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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Dealing with unwanted advice or criticism on parenting

So every mum knows we get this all the time... from the moment you announce your positive pregnancy test there's no getting away from the unwanted advice and criticism. Among mums there is often an unspoken competitiveness and the older generation feels that they know best and need to tell you how it's done.

Of course I add that not everyone is like this, but it's pretty much unheard of to escape from it altogether.

My tips are:
  • if it's about nothing important and you want to keep the peace then just let it go, say nothing
  • listen to advice and nod, but then do what you feel is best
  • be openminded- yes, it's easy to get mad and annoyed when the advice hasn't been asked for but I often find in the light of day there might be something to take away from what the other person has said.
  • if it's something you feel strongly about then be polite but firm and tell the other person that you are dealing with the situation how you feel best. Don't get into a debate if possible but stand your ground.
  • Don't let others make you feel inferior. I've experienced my fair share of this and cried over criticism over my parenting. It seems silly looking back but at the time it's so hard.
  • be confident with your parenting choices - research if necessary so if your choices are questioned you feel happy with how you do things.
  • Try to stay away from criticising other mums...after all you know first hand how hard this parenting lark is :-)
I had a very upsetting situation not that long ago where the way I dealt with one of Isla's tantrums was criticised in front of her by her grandparents.I was made to feel as though I don't care that she's upset and am a heartless mum. It was tough but I had to have a break from visiting them for a week and then I went over and spoke to them about how they had made me feel. in this situation I gave reasons for how I parented and me needing to be consistent. It was a long discussion but we got there in the end and I made clear it's not ok to undermine me in front of my daughter. Phew!! Just showing really how important communication was in that instance, and how it stopped further issues like that.

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