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How to Deal With Unwanted Parenting Advice

Back in the day, your own mama swaddled you tight, tucked you into bed (with 47 stuffed animals and a big ol’ blanket) and let you cry it out. But a lot can change in a few decades, which means that some of that old-school advice just won’t cut it. Not only do you have to navigate new safe sleeping guidelines and research the latest car seats, but you also have to meet the brand-new challenge of raising digitally savvy kids. Even so, your parents (not to mention your partners’ folks) are all about giving you their two cents. You don’t want to be rude, but you think you’re gonna lose it if you hear just one more, “You should really do it my way.” Before blasting somebody for their constant stream of unasked-for advice, check out these seven strategies for dealing with it!


1. Smile and suck it up. Maybe you really only see the in-laws once a year. Sure, it’s obnoxious when your mother-in-law tells you that she never put her incredibly intelligent little one (now your spouse) in preschool — and look how they turned out! It’s clearly a critique of your parenting decisions, but if the unwanted advice is more of a one-and-done deal than a constant barrage, you can just smile and nod while it rolls in one ear and out the other.

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2. Understand the advice. Your parents probably aren’t trying to mom-shame you. They want to help… or they want to relive their own parenting days… or they want to feel useful. Before jumping to conclusions about the attitude behind the critique, think about what’s really going on. Not only will this help you take the next step in handling the issue, but it also makes a sour situation a bit sweeter.

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3. Be confident. It’s completely normal to feel unsure of yourself as a new parent (and as a not-so-new one too). Hearing that you’re “doing it wrong” from someone you trust can shake what little parenting confidence you’ve built up. Take a long look at what you’re doing as a mama — chances are you’re actually pretty awesome. So step back and then step up: You know that you’ve got this, and no one’s going to tell you otherwise.

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4. See the love. The older generation loves your baby. They don’t just love them: They are absolutely crazy about them, and they only want the best for their grandchild. No, you don’t like the advice that’s being dished out… but you can see the love behind it. Every time a grandparent says something you don’t agree with, take a look at the love. It may help to focus less on what’s being said and more on who it’s really being said to (or at least about).

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5. Find the facts. When was the last time the grandparents read a parenting study (or even a mommy blog)? Probably not lately. The problem here is that your folks don’t know the facts — or rather, that they do know the facts… from 30 years ago. Instead of point-blank calling out their outdated advice, you could help them understand what’s what. Casually mention a parenting site that you often read or send them an email with links to some new articles on child development.

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6. Agree, kind of. Everyone wants to be heard. This totally applies to your family members, in-laws and anyone else who’s shoveling out parenting advice you never requested. While you don’t have to agree with everything that they’re saying, pick one piece of advice that you really could follow. It might not be major, but it’s probably possible to find one thing that’s “right” in the middle of the redundant and useless opinions. If the advice-giver feels like they’ve been able to contribute, it could slow the stream.

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7. Get real. Honesty can be the best policy — especially when it’s coupled with tact. If the incoming advice is completely unwanted, find a time when you can calmly explain that you need a break from their guidance. Let them know how their never-ending advice is making you feel. Does it make you feel like a bad mom? Is it making you feel claustrophobic? Is it just too much to process? Whatever the reason, share it, while making sure to let them know that you love them (even when you don’t love everything they have to say). They don’t have to like the boundary you’re setting, but their love for you and your little one should help them respect it.

What’s the weirdest piece of parenting advice you’ve gotten? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)