“You need to do it like this…”
“If you’d just stop letting him…”
“It would be better if you…”
“Why don’t you just…”
Everyone has an opinion, and I’m cool with that.
But I confess, I find it a little difficult when people decide to turn their opinions into advice. And what’s the one topic guaranteed to incite this kind of advice?? Parenting.
Every random stranger on the street has some piece of infallible wisdom they desperately need to share.
Yes my five year old is losing his mind in the middle of the shops. That doesn’t mean I need you to tell me how to ‘fix him’.
No my toddler is not toilet trained. That doesn’t mean I need you to explain the ‘correct’ method.
Yes my nine year old forgot to say thank you. That doesn’t mean I need a lecture on teaching manners.
I find it hard not to be resentful when presented with unsolicited parenting advice. However well meaning it may be, even if it is actually kinda good advice, I still find it hard not to turn around and say “It’s none of your freaking business!” and stalk off in a huff.
But I’m trying to change my attitude. I am trying to ‘assign positive intent’ to all those lovely, kind, people who want to share their knowledge.
I am trying to see parenting advice as a giant smorgasbord.
I’m going to check out everything on offer with excitement and anticipation and then pick and choose what looks good to me. I am going to pile my plate with whatever I need in that moment… and leave the rest for the next diner.
How about you?
How do you deal with well-meaning, unsolicited advice?
What’s the best and worst parenting advice you’ve ever been given?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
“if you want to help your son with his pigeon toes send him to ballet lessons” a complete stranger in a shop
“don’t kill her with kindness” about my intellectually disabled daughter
“your his mother, you know best” a mother craft nurse at the hospital two days after I had my son
Some people think that if you tell them anything about your kids and how they are getting on, especially after they have just asked “how are the kids ?” they think it’s an invitation to give you advice.
Hi PickleBums! Love the name of your blog and the meaning behind it!! I just started my blog (http://neneandmay.wordpress.com/) and will be talking a lot on parenting also (would you like some advice?) ;) Loved this post! I have two kids, 20 months and almost 6 months.. yeah I know! Crazy, right?!
When people share their two cents about parenting I immediately can tell whether they have actually ever had kids or just think they’re a pro from people watching!
The worst advice I ever received was when I was first pregnant, the nerve of people to tell an already pregnant person that I should have waited until I was older is about the worst advice you could ever give someone!! Thank goodness I’m a Christian! :)
I hope you take a second and check my blog out and I look forward to sharing posts with you soon! :)
This is exactly how I try to see parenting advice also – as well as contrary parenting methods to mine – as though I could learn from everything. It’s hard not to feel a bit offended sometimes though! :) And the *best* advice always seems to come from people who don’t have kids! I confess I had much better advice before I was actually a parent… :P