my instincts!!!!
post #8 of 16
susan123, you are truly a student of humankind and you've hit the nail right on the head.
post #9 of 16
I was at a wedding when about 5 or 6 months pregnant with dd. The groom (our friend) is the sone of a highly interventionist OB in town. Well, during the reception, the groom came to our table and asked (very loudly) if I was planning on having an epidural. I explained, no, for health reasons. It was his wedding and I didn't feel it was an appropriate place to debate... and I really do have health issues. Thought that was that, but without missing a beat (same loud voice), "well, you're planning on having an episiotomy, right? My sisters all had them. In fact xxxx's attending physician wouldn't give her one and she screamed at him until he did but it was too late and (insert horrible consequences here)." Felt like I was in the twilight zone at this point. Don't even remember what I said.

Later when they found out we were cosleeping, I was told that in his family they would never do that because they like their children brought up to be independent. Feeding on demand apparently also lessens independence. He's never said anything about EBF, but does exchange glances with his wife. I choose to smile and do a "works for us" rather than to debate him because I'd rather wait and let dd (a very intelligent, personable and independ child) "speak" for herself. 'sides I'd rather spend my energy where it can make a difference, KWIM? At least he's not CIO, or I would have to debate.

Other than him, our friends are almost all AP or at least very tolerant of AP ideas. However, MIL is a potential problem with the EBF and cosleeping. When we're at her place and dd asks to nurse, MIL will do everything short of standing on her head to try to distract dd. My fear is that when she finally does vocalize her concerns it will be infront of dd (this is not a timid or tactful woman we're talking about here). I will not tolerate passive-aggressive comments really directed at dd instead of myself.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I guess I am hoping to someday be able to have a conversation about all the items mentioned above. Even when I'm talking to a coworker about cloth diapering, or comforting dd in the night, I hear "well, I think you're doing great, responding to her like that. At least you don't take her into your bed, that would be a bad habit..." D'oh! So I nod and leave...but I fear it is my fate to be forever leaving conversations because I don't know how to get my views across in a contributory fashion, not necessarily a debate. Or is it just that it's always a debate when the people involved are either mainstream or AP?

susan123, I have no doubt you're right, and some of the time I can spot it and let the dialog be about them.

kama'aina mama, those are great, I will definitely be adding them to my repertoire.

Alexander, the times that I get something usable are far outweighed by those that I don't - except for here. I knew I wouldn't have to explain myself about the milk, the stickers or the crying...maybe I need to choose my venues a little better.

post #11 of 16
I already replied to this, but I thought of this post last night at mil's...we were talking about my dd and her problems with going to bed since the baby came....and I mentioned that we 1/2 cosleep with both kids and mil just couldn't understand it. Went on and on about how her kids only ever slept in her bed if there was a thunderstorm and then all 4 of them were there and how she'd be so afraid she would roll over on the baby so she didn't even bf in bed, she'd go downstairs to the rocker to bf at night!

What's so funny though, is that she gives TONS of unsollicited advice based on her kids...and I look at them....My dh turned out well, but he was pretty messed up as a teen...the next one down got pregnant at 17, the next one...a recovering junkie and the youngest is just a jerk! So, I don't really count mil as my mothering model!
post #12 of 16
I tend to be one of those people who freezes up, not knowing what to say, when confronted with "you should (insert bad advice here". I think I must look like a deer in headlights, because Ialways seem to be caught off guard. I usually just mumble something to appease them and walk away. Then I think of 101 come backs after the fact. :
A mamma on here once said she just says something like "Well, I have done a lot of research and everything I have read seems to support (whatever they are talking about that I do that they disagree with). I think that is a good one and I may just use it one day.
post #13 of 16
there is a co worker who gives advice about dd all the time, the thing is she has no kids. i just listen to her. the nerve of people!
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I think people just like to hear themselves talk, sometimes I think they are defensive and unsure of their own conclusions, and sometimes I think they just don't know of the alternatives!

Nicke, I totally know what you mean about thinking about comebacks after that fact. But I'd like to be able to be express myself without seeming confrontational. Maybe I don't, maybe I'm just perceived as some hippe yo-yo who reads to much. My mom told me once I was a research fanatic. Not that you need a PhD in parenting, and I'm willing to admit I research more than the average mom (having a research degree it's kind of my thing...), but really, some reading would be beneficial.

I am amazed at the number of people I talk to about parenting who don't read about it. Most of the people I refer to will take advice from peers or grandparents without thinking about it! How would they ever know there has been progress on a number of issues ie cosleeping, extended bf, cow's milk etc.

Maybe "why is that" just isn't a question some people ask. "Baby's not sleeping through the night? Try cereal, it will fill her up!", instead of "Baby's not sleeping? Why? Oh, because there is a survival mechanism in place!"

Anyway, now I'm just going on. Give me somebody to talk to and see what happens :LOL

post #15 of 16
..It really depends on who is giving the advice... I am very loud and passionate about the things I believe in having gone through and carefully researched everything, etc to make the right decision, I can't help believing its the right decision. So when someone voices an opinion I don't believe in, I get very upset - I can feel my heart beat faster, etc. Generally unless its my parents I just smile and nod because I know I would only offend the other person with an emotional debate where I wouldn't be thinking carefully enough about how I worded my opinions.

I generally don't bring up parenting issues ever due to this - I don't try to get myself into a circumstance where I have to defend my views to someone. However, if I'm around someone I feel I should set a good example for - another new parent for example - I will try to steer them in the 'right' direction.

I had coworkers come up to my while I was pregnant and tell me that I shouldn't let the baby sleep with me too long or I would regret it big time - Already having made the decision not to even BUY a crib this is not what I want to hear, but telling someone who wouldn't agree with my view anyway I think they did the wrong thing with their child would get me nowhere. So I just smile and nod and change the subject.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anyone live in a community where a kind, repectful attitude towards children is the prevalent one? Just yesterday, a guy I work with who doesn't have kids (but is thinking about it), quoted Dr. Phil as saying, "...yeah all you have to do is train them for one night and then they sleep all night!"

Ok, even Dr. Dufus - I mean Phil is being misquoted here, but still! I spoke up! Actually it went well, I went to the extreme and quoted another poster from MDC, said I'd rock Sophie to sleep until she was sixteen before I let her cry for me. He was thoughtful, at the very least. They all think I'm nuts (the crunchy kind) for switching to cloth at this point anyway, but hey, I do what's best for my babe!

Anyway, I'm thinking of becoming a more vocal proponent of AP and stuff. What have I got to lose? Friends I don't have? :LOL

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