Whether you do good or bad, you will still be criticized. No matter your choice of raising your child, you will hear about it. Should we take criticism as a norm in this world? But the attitude your child displays at times can lead to the criticism of your parenting by other moms. Haters will always hate, no matter how careful or competent you are. When the criticism is about your parenting, it can hurt. Most times, it is best to push those comments aside and let them slide.
The way a mother cares about her child is not the same. Some can be lucky with it, while others might not. It does not depict that you are bad or incapable. No matter how you choose to care for your child, you do not need to please people around you. You do not owe anyone an explanation as long as you do what is best. The main thing is to figure out what to tune in and what to tune out.
When you sit down to examine your parenting style and ask yourself questions, it can help you distinguish between useful advice and unhelpful criticism. This will help you learn how to handle critics.
Ways to protect yourself from unwanted parenting criticism
- Keep your complaints private. It is what you discuss that people will know about. When you go out there with your complaint, you are exposing yourself more to parenting criticism. Carefully select whom you lodge your parenting complaint to. Ensure that the person shares your parenting philosophy and seek the listening ear of a like-minded friend. Never you ask questions you don’t want to answer.
- Protect yourself. No matter how tasking parenting might be, it should never affect you and your child. Endeavor to seek help when needed and always set the record straight. Let people know when you need advice or support, and when you don’t.
- Shield your child. Protect your child from negative comments from family and friends. Please do not go to places where critics will give your child a different thought about you or himself. Ensure that you do not discuss your child’s challenges to critics.
- Be positive. You will be picked up on how you assess your child by friends and family. If you are negative and always complaining about your child, expect your friends to react the same way.
How do you handle your parenting criticism from other moms?
Before you are criticized, you would have been monitored severally. You might be aware or unaware of this. Whether people criticize behind your back, it will reach a point where they will say it to your face. Before you give room for this, be sure of the following:
- Always ask yourself if you requested for advice? Before you pick up a comment that sounds like a criticism, ask yourself: Is this an unsolicited advice? Did I ask for the person’s opinion initially? If this is true, it means you are open to critics by inviting the person to share their thoughts with you.
- Make your need known. When you clarify your need right from the onset, you achieve what you requested. It is always sad when you ask for help and receives an unfavorable response. Ask specifically for supports rather than asking for their thoughts. Seek out people who are educated on the topic and be prepared for whatever answer you are given.
- Know the intention of the critics. Take a moment to understand what the person meant when you receive a piece of unsolicited advice that hurts you. Ensure you know the intention of the person criticizing your parenting: Has the person been there before? Is the person speaking up because of hatred, or they genuinely care? Are they speaking respectfully and lovingly? In this case, it is better to focus on their heart rather than their advice. If you feel you can’t let go or ignore their message, set boundaries with the adviser. Let them know that you are comfortable with your parenting method, and you do not need any further advice.
- Ensure to read between the lines. You can misinterpret advice some times. We add meanings and sometimes over analyze what was said. Read well between the lines and never give unintended meaning. When it comes to discussing parenting style, engage in active listening. Ensure you understand what the person is conveying and ask for clarification if you are unsure. Note that electronic communication makes it easy to misinterpret someone’s comment.
- Ask yourself if you are defensive. Your mood or emotion when a person is conveying information to you can make you sound defensive. Consider whether it is a sensitive topic for you or a problem with the person and not the advice. At times, we might be frustrated at our child’s behavior and feel other people are always criticizing us. This then makes every comment hurt us even when it’s nothing. Try as much as possible to always listen without interrupting. Do not always feel like justifying your parenting choices.
- Let them know when it hurt your feelings. Some people might not know when to back off. If their advice is affecting you and your kid, you need to let them know they have gone too far. It would be best if you spoke your mind though it might be difficult.
- Remind them that things have changed. The advice you might receive may be outdated, and critics set in when you fail to abide by it. Inform them that what might be right to them might be the opposite for you. We live in a technology world, and things should not be done in the same way.
- Let them know that every child is different. They have only been parents to their kids, and not yours, so their parenting methods may not work for you. A reminder of this should inform them they need to back off.