Unwanted advice!

Ashleigh Jade - posted on 03/23/2011 ( 67 moms have responded )

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How do you deal with people giving you unwanted advice on how to raise / discipline your children?

Especially from family members or close friends?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Stifler's - posted on 03/23/2011

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Just nod and smile and don't get into arguments about it. They will work even harder to convince you they are right because it worked on their kid. One thing I've noticed is that what works for other people's kid doesn't always work for mine!! And people just cannot understand it. It's irritating so I'm just like "uh huh... I'll have to try that". Then I don't.

Tiffany - posted on 03/27/2011

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Leave. Honestly thats what we do. My husband has a family who thinks their way is the only way. They compete with their kids on who is cutest, who is the best behaved. When we start being told what we should do, how we should raise them, how we should disipline them and so on, we get up and leave. They have slowly started to get the clue and dont give unwanted advise as much but still do from time to time.

Medic - posted on 03/23/2011

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My family I usually tell them that they had their chance to screw up their kids I think its only fair for me to have my chance, I mean if I am going to pay for therapy later I want it to be worth it. After that most people usually get the hint and shut up.

Samantha - posted on 03/23/2011

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My mom use to always be on my back and telling me how to raise my daughter, and i tried to smile and nod, but then shed get mad when she asked did you try that and id say no. Finally i just politely and with respect told her, These are my kids. I will raise them how i want. thanks for your help and if youd like to give your opinion about things i respect that but dont get mad wen i dont like your advice. IT WORKED

Amina - posted on 03/08/2013

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The best thing to do is plainly ignore them. I mother in law was pressuring me to shave my baby girl's hair as she believes it will make it thicker however I don't agree with that theory at all and refused to do. She then said any parent who doesn't shave their babies head is like an enemy of their own child. I seriously believe she crossed the line there so I just didn't make any contact with her for 2 weeks After that and she never spoke of it again all though she does cast her opinion on numerous matters involving child rearing. I also get pressure from other members of my husbands family but I just ignore it. At the end of the day it's your baby and no matter what they say you should just raise the baby the way you feel is best.

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[deleted account]

With family, I tell them thanks but no thanks. I explain to them that this is my child and although you are trying to help, it's not needed. The responses I get vary but as long as I am polite, they understand.

Shannon - posted on 04/14/2011

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My well meaning Aunt tried to dish out some advice once and i said to her "is that what you did?" when she responded with yes, i said "well we have seen the results of how THAT turned out, i will find my own way of doing things thank you"

Jess - posted on 04/14/2011

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We use positive parenting which defiantly raises a few brows. I pick my battles, I choose not to comment when I don't think its worth it and very politely disagree at times when I think its necessary.

Samantha - posted on 04/14/2011

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I always respond to those busy-bodies who know nothing about me and my personal circumstances with a big smile and say - 'thank you so much for your suggestion, I will be sure to take it on board', and I just walk away. I know how much you may want to let fly with a few choice words, but you will feel satisfied with yourself with this response. It it's family and friends, I say the same thing and try to change the subject. Hang in there, I'm sure you're doing what's right for you and your kids.

Ana - posted on 04/07/2011

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Listen I tryed the smile and nod and be nice thing and people didn't let off so now I just say well you have already raised your kids now let me raise mine and if I need any help ill ask. Thank. For understanding.

Ana - posted on 04/07/2011

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Listen I tryed the smile and nod and be nice thing and people didn't let off so now I just say well you have already raised your kids now let me raise mine and if I need any help ill ask. Thank. For understanding.

Christina - posted on 04/07/2011

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We just usually smile and thank people for their advice and then go home and decided what works for us. I have also found that telling a really pushy person that I will talk their suggestion over with the pediatrician.

[deleted account]

Great advice from others here... I would just like to point out, sometimes we resist others good intentions because of the way they deliver the message. It may sound bossy or like an order rather than a suggestion and sometimes we don't want to hear it because we didn't come up with the solution ourselves. Whatever the reason, it can be helpful to be open-minded, listen and take on board what 'feels' right for you. A good response I have found that works well is; "That is an interesting point of view!" because that is really what it is, their point of view which may be limited by their own experiences or life filters. Hear the message being delivered and decide if it is something you might try out or not. I know sometimes it can be hard to not react and we usually do that because we assume that the other person is criticising us, but they very well be just trying to help in their own way and make themselves feel useful. Being polite doesn't mean you must do what they tell you, just hear them out and then do what you choose. If they come back and ask and you didn't take their advice, you can always say 'Thank you, but you looked into it and decided to do something different. It doesn't matter if they get angry... that's their stuff they need to deal with and you don't need to feel responsible. Also, remember when you give advice to allow the other person to choose what they feel is right for them. How we all relate to others is a learned behaviour that usually comes from parents or those that raised us and many people aren't even aware that they can sometimes be controlling or bossy like their parent (guilty of it myself ) :-] ... cheers

Laural - posted on 04/03/2011

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If you are dealing with a pushy relative or family member, smiling and nodding does not work. I simply respond with, "Thank you for your interest, XYZ has already been decided and is not open for discussion." Or, "Thank you for your concern; however, the pediatrician says to do XYZ and we are following his/her suggstions regarding this matter."

