‘Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it’ – Harper Lee
Are you a new parent? The above quote would resonate with you as you receive all sorts of advice from family, friends and other people. Since you are beginning to understand the nuances involved in successfully raising a child, helpful tips and advice would benefit you a great deal. However, not all advice is welcome or beneficial in your parenting journey. This brings us to the next question: How do we deal with parenting advice? How do we decide what’s good for us and which ones we ignore?
Amid tackling a growing child and the additional responsibilities that come with it, it does get a little overwhelming when a barrage of suggestions comes to you from different directions. However, it is easy to deal with parenting advice, take in the useful and weed out the unnecessary. Here are some easy ways to handle them.
Once you become a parent, you are in for a long parenting journey that lasts over 15 years. You would naturally want to educate yourself in all the ways you can so that your child is brought up in the best way possible.
Refer to a variety of sources – including books, the internet and also seek the advice of experienced parents who positively impact you. In fact, such experienced parenting influencers on social media can be a good source of parenting tidbits. When you educate yourself, you can understand which external advice aligns better with your positive parenting goals.
Questions like “Do I want to be an authoritative parent or adopt a more friendly approach? Will my child have behaviour issues if I have fewer rules?” would fill your mind as you look for your unique parenting style.
After exhaustive research and perhaps some trials and errors, you will reach the parenting choices that you stick to with confidence. As a result, regardless of the external advice you receive, you can make an informed decision on how to parent your child. When you are confident with your style of parenting, you are less affected by the opinions you come across.
Not everyone looks forward to external parenting tips. In fact, some studies show that 50% of parents look up to their immediate family and partners for guidance.
If you also prefer to consult a specific, trusted few for advice, you can agree to disagree with the rest of them. A polite reply could be, “We will let you know if we implement your advice” or “We don’t know if this will suit our child” to keep the unsolicited comments at bay.
Credible sources of information can be doctors or experts in nutrition, pediatricians, or trusted websites on the internet. When you receive any advice and are unsure if it will benefit your child, you can refer to your bank of credible resources to verify if their tips would work. Even if they don’t align with your goals, you can quote information from a reliable source to counter their advice with authentic facts.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, parenting tips comes from several people. Among them, some may insist harder than the others to consider their suggestions. Sometimes, it might be good to follow harmless, well-meaning advice even if you wish not to. When you already have a lot of hats to don and boxes to check, it might be an uphill battle to tackle unsolicited advice. If it benefits the child, it’s better to follow the suggestions and focus on how it works. However, if you feel otherwise, you can calmly explain why your friend’s or acquaintance’s advice doesn’t work for your child.
Now that you know of a few ways to deal with parenting advice, do share with us in the comments if you have any more suggestions.
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Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.
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