A lot of parents tell me their stories. Sometimes they are stories of a great parenting moment, but most of the time, they are self-ascribed parenting fails.
And I've wondered why so many of us are compelled to share those "bad" stories and make ourselves so vulnerable to others with our moments of not-so-great parenting. Is there a need to get those failures out into the open so we can move on? Or are they a way to seek advice or help? I am not sure, but I am careful not to give parents more excuses to beat themselves up.
Because parents get enough shaming without even sharing their imperfect moments. A University of Michigan study has found that 2 out of 3 Moms (note: Not parents, but specifically Moms!) get criticism about their parenting skills. Worst of all: The criticism usually happens within their own families - from parents and spouses.
Not surprisingly, the unsolicited advice centers around discipline techniques, nutrition and sleep - the three topics that most parents stress over the most.
I think back to when I was about to have my son and all the prep classes I took before his arrival. I wish that one of those sessions would have been focused on how to handle unsolicited advice and reminded me that my doctor would help with questions.
Maybe the best thing is to remember that all advice comes with the best of intentions, and we are free to not follow it.
What kind of unsolicited parenting advice have you received? Tell me in the comments.