Do you feel that since you had a child/children there is always someone telling you how you should be doing it! – advice on what you are feeding your children, how you are holding them, how you are entertaining them, your general parenting style – blah blah…Now as long as you are caring for, feeding (healthy foods of course) and showing your child love and generally meeting their emotional and health needs then you and them are all good…right!
Wrong! There always seems to be comments from others around what you are doing wrong…telling you what your parenting style should be…because a stranger knows what it is like to walk a mile your shoes. Now we have all been there especially pre children, when we looked at a parent and thought to ourselves, why do they let their children do that? Why can’t they control their toddler (obviously a person with zero parenting skills knows how to do it)…and if we are completely honest we have also judged someone’s parenting style since having children…but do you always vocalise it??? No – my motto is if I haven’t been asked for it, do not give it – but hey we don’t all live by the same principles!
When advice is well needed, it is requested with questions like – “What do you think?..”, “How do you manage to…”, ” Tell me, what’s your secret?” Now that is an open invitation to tell me what you think and of course you should oblige. But alot of the time parenting advice is unsolicited – a random bit of information, which is meant to enthuse you into doing things differently, a different way, a better way, their way? Now how does it make you feel, when someone is telling you what to do? For me my reaction is usually centred around who is doing the telling and whether their opinion is of importance to me…whereby those opinions I don’t value will get a very animated response….
Many animated responses later….I am finally learning to accept that unsolicited advice will always come my way as a parent. Sometimes it is given with love and no bad intent (and I do listen)…other times people are pain nasty and just want you to feel bad. Now I am trying hard not to be overly sensitive with other people’s words…and am learning to let them brush over me… After reviewing (at times agonising over) my parenting style, I’ve realised although it might require a few tweaks here and there, MY parenting style is the right style – for me, for MY life, for MY family. My style will evolve as my family grow. I will learn from my mistakes (sorry kids…). But I’ve realised over time that no matter how wonderful someone else’s advice is, you don’t have to take it, you can politely say “Thank You, but if I need advice I will ask for it!” (Sorry that’s as polite as I can get)…
Now my question to you is how do you handle unsolicited advice? How do you shield yourself from snide remarks and hurtful comments? And does any of it stick? Does it encourage you into tweaking your parenting style? Whatever your style of parenting, do it with joy and confidence, whilst always being true to yourself!