The parenting world is full of advice, solicited and unsolicited. So many people will be keen to give you advice without knowing anything about you, your child or your situation. It will come at you in every which way and if you try to take it all, you’ll find yourself more confused and uncertain than before you took the advice. So how do you filter out the bad advice from the good advice?
One of the most annoying things about unsolicited advice is that it often comes with the assumption that you haven’t tried whatever potential solution is coming your way. The best parenting advice will come from people who are familiar with your situation. It will come from someone who had heard you complain about a particular problem to the point of exhaustion and will not waste your time or energy throwing solutions at you that you’ve already tried.
The best parenting advice will come from others that can empathize with your situation because they’ve been through it. The closer they’ve been to experiencing your particular situation, the better. If your baby won’t take a bottle, who would you rather take advice from? The person who’s baby took the first bottle they were given with no fuss or complications or the person who had to give their baby every bottle on the market before finding a good fit? The more someone has had to problem solve a situation similar to your own, the more likely it’ll be that they can give you relevant advice that you can try and apply.
You may receive some amazing advice from someone and believe that if done properly, would absolutely work but if you don’t feel comfortable implementing it, it will be pointless. This means that best parenting advice should be something that you personally feel comfortable with. If your baby is having trouble sleeping through the night and everyone is suggesting that you let them cry it out but you know deep in your heart that you would never be able to actually let your baby cry it out, then that advice will be of no use to you.
The best parenting advice will be current. One of the issues with advice that comes from parents with kids older than your own is that although it may come with the best intentions, its outdated. The issue with outdated parenting advice is that it might not be considered safe anymore. Additionally, the way that the person remembers it may not be as accurate as you’d like it to be. If you think on your own parenting experience, you’re probably so concerned with your current obstacles that the ones from before seem like fuzzy memories.
It's so easy to give someone advice, brush your hands clean of it and be about your own way. It’s so much harder to take a personal investment in that advice. The best parenting advice comes with an offer of support, whether it be emotional or physical. The best advice comes from someone who just doesn’t say that they care about your situation but makes a personal investment in it. That personal investment could be as small as making an offer to reach out to them with any questions you have at any time or as big as offering to watch your baby so that you can get the much-needed rest that everyone is telling you that you need.
The best parenting advice will not condemn you. Parenting advice can feel so judgemental at times. Even if the person giving it doesn't mean to, it can oftentimes make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. With so much self-doubt about your momming skills as it is in the beginning, the best parenting advice you can receive is advice that makes you feel better about how you’re doing as a mom rather than worse and uplifts your spirits rather than drags it down.