How to Deal With People Who Criticize Your Parenting
It’s not easy to be a parent. When you have a baby for the first time, everything is new and can be scary.
As a young parent, you appreciate everyone’s advice, especially that of your parents. They did a good job, right?
With time, you gain experience. You start getting what this is all about.
You get to know your child and the world, and there it is – a vision of how you would like to raise your kid.
But your parents are always there, providing you with their opinion. It’s often and not always very approving.
You’ve done your research and have done your best to get your child what they need. Like a set of children’s playground equipment for fun, a well-stocked nursery, and the healthiest food you are able to provide. Your child is smart and curious.
You’re doing your best.
Though according to your parents, you may still be doing everything wrong, only because you’re doing it in a different way.
You have probably already heard these words. So what can you do to stop your parents from criticizing your parenting style?
Hopefully, to convince them to simply enjoy the time they spend with a grandchild?
Read on for some tips on how to deal with people who criticize your parenting style.
The world is changing and so is parenting
The world is changing, and so are the parents. Apart from what you or even your parents may think, they didn’t raise you just like your grandparents raised them.
People evolve and adapt to the surrounding world.
Of course, you are a different parent. The first and most important thing is to accept that. Even though you hear a lot of criticism, you really are doing a good job. As long as your child is happy and healthy!
You shouldn’t be doubting yourself or considering change only because you don’t like what your mother tells you.
Yes, it’s great to be able to hear criticism and listen to good advice, that’s what you should teach your child as well, but it’s equally important to believe in yourself.
The dialogue may be the answer
Your parents are probably from the generation who thought that children should be silent, tidy and obedient. While you probably want your kid to be curious, to ask questions, and to question the world.
You talk with your child, and very often, you treat him or her as an adult. One that is capable of critical thinking and forming opinions.
So, since you try to have an open dialogue with your kid, try having it with your parents as well.
It’s probably not possible to change their thinking completely. Though you might be able to stop them from criticizing everything you do.
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First of all, explain to them why you want to be a different parent. Explain what kind of advantages you see in this particular parenting style.
You can show them various studies that prove the benefits of talking openly with children or the long-term consequences of spanking. Even if it’s only to make a point and not in a violent way.
Show your parents that it’s truly working for your family and why. You can even try including them in the whole process. After all, you do not lack discipline. You’re only enforcing it in a different way.
Just like you don’t want to yell and argue with your child, you shouldn’t have loud arguments with your parents.
Explain to them that they can’t undermine your authority. Especially in the presence of your child. They may not accept all your choices, but they need to respect them.
Try to understand
While you may not agree with your parents, try looking at the situation from their perspective.
They may think (since you don’t want to raise your child the way you were raised) that you were an unhappy kid.
You can ask them to tell you stories about your childhood to help them realize that you were happy and content, but the times were radically different.
After several stories and going back in time for a while, they will surely see the differences.
Make sure they know that you appreciate their efforts. It’s thanks to them that you grew up to be independent and confident.
Most importantly, sure of your own opinions.
Also, show them how different the life of a child is these days. They are under much more pressure than you probably were as a kid.
The world is connected, there’s a lot of information. Which combined with pressure to succeed in multiple fields, may be scary and overwhelming.
Don’t criticize if you don’t want to be criticized
You need to remember that, as grandparents, your parents have your child’s best interest in mind.
They don’t want to hurt any of you; they are simply concerned. Try discussing their advice in private, when your child is not there.
Help them understand why you decide to do things differently. As a parent, you have all the control anyway.
What do you do when people criticize your parenting?
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.