Brie - posted on 04/01/2011

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I have a cousin who's children are pretty much good kids... She is all the time telling me how I should do this or do that with my son... IMO she is completely overbearing on her children.. She lost a child after birth so for a while I just never said anything to her and let it go... The turning point came for me when I was disiplining my son for hitting me (he was like 14 mos. old) I held his had and had his attention telling him no you don't hit it hurts... She stopped me in the middle of it and said No Brittany you do it this way... Well I looked at her and said I will do it how I see fit I don't need your two cents... Then later on she was telling us a story about how she wouldn't let her 9 year old daughter out of her sight when she was with people my cousin knew very well and how at like 13-14 she wouldn't even be allowed to go trick-or-treating with a group of friends... I asked her how she would gain any independence from her and she said her girls were good and they would learn when they were older.. I just looked at her and said I hope you realize if thats how you act when they are that age, even though they are really good now, they are going to hate you and probably rebel against you!!! She hasn't said much about my parenting skills since that day!!

User - posted on 04/01/2011

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My younger sister who is a 1st grade teacher, but not a mom, considers herself an expert on children, and has no hesitation in telling me what I'm doing wrong with my kid. Finally, I got tired and told her, "Yeah, I was such a perfect MOM just like YOU...and then I had children." It shut her up.

Jane - posted on 04/01/2011

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moms don't need to explain themselves or apoligize to anyone for any reason.
And my go to phrase is, "the pedicatrician says...." it usually brings the adivce rants to a close w/my MIL.

Tina - posted on 04/01/2011

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dont let them see you and your family until they learn their lesson i know it sounds harsh but it works

[deleted account]

Didn't you know, once you are pregnant your body, and subsequent baby become public property?

Advice is usually well meaning. If you can keep that in mind while nodding and smiling, it'll lessen the urge to slug the offending advice-giver.

Melysa - posted on 03/31/2011

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ash, i found that the only way to get them to stop giving their advice is to exhaggerate to them along the lines of gee I don't know how my kids are still living and breathing I haven't done any of that, omg like seriously how on earth have I managed to have such wonderful kids without you right there to guide me in every step, and yet here they are they walk, they talk, they can read and write they can count to 100, they know how dress themselves, and etc etc etc...
also in my case I point out the fact that I have 5 kids one would think I know what I am doing by now, but hey if you think you can do it better you can have them for a few days and lets see how long you last!
most back off when they hear that the thought of 5 kids under 9 scares most lol

BETH - posted on 03/30/2011

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i have a girlfriend who is telling me how to raise my son she says he does not listen she calls him names . he does nor like it . so we are no longer friends with them

Jodie - posted on 03/30/2011

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just tell them when u need there advice u will ask for it. u have to learn to make mistakes i think. cause u wont learn while other people put there 2cents worth in

Jan - posted on 03/30/2011

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My son has special needs so I get a lot of 'advice'. My usual reply is "I have done a lot
of research on this...." or "I studied this ...." whether or not I actually have, it stops them cold.

Stephanie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Use what you can and just leave the rest.If they are being disrespectful about something, well that's something different all together.

Cindy - posted on 03/30/2011

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My boyfriends mother, who isn't even my son's grandmother, is always trying to force her "discipline strategies" down my throat! We have been friends for many years, but that just ended about a month ago. She crosses the line all the time, and is not a kind person towards my son. My son is very well behaved! I am told this quite often! He's pretty quiet, and very respectful and kind to others. I actually think she's just jealous, and I can't be bothered with such a narrow minded person.

Kristina - posted on 03/29/2011

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NEVER tell them to stop, or that you know what you're doing...what works for me? Smile and tell them thank you for sharing their experience and advice with you, that you'll discuss it with your spouse/partner and take it under consideration.

So many people out there just want you to know that you're not alone in what you're going through with your children, to try to ease your mind, put you at peace that you aren't a bad parent, or that your kids aren't some horrible child.
It's hard when it's a family member because you'd hope that they have your best interests at heart, BUT, they can never truly know what you've decided, or why in regards to raising your family. You and your partner have decided that, and I will say STICK TO YOUR GUNS graciously and politely. Do what you've decided, follow your gut - you and your partner know your children and their personalities better than anyone else out there - so you know what works, what they'll respond to etc.

