“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?