You usually aren’t a parent for very long before you start receiving unsolicited parenting advice. Unfortunately, a lot of people feel they have the right to advise you on how to raise your child. This can be true even if they are practically strangers. It can be very annoying to deal with unsolicited parenting advice. Here are some tips to help you deal with those situations.
1. Smile and Say Thank You
A lot of times it isn’t worth going into it with people. If it is someone you aren’t going to be talking with for long, it is sometimes the best choice to smile and say thank you. You don’t have to listen to what they say or follow any part of their unsolicited parenting advice. Smiling and saying thank you is just an easy way to get you off the hook. It also helps to move the conversation on to different things.
2. Make a Vague Comment
Vague comments can be helpful in dealing with unsolicited parenting advice. You can say something such as, “That is interesting.” Even saying that you didn’t know that piece of advice or hadn’t heard that before is a way of acknowledging their comment without going into it. Many times, people just want to be heard. A vague comment validates that and ends the conversation.
3. Tell Them You Are following Your Pediatrician’s Advice
There are times you can fall back on this tried and true strategy. It works especially well with friends and family that may feel they have more of a right to chime in on how you are raising your child. Telling them that you are following your pediatrician’s advice is really a trump card. What can they really say to that? Pediatricians are experts. I have used this one more times than I can count.
4. Tell Them You Have That Covered
It is okay to tell people that you are handling whatever situation that you are dealing with in parenting. Basically you are saying, "Thank you but I’ve got this," and that is okay to say. It is a nice way to remind people that you are the parent and their input is not needed. This is one you should probably not pull out as an option unless you have to do so. However, some people require a blunt approach.
5. Change the Subject
Sometimes, dealing with unsolicited parenting advice can be as simple as changing the subject. Ask the person where they got their lovely scarf or tell them you love their new vehicle. Hopefully, this will start a whole new conversation. It shifts the focus off of your parenting and onto them. It is a very nice little tactic to use in this situation.
6. Exit the Situation
If someone is really pushing it with giving you unsolicited parenting advice it may be best to exit the situation. This is a good solution. It saves you from blowing your top and making a scene. It can also save you and the other person from a situation that could result in hard feelings. Sometimes this is the kindest and most loving thing you can do.
7. Remind Them You Are the Parent
There are just times where you will probably be pushed to remind people that you are the parent of your child. Most of the time, this will happen with family and friends rather than strangers. Strangers usually don’t push a conversation that far. It is also not worth it to get that upset with a stranger you will never see again. But someone close to you may need to be reminded that your child is indeed yours.
Unsolicited parenting advice can really get under your skin. How do you deal with this? What is the best way you ever dealt with this situation?