Dealing With Unsolicited Parenting Advice
Parenting without unsolicited advice or intervention is something that I am happy to do. I love my kids. I had them because I wanted to be a parent. I don’t need anyone else, no matter how well meaning their intentions may be, stepping in and grabbing the parenting reins.
It’s sort of like when strangers walk up to you while you are pregnant and try to touch your belly. My first instinct is to punch them in the throat. I feel the same way about unsolicited parenting advice.
We all get our fair share of “how to parenting advice”, sometimes by people who are not even parents, but how many of us have had someone actually step in and flex their parenting muscles? ME!
When you live too close or family, or friends feel very close to your children, sometimes the lines become blurred. It’s becomes a too many cooks in the kitchen scenario or a too many parents parenting situation. Rule of thumb: There is only one mama.
My MIL has been known to raise her voice to my kids with me in the house completely bypassing my authority and circumventing the system. She’s even taken it upon herself to tell my children that they need to help out around the house more. They already set the table, help load the dishwasher and feed the dog. This seems like a lot to me, aside from picking up their toys.
After a particularly aggressive conversation between her and the girls one day, my husband stepped in and reminded her of their ages. She responded, “Well, I just thought I’d teach them some responsibility.” Is she implying that we do not discipline them or are too permissive in our parenting? I won’t lie, I was offended.
I can feel the judging eyes and impatient stares when the children misbehave. I feel like my every parenting move is under scrutiny. How do I stop this? I ‘ve tried the firm yet gentle approach, but my efforts seems to go unnoticed.
How do you tell your MIL that her well-meaning parenting interventions are stepping on your parenting toes? These are our children and we are the only authoritative figures that should be parenting them. I appreciate wise parenting tips from someone who’s been there already, but I feel we can parent effectively all on our own.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she is doing this to be nasty or undermine our parenting or even intentionally. I just think she thinks she is doing what is best. She’s a fixer. If there’s a perceived problem, she fixes it. I am more concerned with the effect that it is having on the girls. They are getting confused about who is in charge.
Am I looking a parent resource gift horse in the mouth or am I right in feeling like my parenting skills are being questioned?
Photo Source: KatyaAlagich