We bet every parent has come across unsolicited advice on how to raise their kids at least once in their life. Neighbors, relatives, and friends are eager to share their “priceless” experiences and opinions on how the baby and their parents should behave and build their lives. At the same time, most of them simply don’t take into account the fact that a method that worked with one kid can be absolutely non-applicable to another one.
We at Bright Side are recalling 12 annoying pieces of advice that parents hear most often. And we’re confident you have more to add to this list as well.
“Sleep while the baby is asleep.”
There are kids with whom it’s easy to do house chores. They remain in the same place wherever you leave them with a toy or a book. Other kids don’t leave their parents’ arms and are ready to shout louder than a siren if their mom gets distracted for just one second. It’s oftentimes easier for parents of the latter group to sacrifice their rest than mop the floor with the baby in their arms. But it doesn’t mean they don’t get tired or don’t deserve support.
“A mom should eat more to produce fat milk.”
Many well-meaning older relatives advise nursing mothers to eat more so that breast milk is fattier but later start to complain that the woman doesn’t look like Gisele Bündchen. There should be balance in everything that we do. You shouldn’t eat for 2 people if you don’t want to, otherwise, you might fail to recognize yourself in the mirror after several years.
“Teach your kid to share things or they will grow into a greedy person.”
Adults often require children to share their toys with peers without even thinking that they are breaking their boundaries. At the same time, parents and grandparents don’t rush to share their valuables with the first person they meet for the sake of not being known as a greedy person. If an item belongs to a child and they don’t feel like sharing it, it’s their right.
“Stop downgrading on maternity leave. You have a lot of time, so learn something!”
Many people who have never been on maternity leave think that young mothers have a lot of free time and they don’t know how to spend it to better their career. In fact, they are not always able to find time to peacefully drink a cup of tea during the “groundhog days” filled with sleepless nights, belly aches, and toothaches. It’s a pity that well-wishers who give advice on how to develop themselves during maternity leave usually only want to help with words, while helping a young mother is no longer their responsibility.
“A boy should be raised as a man. He must give in to girls.”
From birth, society dictates to parents to raise their sons as future gentlemen: they shouldn’t cry and should always give up their seats (or whatever else) to girls. Perhaps these rules would work if the adult men themselves were sticking to them. But no — kids are told one thing, while adult men behave absolutely differently, even those who vote for a more “manly upbringing.”
“You should give birth to a second kid so that your first kid has someone to play with.”
It often seems to people outside the family that they know better about what young parents should do. It’s easy for friends and neighbors to say things like, “It’s high time you had a second kid,” or assume a mother and a father should necessarily give birth to a boy or a girl, or think that a baby who lacks attention will get more of it once their small sibling appears. Of course, few people rush to follow such advice, but they do get terribly annoyed with it.
“Don’t let the baby get used to being in your arms.”
Babies cry in their cribs and ask to be held in their mothers’ arms not just because they’re trying to manipulate adults. Such behavior is the only way for them to inform the world about their needs and ask for help. Ignoring a baby at this moment for the sake of “not letting them get used to being in their mother’s arms” is a rather weird strategy, but many people still stick to it.
“A kid should eat what they’re given.”
If you’ve ever tried broccoli purée, you’ll likely understand that not every adult can make themselves eat it, while babies eat it avidly. Tastes in food among kids and adults can vary, and it’s absolutely normal. That’s why there is nothing wrong with a kid refusing to eat porridge that they don’t like. After all, there are dishes many adults refuse to eat too.
“Put on something warmer, and take off their hat.”
Each person has their own understanding of what it means to be “warm” and “cold.” Some people wear coats when it is 60°F outside, others wear hoodies, and then there are those who wear T-shirts to feel comfortable. No one makes any remarks to adults about the clothes they’re wearing not matching the weather. But at the same time, many adults gladly inform parents that they know the specifics of their kid very well and that they dressed their kid improperly.
“A baby should sleep in their bed.”
Many well-wishers advise young parents not to let their baby sleep with them in one bed, but rather, to put the baby in a crib from birth. Some people are really more comfortable this way, and that’s wonderful. While for other mothers, it’s easier not to get up 5-7 times a night in order to calm and feed the baby, so having them right next to them is easier. And there’s nothing scary about this. Parents’ comfort and getting peaceful sleep are what really matter.
“It’s better to buy bigger things so that they serve longer.”
Buying bigger clothes is not a bad strategy when you take into account how fast kids grow. But it doesn’t relate to seasonal clothes that can be too big this season and too small the next. All parents want their kids to feel comfortable in their clothes. That’s why you shouldn’t impose your philosophy on young parents regarding what clothes to choose, even if you have the best intentions.
“You should teach your kid properly — at this age, they should be potty-trained (or reading poetry, etc.).”
Comparing a kid to anyone, even if it’s their parents at the same age, is not a good idea. Each kid develops at their own pace, and they definitely don’t have to gain certain skills by a certain age. Potty-training early never helped anyone become a genius, which is why there’s no need to force events upon children and upset mothers and fathers with such remarks.
What “priceless” advice about raising kids did you get but never applied in real life?