Hang in there - the advice doesn't go away, BUT if you take it with the attitude that they are trying to help you, and can smile and thank them for sharing, it gets easier to listen.

Sometimes, just sometimes, they'll share a nugget with you that will spark something for your situation that works that you might not have thought about or considered.

Maggie - posted on 03/29/2011

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Say "thank you for your opinion" and do what you think/know is best for you, your child, and your family.

Tracie - posted on 03/29/2011

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I am very conscious of my parenting decisions and I make them after carefully considering all factors. Usually when I get "advice" it's to do something that has been proven to be harmful, unnecessary or counterproductive. In those cases, I just say, "Studies have proven over the last few decades that that doesn't work." And then watch them stand there with their jaw hanging open. You can't argue with science.

Gladys - posted on 03/28/2011

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when my sister got married she had the same situation like yours, i told her :



1. discuss the matter constructively with your husband first, (to avoid hitting on each other's relative or friend)

2. come up with a decision on how to handle the situation which both of them agreed upon.

3. once the decision is in place, talk (in a calm manner) to the person concern for them to know that you know what you're doing specially how you want to raise your kids.



Just make sure that each of you supports the other in explaining the reason/s why you dont need those unsolicited advise BUT will ask if you need one in the future. In this manner, you give them assurance that though you want first hand in raising your kids, you are not totally ignoring them or their advises in the future if you need one.



it worked with my sister, i hope this works for you too. God Bless. :)

Angie - posted on 03/28/2011

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No one but you has to live with the consequences of the decisions you make, therefore, you should weigh your options carefully and listen to everyones advice and just take that which you believe would work best for you. Not everyone is correct 100 percent of the time and what works well for someone may turn out to be completely wrong for someone else. If you are a woman of faith may I suggest prayer.

Natalie - posted on 03/28/2011

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I have a friend who LOVES to tell me how to raise my son and how to do things like she did. I just smile at her and say well I might try that later but I think what we are doing is working but thank you I think she has gotten the point now she doesn't say too much.

[deleted account]

i don't listen, or i say, yea that's a good system, but this works for us. or is they are really pushy i say, well this is what we've chosen to do

Laressa - posted on 03/28/2011

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I often thank them then laugh when I'm in private. It really is funny alot of the time. Like being repeatedly told to dress my little girl warmer. She was a very warm baby it did not take much to have her overdressed. My son now seems to need more layers etc. Yesterday an older lady stopped me to inform me that my baby was overdressed. His baby pimples was heat rash for sure. That was almost too much for my funny bone!

Amanda - posted on 03/28/2011

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I usually just let it roll off my back like water on a duck. Family isn't around all the time and they don't know what is right or wrong for your children. Only you know know what is right for your children and how to raise/discipline your kids. Hopes this helps.

Chairettie - posted on 03/28/2011

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I just listen/mostly without paying attention if I feel they are out of line or if I disagreeand usually without responding move on to another topic-people mean well and sometimes have good input take what you think will be helpful and dump the rest :o)

Kelly - posted on 03/28/2011

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I totally understand what you mean, because I have been there. My mother is full of advice, and unfortunately she repeats it over and over, instead of saying it once and letting it go (which I try hard to do when I am giving advice!).
However, I would say try to listen and consider what people are saying (and I don't mean you have to try everything, just think about it). Because a lot of what we as moms think we should do for our kids comes from doctors, and that is ok, except that I have four kids over a span of fourteen years, and I have found that not only does the doctor's advice change all the time, but a lot of the time they aren't really paying attention to what I am saying about my kid. I have caught so many things in my kids that the doctors didn't. So sometimes the "experts" don't really know as much as other moms. The older you get, and the longer you have been a mom, you will probably gain confidence to be able to brush off the unwanted advice if it makes no sense to your situation. Just don't let it bother you. People can be annoying but they really do have good intentions when they are trying to help you. Good luck!

Desiree - posted on 03/27/2011

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I think that pretty much any new mom with close family and friends is going to have this problem, it is just in our nature to give advice weather it is wanted or not. I got plenty of advice but I just listen and then do as I feel is right. Just remember you will do the same thing one day as much as you don't think you will!!!!

Shannon - posted on 03/27/2011

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I deal with this to Ashleigh and my suggestion is to tell the person they are my children and I have it under control thank you for your advice but I think I can handle my children . Yes it might start a fight with family but if thats what you have to do thats what you have to do .

Krystal - posted on 03/26/2011

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Honestly I just ignore it. Listen and take it in, but in the end it's all about what you think is right. I get it a lot from people that have no clue what goes on with my son, who has developmental delays. Just do what you think is best, but don't tune people out because you never know who will actually have a decent idea about a situation.

