Unwanted advice from parents

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Unwanted advice from parents
7
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 8:17pm
Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do when you get unwanted advice from your parents and in-laws? My son, Ben, is 6 weeks old and we've already had several incidents with parents over what is best for our son. One was over whether I was producing enough milk for breastfeeding and another one on Ben's sleeping habits. What do you say when your parents have good intentions but while asking these questions, they undermine your confidence in your parenting ability? Any suggestions are invited.

Thanks,

Melinda

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 4:43pm
My husband and I are already experiencing problems with his parents (mine live 3 hours away and are extremely supportive.) His parents are what I would call control freaks. They have criticized our decision to buy a NEW crib instead of using one that Mark's sister used with her two kids (who are now 15 and 10 years old). They can't understand why I would think it could be unsafe having been stored in a moldy garage for the last decade. The criticize the name we've chosen insisting that we reverse the first and middle name because his mom thinks it "sounds better." I listen for about 3 minutes, count to 10 then get up and leave the house to cool down. Mark has explained to them that this is OUR child and if they want to make decisions like these, they need to adopt their own child. Definitely hilarious picturing his 70 year old parents adopting a child just so they can make the decisions. I have simply told them that I would appreciate them being supportive of our decisions and to love the baby. If they cannot support the decisions we have made then they need to keep quiet because I would not put up with it. I also was sure to tell them that after the baby is born I DO NOT want unsolicited advice and that I would have to limit the amount of time I saw them if they could not control their criticisms, which in turn would limit the amount of time they saw the baby. I used to be very nice and bite my tongue when they would criticize the decisions my husband and I made, now days, I've discovered that being pg has made me much more outspoken. I don't put up with things anymore.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:13pm
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions on how to handle unsolicited advice. They were quite helpful. Just tell them the pediatrician said to do it that way. I'll try that. Thanks for getting back to me.

-Melinda

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 7:47am
My MIL is like this. I just blame the ped. He actually told us to do that. If we have something we feel strongly about, then tell grandparents that he said it. He also told us that his mother questions him! Can you imagine?!

My MIL wants to give cookies and lollipops. I do not want Maggie to have those things anyway, but I am limiting sugar for the first few years. So, I just say that the ped said that it is not a good idea. I usually quiets her down.

Brenda and Maggie (12 1/2 months)

Avatar for cl_kmcoch
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 9:29pm
Hi Melinda, as someone else pointed out, when you are questioned about things, just reply that you've asked the Ped about the same things and s/he says everything is normal. And just try to let it roll off your back and don't get worked up about it. I'm sure the comments/advice are well-intentioned, but it does get annoying.

Hugs, Kristie

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:37pm
"Hmmm, that's something to think about" That way, they feel like they have been heard, yet you are under no obligation to TAKE the advice they so freely give.
Avatar for steffied
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 8:18am
Smile and Shake your head yes and do your own thing!

Seriously though, I can't offer much more advice than that, and my mother is constantly offering me advice on both the feeding and sleeping issues which don't jive with the way we're doing things at all. Being a mother now, I guess I can understand where she's coming from, ie that need to offer her daughter all kinds of unsolicited advice. So instead, I try to go to her for advice that I could really use, and hope that makes her feel like I do really need her advice, just not in certain areas.

Good luck!

Steffie

Avatar for barb_316
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 11:11pm
Our childbirth instructor said to just repeat the last two words they said. For example: Your mom says "I think you should start giving Ben a bottle"...you reply: "Ohhh, a bottle". It makes her feel heard, but then you just go ahead and do what you feel is best anyway. After all, you're the parent.

Or else, (and this one seems to work pretty well for my MIL, since she practially "worships" doctors)... just say "Our pediatrician agreed that we are doing the right thing"... or "his doctor said it is fine".

Good luck!!