Many of us take our parenting role quite seriously. We love being parents and view parenting as our profession and calling. Because of how much reading we’ve done—from Wikipedia to the best parenting books out there—we should probably earn a master’s degree of some sort. We’ve attended parenting classes, seminars, and workshops, so we could hone our craft.
Being this passionate about something makes you want to share what you’ve mastered with others.
It’s a blessing to have other people help you along in your parenting journey. They offer wisdom and recommend a great book when you need one for your “me-time” moments when your kids are sleeping. You can learn by watching them steer the tricky relational waters of giving parenting advice—in such a way that doesn’t feel like they are parent-shaming but encouraging instead.
It’s a pleasure to have your parenting advice heard and still know that you haven’t burned bridges with the parent you are talking to. We’ll share with you some tips on how to give parenting advice:
Be a Kind Friend First
Have you heard of the old saying that says something like, “Until they know how much you care, no one cares how much you know.”? If you offer parenting advice quotes about building love, bond, and trust, about treating your child with kindness and respect, people will actually find that more believable if you treat your friends that way, too. There’s nothing more head-scratching than people who advocate kind parenting with cruelty. Nobody will ever be interested in your “parenting wisdom” if you can’t treat the people around you with love, kindness, and respect.
Keep the main thing, the main thing.
Unless the parent is abusing their child, don’t get too fired up about feeding, potty training, sleeping, etc. Other parents have different parenting styles from ours, but that doesn’t mean they don’t seek to do right by their kids. But if you see that a child is being abused, make a report. If a parent is really grappling with parenthood, offer a hand and anchor them to good resources.
Wait Until You’re Asked
We always have that friend who does things differently from us—including parenting. You may not agree with your friend when it comes to feeding time because her kids wake up a couple of times in the night to feed or get comfy with their parents. And you see it as a problem behavior that you would normally struggle with.
You want to offer your friend some parental advice. But the reality is that your friend didn’t ask for your help because they didn’t need it. Your friend loves and treasures those sweet moments in the wee hours. And now her kids have learned to sleep like a log. There will be other situations where people will go to you and ask you questions about parenting; then, you will have the open the door to share what has worked for you and what you think might work for them. Don’t go too far without that “open door.”
Always Have Humility
All kids have different needs. If your method and parenting philosophies worked for you and your child without a hitch, that’s all well and good. But your magic bullet may not be for everyone. It is worth one’s weight of gold to remember that there are families dealing with trauma and other emotional issues, and your parenting methods and solutions may not work for them. There are also kids that need special care based on their medical diagnosis. Your parenting “solutions” might make the parents feel like a failure.
Start by Asking Questions
An effective way to show humility when trying to give parental advice is to ask questions. That way, you will be able to get to the heart of the matter. If you gave an hour of speaking to someone on how to effectively breastfeed, but the person actually wanted to start formula feeding, then your speech only made the person feel guilty. This may put tension into your relationship with that person. So it is helpful to ask a parent how they feel about the situation instead of putting your nose in the air by assuming she’s upset and wants your help. This may put tension into your relationship with that person. So it is helpful to ask a parent how they feel about the situation instead of assuming she’s upset and wants your help.
If You’re Unsure, Then Don’t
Learn to feel the air. If you feel like the person isn’t open to hearing your parenting advice, just don’t. Doing so will only do more harm than good—even if you have good intentions. You may want to wait it out until there is more trust ramped up between you two—or until they’ve asked you parenting questions.
Be a Happy Parent
Finally, you need to be the kind of parent who enjoys being around their kids if you want people to ask for your advice; or if you want your parental advice to be heard. But it doesn’t mean you need to pretend that parenting is all fine and dandy, full of beans. We should just be honest about our ups and downs. We are all different parents with different children, and because of that, we don’t parent the same way. But let’s see these contrasts as wonderful opportunities to learn from each other and not throw a wrench in the works.
check out the rest of the site for more informative articles on a variety of topics! 5elifestyle