Unsolicited Parenting Advice from Know-It-Alls

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Oh wow! You are a baby expert as well?

So David Beckham is facing the wrath of trolls for allowing their baby girl Harper to use a dummy (pacifier) even at 4. What’s new in that for a parent, I say. From the moment you turn pregnant you will find “mom experts”, “baby experts”, and “parenting expert” crawling out of the woods from all corners.

You know what I mean? All the unsolicited parenting advice that is vomited on you once you are a parent, and it doesn’t matter if it’s your first baby or 5th …these people still know more than you. And expect you to listen.

OK! So I have nothing against the well-intentioned advice; I am not the sort who will roll eyes on some good motherly tips. But if I just met you on a lift…I don’t need you to tell me what to do and what not to do with my 3 year old.

Here I’ve listed some of the common sages (unsolicited of course); all parents must have come across in their parenting days.

  1. Back in our days….

Brace yourself, mama! If you have anywhere to hide, better start running now, because when a sentence starts with THAT—you are in a sticky situation. Be prepared to be bombarded with outdated parenting tips from a generation who has never heard of Google.

How to handle?

A polite nod of head, and “Thank You”, because you cannot really argue with an old hump; you just have to grin and bear.

2. Isn’t he too old to be—?

This always makes me defensive and hurtful. My son still uses milk bottle (did I just hear you shriek). Yes, he does. He is obsessed with it and we are trying our best to wean him out. He uses his milk cup as well but when he is sleepy he prefers a bottle. I’ve faced a lot of wrath and gasp from strangers and relative but I’ve realized most of the time they may genuinely wonder if the behavior that they’re commenting on is age-appropriate.

How to handle?

Swallow the bitter pill. If they are offering an advice on what to-do than you might learn something. But if they are just boasting about their super-efficiency, put your hands over your ears and start singing..Wheels on the bus go round and round…..

3. My kids never did that…

I bet you have chanced upon that “middle-aged Mrs-know-it-all” with kids in college witnessing your child throwing a tantrum, and uttering that golden line.

Excuse me! But I barely remember what I did last week let alone what I did 20 years ago, Mam. What’s the secret of your super-memory?

How to handle?

Defuse your anger with a pinch of humor. Congratulate her on raising wonderful robots. Ask her if you can call her next time the child throws a fit.

The world is full of critics. There is always going to be information coming from parent, non parent, and everyone in between. Filter out what advice to listen to and what to blow off. Eventually, a funny thing happens—you become a “baby expert” in the process, and when your best friend has a baby, you will know exactly what to tell her.

This post is also published in Women’s Web as my article, go check it

http://www.womensweb.in/2015/09/deal-unsolicited-parenting-advice/

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Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi

Sky scraping snow-capped Mountains, vast expansion of meadows, small quaint cafe, steep walks and groves, is what I’ve been longing for lately. Except reality couldn’t be any further from the truth. A mountain getaway now is completely off-limits, as the boy’s flu last month took away two-weeks off work.

Living in Delhi NCR, I have always missed the nature. There are no water bodies, no mountains or rivers to just sit by and stare, and do nothing. I stayed in Bhopal for a few years, and I have some fond memories of sitting by the lake chewing on roasted corn on weekdays. I couldn’t imagine doing that here as I am always in a hurry.

If only life could slow down a little? Some would say, there are enough parks and bawlis, old forts and ruins, India Gate and Lodhi Gardens but the distance and the crowd always spoils the appeal.

However, there is this place right in the heart of this city where life takes a different turn the moment you enter through the gate, where you can here the chirping of birds and not the traffic honking that you are so used to, where the whistling sounds of the woods are as clear as crystal, where the serenity and calmness stirs the poet inside you, where the trees play their own music, and even you are allowed to make some with the hanging instrument–minus the tourists, college crowds, or some such humdrums.

Just the sound of the nature playing its own tune!

I call it my Secret Haven.

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