Dealing with Unwanted parenting Advice

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 07/10/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Personally I have always kept my opinion on parenting to myself unless asked. I felt I couldn't say anything before I had my son. Now, I do not say things to parents of older children because I have no basis of experience. On here, I dole out my opinion or advice when "asked" through a post, but otherwise I keep my mouth shut.

With that said, how do I tactfully tell another mom to back off on her advice giving and off handed comments on my parenting? She is my friend, and has two children, both older than my son. She has something to say about my parenting EVERY time we talk. Examples: I like to watch my son sleep (still at 13 months old). Her statement, "Oh, you'll get over that and you'll get sick of him soon enough." I held my son a Lot as a baby, believing that you can Not hold a baby too much (about 2 months old at the time). Her statement "You hold him too much and you'll regret it when he's bigger. He won't let you put him down for 2 seconds." Well now he is very independent and does Not want/need to be held unless he is tired or hurt. The most recent was this weekend, I was at a cookout at her place, her very skinny 6 year old picked up my 22lb son and was carrying him (her arms wrapped around him just under his arms, so his arms where sort of pointing up, his toes dangling about an inch off the ground) and started carrying him down the Cement sidewalk! I took my son from her and told her to not pick him up again. He is too big and she is too small to carry him. I was not mean about it, but I was authoritative, I do not want to see either of them get hurt. My friend "Oh don't be so over protective, even if they fell it wouldn't hurt him that much." She continued to go on all night about how "Over protective" I am, and that "my son will never learn how to do anything if I don't let him try." Which has NOTHING to do with her daughter carrying down a sidewalk! I do not believe I am "over" protective, but I will stop him from getting hurt before it happens if I can. I about lost it, but I bit my tongue, I do not want to hurt our friendship, it is relatively new (we met while I was pregnant). and now it's still bothering me and I want to say something but I'm not sure how to go about it without ticking her off. Our husband's work together and are good friends and I do not want to jeopardize that at all.

Sorry this is so long, but How do you ladies deal with friends or even strangers who dole out there parenting "wisdom"?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/10/2012

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Um, no, she's definitely not into being a parent! And, yes, its obvious that you "wanted it" more...I know, I was there...took us 4 years to conceive the first, and 3 after that to conceive the second, so maybe that's part of it!

No, your son won't "do it too", because you are giving him the tools to use. He will be a well behaved, well adjusted child, who is able to mind his manners and be respectful!

Just armchair momming, here, but...My take is that her kids are screaming for her attention. If neither were planned, then most likely they weren't overjoyed to be having them, but for some reason chose to raise them rather than adopt out. The children that I've seen act like this generally get yelled at constantly at home, slapped, hit, or spanked for no reason, and generally have little actual parental input. Generally they're also daycare kids...given that mom has so little patience.

Continue as you've begun, Karen! Your little man will be leaps and bounds ahead of the others simply by his behaviour and mannerisms. I too, was the "overprotective" one in our family, at least according to my sister in law...18 yrs later, I have a HS grad, heading towards military and college, and she's got 3 HS dropouts, one that just got out of jail. She was the permissive parent. The exact parent as you describe your friend to be. I was "too overprotective" and the kids were "never going to be allowed to be kids"...and yet here we are, with our well mannered, well raised young people that I am proud to say I raised! LOL

Perhaps she's slightly jealous that you seem to have the "parenting gene" and she doesn't?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/10/2012

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Smile sweetly, say "thank you for your input, but I prefer to parent differently", and keep moving forward.

People with children tend to assume that we all know best, but from the sounds of it, your friend really isn't that in to being a parent, nor is she in to making sure her kids understand limits, boundaries, and proper behaviour!

You can't fix her, but you can, like I said, smile sweetly, and then ignore her.

Alternatively, fight BS with facts: No, holding an infant will NOT make a clingy toddler. Or, "gee, I have other moms tell me that they still watch their kids sleep at 18" (which I do, I still check on them every night...LOL) And, when in a situation such as the carrying: "I have read where young children get stress injuries easily, and one of the easiest ways is to pick up something that is too heavy" Again, true...pediatric hernias suck!

And when she goes on about "overprotectiveness", counter with the difference between an over protective parent, and an attentive parent is an independent child. The over protective parent will have a clingy child that is afraid to venture forth into the world without momma at his side. The attentive parent will have a child that is willing to try new experiences, and generally a joy to raise.

My defense was always "thank you for your input. I'll take it under consideration, but I'm pretty happy with my (our) parenting choices."

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Krista - posted on 07/10/2012

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Yup, I would just smile and say, "Well, they're all different, so we're doing what works for us," and then change the topic. I hear you about being frustrated, though -- I LOATHE these smug mothers who think that having had a kid or two has turned them into freaking Nostradamus.

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 07/10/2012

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I don't know if it makes a difference but we tried for 2 years to conceive our son. Both her children were "accidents." My son is very independent. He has no problem heading down the hall to his room and playing with his toys in there when he's bored with the ones in the living room, he'll head to the kitchen to play with his fridge magnets. I'll of course follow 30 seconds behind, but I don't disrupt his playing. He rarely cries and is overall a very happy giggly baby. Her children are Constantly seeking her attention and throwing fits to get it, hitting each other and tattling (which might just come with the age? 3 and 6). The little girl will tap her mom on the arm while we're talking and keep trying to get her attention, my friend ignores her until she snaps "What do you want, can't you see I'm talking?" I just sit and keep my mouth shut. She usually follows it with, "You'll see, your son will do it too."

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