Friday, January 19, 2007

5 Tips for Dealing with Unsolicited Parenting Advice

It happens to all of us. It comes from grandparents, neighbors, friends, siblings, and even strangers...the unsolicited advice we get regarding our parenting skills. We dread it...we hate it...but yet, it still comes in droves.

How can you deal with it?

Here are some tips to help you out!

Tip #1: Smile
Some parents thrive on creating competitions between their child and yours. “My little Billy took his first steps at six-months. You should try to make your baby walk. What’s wrong with him?” In situations like these, it’s best to simply smile and walk away.

Tip #2: Avoid contact
Overbearing people tend to offer their parenting advice every time they see you. This often leads to frustration on your part. Avoid contact with these people as much as you possibly can. If family is among the worst to give you their unwanted advice, limit your visits with them to thirty minutes.

Tip #3: “This works best for us.”
Sometimes you will receive odd looks or negative comments on your parenting style. When you encounter someone who thinks they know a better way for you to parent your child, look them directly in the eye and say, “I’m glad that method works for you. This works best for us.”

Tip #4: Let it roll
Another way to avoid conflict with well-meaning people is to recognize that their intentions are well-meant. Family members are often among the worst to offer unwarranted parenting advice. Remind yourself that this person means well, even though their advice is unasked for and let it flow in one ear and out the other, like water off a duck’s back.

Tip #5: Be kind, but direct
You will no doubt grow irritated at some point. Remember to breathe, count to ten and smile. Be kind in your response, but be firm and direct. Reply in a way that will let the person know that you appreciate their concern, but that you are more than able to care for your child.

Now it's your turn - let's add to these tips...any good ideas?

No comments: