I feel like Indian kids never grow up, even when they have kids of their own. They are still considered children who need advice, so it is only natural that older and experienced relatives think they know the best when you have a child and unsolicited advice comes in bulk.
I was told by the pediatrician not give the baby any water for six months, which is standard now a days. All my older relatives wanted me to go against the pediatrician and give the baby water. I got so much advice that I questioned the pediatrician and needless to say I was wrong to do so. I consulted another pediatrician just to assure myself and was told the same thing.
Very honestly, I get advice all the time about various things concerning the baby. It might be about what’s the best bath time, when to start potty training, the harmful effects of using diapers, why a stay at home mother is better than a working mother, how to dress him etc. etc. I have learned to sift through the genuine and the nosy. I have learned and learning to sift through the useful information and the not so useful ones.
I feel that telling people off does not accomplish anything, especially with relatives. You have to take their advice with a smile and then do what you got to do because you know your child best.
I am a working mother, so when one person tried telling me a few too many times the benefits of a stay at home mom I had to put them in their place. You can’t give anyone the authority to undermine you or make you feel inadequate about your parenting skills or choices. I am a working mother and I think I am as good as a stay at home mom and no one gets to tell me otherwise disguised under the pretense of advice. I have received tonnes of good information as well, and I have benefited from those and I keep those in mind. Someone told me how to wean the baby off the formula so he can start drinking whole milk as he turns one this weekend. I have implemented her advice it is working like a miracle.
In my experience we are already pretty familiar with our relatives so I have always found myself to be more receptive of advice that comes from people who I know mean well than those who I know are just giving me advice to make me feel as if I am doing something wrong. As my parenting skills have grown I am able to counter the busybodies with my own advice and they tend to shut up when they see I am confident in my parenting skills.
My experience tells me that dealing with all kinds of advice, especially about your child becomes easy if you take it as a learning experience. You will learn something new with every piece of advice you receive, whether it’s the character of the advice giver, some actual useful information, your level of patience etc. After that you use what feels worth using and forget the rest. I can tell you by my experience that what you do for your kid is the best thing for the kid because you are the one that carried him/her and are caring for him/her.
- Moumita Chatterjee
- April 19, 2016
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