7 Phrases to Manage Unsolicited Parenting Advice During the Holidays... Without Losing Your Sh*t

Nov 03, 2023

Most of us have received some type of unsolicited parenting advice since becoming a mom. Super fun, right? Yeah… no. So often when we are talking to parents, they are not sure how to respond to these statements without escalating the situation OR completely denying their own opinions or feelings by complying with whatever is suggested to them in the moment. And with the holiday season approaching, it is fair to say we may all have some of this super fun advice coming our way (*cringe*)!

Here are 7 phrases we find helpful to use when receiving unsolicited parenting advice that don’t escalate the situation or betray our own beliefs or values:

  1. That’s an interesting idea, I’ll have to think about that.
  2. Thank you for caring so much, but we are going to stick with _____.
  3.  I appreciate you wanting to help, but it's important to us to do it this way. Thanks.
  4.  Thank you for caring so much, but we thought a lot about this already.
  5.  I can see this is important to you, I’ll have to think about this.
  6.  You’ve mentioned this a few times, it seems important to you. Please understand my decision to do it this way is important to me too.
  7.  Thank you, but we got this.

Now what happens if they keep pushing?

You keep repeating the same statement. Giving new content by getting defensive tends to escalate the conflict further. YOU are the parent. And while support and guidance can be helpful when we are in a place to ask and receive this, it’s okay to let someone know when it is not one of those times and remind them that you are the parent.

Remember it’s okay for them to not like the boundary you have set and to have feelings about this. But it’s also not your job to fix their feelings. So no need for apologies or changing your parenting or caregiving decisions to rescue their feelings. Something that can be helpful when holding this uncomfortable feeling is that by giving in to something we don’t agree with we are choosing to make them more comfortable and taking on their discomfort instead of allowing them to feel whatever feelings they may have. If we grew up feeling like there was no space for our own needs or emotions because our family was always busy, or someone in the family had bigger/louder or more demanding needs, or whether our parents didn’t have the capacity for whatever reason regulate their own feelings, we might find it challenging in parenthood to speak up for our own opinions and feelings as if we are being rude, mean, etc.

Can you relate?

If so, you’re not alone and although it may not have felt safe to share your feelings and opinions as a kid, as adults we can work on repairing these old beliefs and make space for our adult self and inner child to speak up for what we believe in today. YOU are the best mama for your baby. YOU know your baby best. And YOU deserve to have your feelings, needs, and opinions heard and respected in motherhood.

Sending you love and support on your journey mama! You got this!

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