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.
- 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 Be prepared to be bombarded with outdated parenting tips from a generation who has never heard of Google.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