29 Nov 2017 . 5 min read

Dealing With Unwanted Parenting Advice

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If you are a new mom, then be prepared to face an onslaught of remarks, parenting advice and scores of suggestions pouring in, much of it out of the blue and unwanted. Whether the advice comes from a stranger, friend, mother or a neighbor it can have a negative impact on the mind of the new mom and make her feel down.

She is bound to think why people dole out advice so easily, and worse when nobody is even asking them for it?

It is the natural tendency of a woman (a stranger) to share an instant bond with a pregnant woman or new mom.

The other day I had taken my 2-year-old daughter along with me to the grocery store. She wanted candies, not one but many, which was obviously unacceptable. So, I tried to distract her by moving away from there.

Then a stranger standing beside me passes a remark that,- Why don’t you allow her to eat candies? This is their age to enjoy.

These idle remarks surely don’t offer any help. While it is easy to ignore the remarks of a stranger at the grocery store, with family members it becomes far more complicated. A baby brings joy and happiness; he/she is connected to you and the family too. You surely love your family, at the same time you do not want them to dole out advice that is always in favor of the kids because they love them.

Handle Unwanted Advice Without Hurting Emotions of the Opposite Person

Value Their Intentions

In earlier days the doctors said – Start giving water to the child from Day 1.

Today they propagate – Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months.”

So, what would you do on those summer afternoon, when your Aunt is suggesting to start feeding water to your baby after she is 2 weeks old?

The person giving out the advice can be well-meaning, having true intentions to resolve your problem or to avoid one. Consider and think for yourself the suitability of the advice to your situation, if it seems helpful then there is no harm in putting it into practice.

At the end of the day, it is your baby and you will raise your child the way you think is the best.

Listen to Them and Thank Them

Do not dump the diaper on your child - it will be hard to potty-train later and may cause urinary infections and rashes.

Well, we know it is true. But in today’s world, most parents in this fast-paced world, work from home or resort to working after 6-months. Hence wearing nappies all the time maybe difficult.

Not all advice is unfit, some piece of advice surely does work for us. If you value that piece of advice from a person and would like to get his/her advice in future, then show. The best gesture is to thank the person even if you are not able to implement it all the time. But you can try to put it to use as much as possible.

Accept the Advice, and Shift Your Focus

It’s been an hour since his last meal. Your baby must be hungry now. Why don’t you go feed him?

The scenario in every Indian household is broadly the same.

Every child feels hungry in exactly 1 hour.

Every child is underweight and should look like - Khaate-Peete Ghar Ka...

You are not a good mother if you can’t feed him well. You bribe, beg, blaze or run behind him. Do whatever it may require to, your child needs to be fed well.

If you value the person more than his/her advice, then it is best to be polite in your approach. You could say, “Thank you so much, I will.” Immediately change the topic after that and shift to something totally different. This makes the opposite side feel that he/she has been heard of and his advice might be of some help to you. Maintaining diplomacy in your approach becomes crucial in some relationships, to avoid any offense to the advice-giver. The conversation ends then and there, so you don’t have to pretend to any further listening.


Your little one’s nose is too flat. Why doesn’t the maalish lady massage well to shape it up? I used to do it every day, look, my daughter has perfect sharp features. All you need is 10 minutes a day. But, Aaj Kal ke Bacchae....

If that be the case, all of us would have been as good-looking as Hrithik Roshan or Katrina Kaif.

If you feel that the opposite person is not really thinking through their words, then the best thing is to smile, nod and move away from there.

Set Your Priorities

Wear a scarf. Cover your head. This will keep you and your baby warm. (And you are wondering which century are we living in! What about the mothers living in Switzerland?)

If your mother-in-law insists that you cover the baby from head to toe while taking a stroll in the park or cover yourself with a scarf, then go ahead and do so. This is not going to have any long-term health effect but instead, will make your in-laws happy. However, do not give in to important issues that relate to your health or your baby’s health.

Be Confident of Yourself

Self-Confidence is of paramount importance to have peace of mind and happiness. Happiness has a snowballing, radiating effect and contagiously spreads to the other people too. Every mom knows the best for her baby. Some infants need 17 hours of sleep, some sleep for just 11 hours. Both grow up to be healthy and wise.

So, be sure you are giving “Parenting” your best and step into the Swan’s shoe who takes the milk and leaves the water behind.

Do Share your such Experiences and How you handled them during your parenting journey, in the Comments below.

Thanks for Reading. :)

SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at www.sheroes.in @SHEROESIndia facebook.com/SHEROESIndia

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