If I had a dollar for every time someone tried to give me parenting “tips” or unwelcome/unwanted advice, I’d have already accumulated enough cash to cover 4 years of university tuition for one of my kids. Wow! That’s a whole lot of advice that I more than likely did NOT want to hear or did not ask for!
The truth is that no matter what you say or do, you will never be able to stop someone from putting their two-cents in. But, instead of getting frustrated or annoyed (like I did quite often when my son was born), you can either smile and nod, and simply let it go in one ear and out the other OR you can turn the conversation into something positive in order to avoid any frustration all together.
Here’s what I mean: Mamas, you and only you know your child best! You know what your baby likes and dislikes and you know what does and does not work for them. Get the picture? Why should you waste your energy getting upset over words you know you are probably not listening to? Yes, it’s extremely annoying to listen sometimes, but face it – we all toss a suggestion here and there! So, if you really think about it, we have no right to be upset over someone who is most likely trying to help us, like we often try to help other people.
Next time you find yourself in one of these situations, consider using one of these approaches:
Brutal (but respectable) honesty: Any mother (or decent human being) will not criticize you for being honest. So, why not tell the truth the next time someone tells you to add formula to your breastmilk to make your baby grow bigger and faster. Simply say – “Thanks, but I don’t feel that is the best option for my baby”, and end it there. If anyone gets upset at you for doing this or finds it rude, that’s too bad – they’re the one who will be wasting their time and energy thinking about how you were not so receptive to their advice.
Turn it into a positive conversation: This can be difficult sometimes since some people love the sound of their own voice and always want to be the authority in the conversation, but as I mentioned before – honesty is the best policy! Listen to the advice, either welcome it or reject it and instead of ending the entire conversation, continue it. You can ask where that advice or information came from and if it worked for them. Then you can talk about how you figure out and determine what works for you and your baby. This will make for a positive conversation that can actually result in learning something new and valuable without even asking for it or having it dumped on you when you don’t want it.
How do you deal with unwanted advice? Leave a comment below.
Until next time… 🙂