If you’re comfortable discussing parenting advice with that person, it’s a good opportunity for you – in a non-confrontational way – to give the person some feedback about why you are choosing a different path than the one they are recommending. Perhaps they’ll be open to another way that they simply hadn’t known about previously.
If there’s no part of their parenting advice that you’re open to considering, you can try a gentle and philosophical-sounding, “Hmmm. We’re not doing that, but isn’t it wonderful how we can all do things our own way and still love and support one another?”
Many of us have loved ones whose styles differ from our own, but we still find ways to maintain the relationship.
“Blame” a neutral third-party expert
You can blame somebody else if you disagree with the parenting advice you’re receiving. You might try, “You know, that’s interesting, but I read that there is a different way that we’re supposed to be handling this topic these days” or “My doctor told me that I should be handling it this way, instead. Thank you for your input, but I’m going to go with what my doctor told me to do.”
That said, if your doctor is the one giving you the parenting advice that doesn’t sit right with you, by all means, do your own research and consider consulting another doctor whose guidance is more in line with your belief system.
While many medical professionals are wonderful and give sound advice, some perpetuate outdated beliefs about certain topics related to positive discipline.
Set boundaries in a firm and loving way
Although it can feel tricky to establish and maintain boundaries with those with whom we disagree (especially if we value their opinions), it’s okay to say sincerely, “Thank you. I am going to make my decisions based on a combination of the research I’m doing and my intuition of what’s right for my family. Still, I appreciate knowing your perspective.”
If they push, simply and gently reiterate what you’ve already communicated.
Be open to the possibility that their parenting advice, or parts thereof, might be worth considering.
All of that aside, do listen to the feedback that you get to see if any of it does resonate with you. Despite our gut reaction to automatically reject unsolicited advice from certain sources, it’s possible the advice-giver might know something accurate and/or beneficial to you.
Take the parenting advice that feels right to you when you can validate its accuracy. Leave the rest. Sometimes there is perfectly good advice woven throughout the “rest” and it behooves us to consider it. Having an open mind is always beneficial.
You get to decide how much you are willing to consider; how much you are willing to discuss.
Most importantly, as always, this is your child. You know best what is appropriate and what feels right to you. Trust yourself.
Originally published here.
Sarah R. Moore is an internationally published writer and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. She’s currently worldschooling her family. Her glass is half full.