Oh, the joys of unasked for advice. As parents, we have all been there and heard that. From our aunt explaining how to get a baby to sleep to your parents telling you how their parenting method works best to that friend who always knows better than you (and she isn’t even a mom herself!) Most of us know that one set way of parenting may work for one child, but not for another. So, it is not as simple as just following a manual when it comes to raising one’s children!
Some of this unsolicited advice is downright annoying, some a bit dangerous or outdated. Some advice we just have to wonder how on earth anyone could even suggest it! We have collected a few firm favorites many of us have heard as parents. By the end, we are sure you will recall hearing at least one of these painful suggestions!
“Don’t let the baby get used to being in your arms.”
Being the parent to a baby is hard, especially when they cry and won’t stop. Have you ever had someone tell you that the best way to get them to stop is to ignore them? Well, this advice is absolute rubbish because as we know, the only way for a baby to communicate is by crying! Many people still think that by ignoring their crying child, they can avoid it getting used to “soothing arms“.
“Now that you are on maternity leave, you have a lot of time, so learn something!”
A lot of people, especially people who are not yet parents themselves, assume that taking care of a child is easy. Many friends will assume you sit around doing nothing all day and that you will soon just become a “mom“. A career in the corporate world or partying with friends might not be what you want, maybe you just want to spend time with your baby, and that is perfectly fine. Being on maternity leave or even a stay at home mom IS a full time job and nobody should tell you what you should be doing with your time anyway.
“A mom should eat more to produce fat milk.”
No, loading up on fatty food is not going to be good for your milk. We know by now that eating a healthy and balanced diet is what nursing babies need their mothers to do. Well-wishers of this sort are usually from older generations as it is a complete old-wives-tale. The irony is that when the baby is done nursing, the mother is often scrutinized for gaining weight!
“Teach your kid to share things or they will grow into a greedy person.”
Sharing is a good quality, any parent would agree. But, just like forcing your child to kiss aunty Sally, you should not force them to share either. Some things are just for them, and that’s okay. You would not share your brand new car with a stranger, would you?
“Put on something warmer, and take off their hat.”
We never seem to win as parents, do we? Ever been in the situation where you’ve taken your child outside in the “wrong clothing”? We feel your pain. Just because your child seems to be over or under-dressed does not mean they are unhappy or about to die. We all know that we all have our own likes and dislikes and our bodies are all different, one person’s cold might be another person’s normal!
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“You should give birth to a second kid so that your first kid has someone to play with.”
Some unwanted advice I think all parents have heard at least once. We should be able to choose when and if we want another child. Kids are not cheap, so perhaps the choice not to have another is financial. Sometimes, parents wish they could have another baby and they can’t. It is just plain stupid and insensitive to suggest something so personal. Besides, kids do not NEED to have a sibling, that’s what friends are for!
“A baby should sleep in their bed.”
As a mother, you probably had or have your own way for bedtime that works for you, your child and your situation. Just because one person wants their child in their own crib right away does not mean you have to do it that way. Sometimes it’s just easier to have your baby in bed with you, and that’s perfectly okay. At the end of the day, a happy mom is a happy child, and if you prefer to stay in bed rather than get up 20 times in the night then you do you!
“You should teach your kid properly — at this age, they should be potty-trained (or reading poetry, etc.).”
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Another one we have all heard, probably! It is sad that parents like to compare their kids to others. Often, this leads to shaming and making one parent feel like they haven’t done a good enough job. Why would you want to create an insecure mom or dad? This little gem of advice often comes from our own mothers who seem to think that we cannot possibly know what we are doing. While they mean well, please don’t take this to heart. You are doing a great job and every child learns when they should!
“Sleep while the baby is asleep.”
Did you ever think that maybe a parent would go nap if they could? Do you really think that they want to walk around like a zombie? No, of course, they don’t! Suggesting to a mom or dad that they sleep because the baby is sleeping is silly, they would be sleeping if they could! Perhaps it is because that baby wakes up often because it is not well and it is just easier to stay awake. Best you keep your silly advice to yourself!
“A kid should eat what they’re given.”
We wholeheartedly do not agree with this terrible advice. Remember when you were a child and your parents forced you to sit at the dinner table until your food was finished? It was not a fun experience and probably lead to you hating certain food as an adult. If your child really does not like something, forcing them to eat it is not okay. Would you like someone to force you to eat something you did not like? Probably not…
“It’s better to buy bigger things so that they serve longer.”
While yes, buying a larger size is kind of smart, it can also be stupid if you are not taking into account the seasons. Not to mention how fast children grow! Who is to say your baby won’t be too big for the item by the time next winter hits?
It goes without saying that what works for some parents, might not work for others! What is some awful advice you have been given? Let us know in the comments!
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