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9 Bumps

Annoying Parenting Tips (had to share)

I have nothing against friends and family offering advice when you come to them with a dilemma. It's the people who pipe up, unbidden, because they see you with a child and assume you have no idea what you're doing. Too often these people are elderly great-aunts. Fortunately those ladies are afraid of the Internet, so I can rail against them and they'll be none the wiser! Thanks, ladies.

1. "Sleep now, because once that baby comes you'll never sleep again." Technically this is a pregnancy tip, of course, but I'm shoving it in here anyway. Yes, Great-Aunt Hildy, I will sleep throughout my entire third trimester. Because I am part bear.

2. "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Everyone gives you this one — annoying relatives, pediatricians, the cashier at the drugstore where you were buying newborn diapers. Are these people all robots, capable of instantly dropping off to sleep whenever their child is unconscious? Do they not have other things to do, like bathe, or simply relish the rare moments of silence you get when you have an infant?

3. "I think your baby's hungry." Whether you're nursing or bottle-feeding, everyone assumes you don't know how to feed your child. And every time your child cries, whines, grimaces, or squirms, they are going to assume you are starving your poor baby and you need rreminders to feed it. Lest you forget! This advice is especially maddening when they turn out to be correct.

4. "Relish every moment of your baby's first years, because they'll be grown before you know it." You mean, time only moves forward? I had no idea! I thought we'd be like this forever and ever! This sort of advice, obvious and innocuous as it seems, always put me on the defensive, as if I had just been carrying my baby under my arm like a football, muttering, "Grow up already, why don't you. Just GROW UP."

5. "I hope you're sleep training that child. Do you WANT him to be spoiled?" Oh, distant relative/person whose aisle I shared at the supermarket, I'm so glad you know exactly my child needs. And that you know, from your years of scientific research, that any child not allowed to cry it out will be a horrible waste of flesh! (See #6 for this parenting tip's counterpart.)

6. "I hope you're not doing that 'crying it out' thing. It's so barbaric. Enjoy your baby all through the night!" Again, kudos to you, whoever you are, for knowing what's best for our unique family situation! I will be calling you at 4 a.m., so you can enjoy our baby as well reminders to feed it. Lest you forget! This advice is especially maddening when they turn out to be correct.

7. "Why are you bringing your child outside when it's so cold out?" It never ceased to amaze me that, no matter what my child's age, total strangers will express alarm and revulsion that I dared expose him to the elements. "And WHY ISN'T BE WEARING MITTENS? He's going to get consumption!"

8. "Your child isn't really sad/angry/injured. He's just manipulating you." There's no doubt that children can push our buttons as if they've had professional training in it, but the notion that my kid's authentic feelings are in fact manufactured to elicit a reaction really chaps my hide. If that were always true, he'd be a pint-sized sociopath.  I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

9. "Schools are just glorified prisons. If you loved your child, you'd homeschool." Oh, if only I loved my child enough to abandon my livelihood, tear him away from the community he so enjoys, separate him from the professionals who have dedicated their careers to childhood education, and forced him to stay home all day with me, where we'd be at each other's throats for hours! If only! Please note: I am not opposed to homeschooling, at all — in fact I wish it would work for us, but it would not.

10. "If I were you, I'd just—" OH NO YOU DON'T. I know where this is going. Listen, unnamed distant acquaintance who last parented in the 19th century (it's true — I often get my unwanted advice from ghosts) you don't know diddly about my kid, and our relationship, and what works for us.

Feel free to add your own! I have heard 9 out 10 of these. I never heard the home schooling one before.


Asked by mommy_of_two388 at 11:52 AM on Feb. 16, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 43 (154,356 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (18)
  • My favorite was "You have to let them cry". No, I don't. If my child is crying I feel its for a reason. If I can solve his dilemma, I will. I'm putting nobody but myself out.

    Answer by hootie826 at 12:46 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Try to have a little compassion for the well-meaning ancient ones. I went through the same thing. Just tell them they have a point or just say "Thank you' and drop it. My dad told me once that it's too bad kids don't come with an instruction book. Then, again, all kids are different. Mine were definitely different. It was like learning all over again. It's hard to NOT give advice when you see something your kids went through. Only the strong can keep their mouth shut. I'm still learning. (lol)

    Answer by Kimimale at 12:05 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • LMAO! Of all of these, I think the "enjoy this time, it goes so fast!" gets to me the worst. I know how time flies. I was pregnant with my children, gave birth to them, watched them go from infant to toddler and, in the case of my son, now big kid. Believe me, I realize time goes on. The next one that gets on my nerves is "they are so different from each other!" Really?! My son and daughter who are two completely different people of different ages, likes and interests are not carbon copies of each other? I'm with them all the time. I know more about them than my husband, not to mention someone who only sees them when it suits whatever purpose she has that has nothing to do with being a caring relative.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 12:07 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I always hated my grandmother nagging me to put my DD down because I was going to "spoil" her when she was a newborn. lol

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 12:27 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • LOVE it!!

    Answer by cheekycherub at 11:56 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • lol.. Omg... I love this.. thanks.,.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 11:57 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Are you sure you want to do _________ that way? Why don't you try _________? That always worked for me.

    Answer by misses_nick at 12:02 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • funny that you posted this. I saw it too and sent it along to my friend who has a 5mo old baby!

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 12:14 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • These sound like things my mom told me before I had my first baby : p

    Answer by wishbearmom at 1:19 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • ooh i felt all those. Within the first week of having my DD i promised to my self, I will never butt in on other people parenting styles, or offer any advice unless someone asks me for some. I hated it, I was a young mom (19) and every one thought I had no clue what I was doing (except my mom, she let me do it the way I wanted to). And now that my DD is 2.5 people give me more respect when they see that everything I was doing worked! HA in their face.

    oh and I want to add one to the list
    "your 2 week old has been sleeping for 2.5 hours, arent you gonna wake her up to feed her?"

    Answer by leksismommy at 1:24 PM on Feb. 16, 2011