Parenting is not for sissies. I’m sure the more seasoned parents our there are thinking, “Well, duh!!!” No matter how many children you have, or how old your children are, it’s not easy hearing others criticize your parenting. It’s inevitable that people will offer up unsolicited advice and make insensitive comments, even if they don’t have children themselves.
Who’s with me when I say, I just want to tell people I know who don’t have kids that they’ll understand one day when they do?! I know, I know, I can’t be saying those kinds of things to people, but I sure do think it. Now that I sound like the insensitive one, I’m curious, what do you do when someone – whether a family member, friend, or total stranger – criticizes your parenting?
I’m obviously not at the point where I’m doling out some tough discipline to a teenager, but I do take Gia to play dates where it becomes apparent to me that not everyone will parent the same way. And that’s what is great about this world – we are all different, even our parenting styles!
This got me thinking about how often parents endure criticism, and it’s probably on the more often than not side of the spectrum. I’m of the belief that it is nobody’s business to butt in, and if they do, the comment is likely reflective of their own personal issues and not my parenting. Either way, I have a hard time biting my tongue when it comes to anything regarding my daughter and the opinions of others. Maybe it’s the protective mother bear in me, or maybe it’s that I don’t give a sh*t about what others think now that I’m more sure of myself as a person since becoming a mother.
I also realize that comments from very close friends and family usually are coming from a place of love and concern, but that doesn’t make them any less irritating. Dismissing criticism from friends and family can sometimes be hard, but it’s also a good time to check yourself. I think I’m a damn good mom and I take any criticism as a learning experience, but that’s hard to remind myself of in the moment. If I can learn something about my parenting style, how to “improve” it, or if I can learn how to shrug off inappropriate comments, then that’s a win.
I’m always wondering about how others deal with any parenting criticism. Feel free to comment and share your experiences, or some fun stories about when you may have been overprotective/defensive in your response.
Any tips on how to discipline a toddler are also welcome! Trying to prepare myself for these things as Gia continues to grow more independent by the second! It blows my mind that someone who turned one a month ago can already have such an obviously strong personality. I think I’m in for it during the teen years!