Family During the Holidays
We love them - intensely. But, that doesn't mean it's always easy.
Especially when it comes to unsolicited parenting advice.
Now, don't get me wrong. I believe that if a parent is unknowingly doing something dangerous or harmful to their child, that we SHOULD speak up (unsolicited or not).
But then there are all the other times. Sigh.
For THOSE times, this is my best tip to get through the holidays with happy kids: You know your newborn/baby/toddler/child. You know what they need, how they respond to things, AND how much sleep they need. So do that.
When, let's say, Aunt Betty goes on a rant about how SHE got her babies to sleep, that THEY could skip naps and be fine, that they probably just need a little stricter discipline... My suggestion?
Smile, nod... and then say "So interesting! Thanks for the advice, I'll take it into consideration" - and then proceed to do whatever you were planning on doing with your child.
Many parents fall into the trap of pleasing their FAMILY to not create conflict and sacrifice their CHILDREN'S needs. Which, ultimately creates discomfort for their kids.
When someone tells you to do something different, play out the scenario in your mind. Think about the outcome for your child if you do what Aunt Betty suggests. We know Aunt Betty will feel happy (or be less critical... or maybe not!) but how will your son or daughter feel?
If it's no-big-deal, then please-away. But if it's not - then I'd (again) smile, nod, thank her for advice and then go on with whatever you think is best for your baby.
Feel free to share your Aunt Betty success stories here! Extra tips are always welcome!
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Kathleen Hilchey is a mom of 3, sleep coach, and anti-bullying specialist based out of Dundas, Ontario.