The Most-Hated Parenting Advice



When I was a new mom, it seemed like everyone had advice about parenting or babies or family life. Even though it stressed me out, I listened and I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt because I knew they only wanted to help me and see me thrive as a mother.

A visit to the pediatrician with my oldest led to a discussion about sleep habits and he stopped me in my tracks and said the most important thing any doctor has ever told me.

“Whatever works for you is the best way to do it.”

For 16 years, I've done what works for us. It hasn't failed me yet.

For 16 years, I’ve done what works for us. It hasn’t failed me yet. Photo: circa 2004.

What? No books, no magazine articles, no old wives tales passed down through generations? Absolutely not. Hearing those words changed how I parent my three, and the be honest, has helped my keep my sanity over the years.

Sixteen years later, though, when one of my millenial friends had a baby, I felt the need to issue some advice of my own. Thank goodness, I caught myself before any words escaped my mouth. Instead of telling her what she needed, what the baby needed, and what needed to happen next, I started a conversation with a group of friends about said parenting advice – and the “tips” that we all hate.

Can you relate to this?

Get them on a schedule. We are on a schedule. No schedule is fool-proof, and sometimes it’s necessary for the schedule to change. When kids go to school, the whole idea of scheduling changes based, pretty much, on the school schedule. When I was married and my husband worked a weird shift, there were some days that the kids were awake at 3 am so they could spend a few moments with their father.  – T.H.

Give them more household chores. They are children, not slaves. In our house, everyone is responsible for keeping the house neat and tidy. – B.C.
Stop babying your boys. Some kids starve for positive attention from parents, but not mine. I will always give lots of hugs. – B.C.
You can’t be friends with your kids. I am friend & parent with my kids. They are now 21 and 15 years old. It has always been this way. They understand the difference and know where the line is. – P.R.
Trust me, I know. This is insinuating that someone knows my kids better than I do. You may know parts of them, but you don’t live with them and you definitely don’t know it all. – C.S.
Don’t worry. One moment I hear “don’t worry.” The next moment the same person is telling me to “be more inovolved.” My concern at first should let you know that I’m involved! –  R.R.
I’m telling you what’s right. What’s right for who? For you as an extended member of my family? Or as someone who’s supposed to be my friend but is just tired of hearing my side of the story? – M.B.
It’s ok, your kids are going to make mistakes. That’s a given. They are human. It’s my job to correct those mistakes and make sure they learn from them. As a parent, there are some things that I can’t and won’t ignore. – K.L.
What’s the one piece of parenting advice that you absolutely hate?

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