Kate - posted on 03/26/2011

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iv just found that i pretend to listen to the,. and if they question and ask if you have done it or followed, i just tell them what they want to hear. Doesnt mean that i have done what they tell me i should do.

Amy - posted on 03/26/2011

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People may tell u how to raise/discipline your child but in the end it is up to you. I would just nod and say thank you who knows there advice might help but dont take all advice to heart some is just plain stupid from my experience anyway.

[deleted account]

I just say "ok thanks for the info", and go about doing my own thing, or I say "well we allready have a routine that works but thanks for telling me"

Gina - posted on 03/26/2011

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It has usually been my in laws that did this.. and I would end up biting my tongue and make my hubby deal with it... but deep down I always wanted to say something..

Carly - posted on 03/25/2011

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Thank them politly for there advice and say but i would like it if you would not give me advice on how to raise to my child! To the point yes,but might work for you! Has for me !

Jane - posted on 03/25/2011

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If they don't accept the smile and "Thanks for the advice" then I give them full bore. Now mind, this is only for the overly persistent types. It is overkill for the typical person who just wants to be helpful.

I tell them that my son is bipolar and first tried to kill himself at age 7 and ask how they kept their kids from doing that. I ask if they have an opinion as to whether Seroquel is the best anti-psychotic and ask them if their kids have ever taken Risperdal. I overload them with information about counseling methods and ask which has worked best for them. I ask if they have an opinion on which residential treatment center is best. When their mouths drop open and they have nothing to say I suggest to them that perhaps my child is a little bit different from their child, and until they have walked a mile in my shoes perhaps they should keep their mouths shut and their eyes open.

I don't win friends this way but sometimes I open a few minds.

Dionne - posted on 03/25/2011

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I like Jennifers post and I have others say comments on that line. It lightens the mood and kind of changes the subject as well.

Dionne - posted on 03/25/2011

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I run into this as well. It is irritating when relatives do not listen to all of the happenings and only throw out there advice. I have not figured this out either. Good luck with it though. I do not mind suggestions or comments where it is I tried this when my kids did that. Rather than you should spank you child even if you don't want to. What does that accomplish?? Teaching Bullying.... I am not posting to offer suggestions only posting to show I understand where you are coming from.

Taya - posted on 03/25/2011

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Move to another state or deal with it. Its just what families do. Politely listen, nod and then do what you think is right.

Ashleigh Jade - posted on 03/25/2011

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Juanita- i wouldnt listen to my mum or nana on anything! They aernt involved in my or my kids lifes anymore.


Thankyou everyone for your suggestions.
As to staying quiet and nodding im not good at that i automatically snap at them, but i will defenitely try some of the suggestions on here?

Juanita - posted on 03/25/2011

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That really a tough question,it was hard for me growing up,But the best advise I can give is to listen to mom or grandma.

Talea - posted on 03/25/2011

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I usually listen to them politely then do whatever I intended to do. If they ask why I didn't do what they wanted or protest something strongly. I simply say "thank you for your opinion but we have made our decision". If they keep on and on and on. I just get quiet and smile at them without saying anything and let them get it out of their system. If they say something like "it probably won't make a difference" take the opportunity to say something like "no it won't but if it makes you feel better to let me know that's fine." Be polite, but be FIRM that this is your decision to make. Affirm they are good parents (if they are), and let them know you appreciate and value their OPINIONS, above all I've found that if you listen and not just get upset, but truly listen and let them know it often becomes a non issue. In those rare cases when they insist you are wrong and they are right. Limit your time with them.

Amy - posted on 03/24/2011

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I have a similar problem to Cassandra. We live with my mother in law for now (my husband is remodling a house for her even though its just across the street at least its away from me). My mother in law tries to do what ever she wants with my son. My husband asks her for advice on something but when i tell her i already tried that and it didnt work she gets mad (you can see it on her face). Every time we try to tell her were trying something new with our son so please do this to help us she will listen for a week or less then we have to tell her again. she also tries to treat my son like my step daughter who is 11yrs older then him. I have learned when she talks and tries to give advise i try to tell her that i already tried that with him or ill just ignore her thoughts completely. we may live with her and she sees my son most days she really doesnt have a clue of who he is or doesnt understand his personality. When someone gives unwanted advise you can smile and nod but ignore there opinion or tell them no i think im going to try doing it this way. it all depends on your personality on how you handle those people. good luck

Rachel - posted on 03/24/2011

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i used to get that alot when i had my first kid from the mother in law and found it difficult to speak but got my partner to be my mouth lol... but when it comes to close family i just tell them straight up.. with aunty n auncles i just smile and go ok ok... but if they kept doing it i would defintly say something because i would explode lol... just say listen im a mom now i can learn by myself if i need help il let you know thanks for opinions anyway :) goodluck hun hope this helps

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