How I deal with unsolicited parenting advice​

If you are someone reading my blog for some time, you probably have noticed that I am not into writing ‘big intros’ so let’s not change that if you are OK with it. If you are not OK, feel free to comment a constructive criticism about my writing style, but for the time being “my blog, my rules”. Now, let’s jump cut to how I deal with criticisms.

  1. Listened and followed the direction: Two different women told me that my son snores a lot and I should get it checked by a doctor. One of them suspected polyp. I took my son to the hospital for tonsils but I did not know about polyp before. I listened to them and took him to his doctor who confirmed it was not that. Later the consultant advised to remove his tonsils and adenoids because they made it difficult for him to breath properly, he was throwing up and was not sleeping well which means his growth hormones were not working well. The problem was, this operation could affect his immune system at that age. I remember being sick often when I was young. How could I want that for my 2 years old? I also suffered from Tonsillitis so it was a tough choice for me. I remember staying up late, cuddling him with a fear of him losing his breath. Finally, they were removed at around 3 and he is fine now. I am grateful to the women whose constructive criticism led us to get him treated.
  2. Ignored assessment without being rude: We went to visit a family where a lovely lady asked my son to open his mouth to examine his teeth. She said the black stains on his teeth are tooth decay. A dentist explained it to her. My response was that we take him to his dentist regularly and that the dentist said he is fine. She said if there is no problem, why do I take him to the dentist! Clearly, the reasons are I want my son to have a good dental health, it is free and the dentists usually book the followup appointments. I did not want it to turn it into an argument and surely she was not the only judgemental mom in that room, I too found a lot of things to disagree with in there.  Anyway, her assessment and advice did not affect my decision. After a few months my son had his usual dental checkup and again the dentist was happy with his teeth. 
  3. Listened to the problem, ignored the solution: Another fellow mom noticed that my son is not eating enough and advised me to take better care of him by force feeding. A few days before this comment, she told me over the phone that I am so lucky to have my son eat well, unlike her, who needs to spoon feed her son(a year older than mine). I said it is probably because of baby led weaning or letting him feed himself. Her voice became defensive almost immediately and she indicated what a mess that would make. We do feed our son but when he wants to feed himself, we do not want to take away his independence just because that would make me clean up more. On the flip side of unsolicited advice, I noticed she has a point though. So I started keeping my sons daily food diary in my bullet journal. This, I believe is helping me notice any specific pattern of not eating enough, triggers and help me decide if I need to take any further action like involving health visitor. I have also checked his BMI (percentile in his case) and found out that he is in the healthy weight range. He usually eats well but when he doesn’t have enough of a proper meal, he makes that up with fruits or other snacks in between meal time. He does not eat well when he is busy playing, constipated or did not poop enough and when he is very tired or sick. I am not going to force feed to develop negative association and discourage eating mindfully. I have listened to her constructive criticism and looking forward to increasing the quantity of food without compromising the quality of eating.

These are the ways I respond to judgemental mommies with good intentions. I take into consideration whatever is worth and ignore if something does not make sense to me. I refuse to blindly follow someone if I cannot justify logically or understand their perspective on that matter. Although unsolicited advice has a bad reputation, sometimes they can be helpful if we listen with an open mind and of course without losing out mind or brain. How about you? I would love to hear in the comment below how you deal with constructive criticism or unsolicited advice.  

28 comments

  1. I would look into the motive and how they give the advice. If the advice doesn’t sound right, I would just ignore it. I also do not give advice when they do not ask for it. Especially if the matter is not within my field of specialization.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so good! It can be applied to anything in life really! There is nothing wrong in people sharing their opinion but it doesn’t mean you have to take it all the time. I love your writing style btw. Great, enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post, as a Mama of 6 I have had my fair share of unwanted input from others. It makes it easier when you know the person giving input has an investment in you and your children. Like you, I will listen and take action if it makes sense and press delete if it doesn’t. It doesn’t amuse me that some parents think it is ok to tell other peoples kids off and sometimes right in front of their parents. That is a pet peeve of mine!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. so true…we don’t feel bad when someone gives us advise. Have patience and handle such things politely as not everyone says just to feel you bad about, but most of the times this will be a genuine concern!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I understand that some people are genuinely concerned and that their advice is something I would take seriously. However, there are some who really step beyond the border and actually nag about certain issues on how to “properly” raise a child. What irks me is that sometimes these people are not even parents!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I try not to take people’s comments to heart because “some” and I stress “some” actually have good intentions and have great advice, but there are others who are just plain nosey. I hear so many “What I should do.” And after listening and seeing what mouth it comes out then I handle it accordingly. Because no matter what we do as parents there are always the “what we should do.” comments. Thank you for the great read!

    Liked by 1 person

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