Every parent on the face of the earth has received parenting advice from a well meaning loved one or a nosy stranger. There is always someone who has been there and done that. Sometimes that is a blessing and sometimes it makes you want to scream. Today I am sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of parenting advice that I have heard, read or been told directly.
- The absolute best piece of advice I received while pregnant was from a mental health worker. She warned me that every man and their dog would have their two cents to say about your parenting. Often it is easier to just thank them and take from it what you like. It saves on arguments.
- When Mr 6 first started daycare we had to wait 30 minutes at a main bus stop between connecting buses. You soon get to chatting to people who are there regularly. One day I was talking to an older woman about Mr 6 refusing to take panadol. She told me to add a little water to the syringe to help thin out the liquid. It worked a charm and make it easier to go down Mr 6’s throat.
- Be fluid in your expectations. This one is one that I still struggle with but I know that when I take a step back and realise that I am making an issue bigger than it needs to be it takes a lot of the stress out of the situation. No one is a perfect parent, and sometimes we just have to roll with the punches when it comes to our kids.
- When I was in hospital after having Mr 6, one of the nurses told me that it wasn’t really necessary to heat bottles of formula and they could have it at room temperature. It was the best piece of advice, especially when we were out and about. When Mr 6 was 6 weeks old I also spent 12 hours on a train, not having to heat bottles was an absolute blessing.
- I was in a few support groups on Facebook for Mums who formula feed when Mr 6 was a baby and it was a mixed bag of advice. However the worst advice was from women who joined the group simply to tell us how evil we were for poisoning our children with formula. One woman in particular told group members to stop life saving medications because breast was more important. Obviously she missed the whole part about the medication being what was keeping the mother alive.
- Mr 6 had reflux as a baby. Paul and I don’t have the best digestive systems so it was no surprise really. After seeing a pediatrician, he suggested that we start solids early because Mr 6 was drinking so much formula. I tried him on Farex and he wanted no part of that, so I tried veggies instead and he loved it (oh where is that baby now!). Our child health nurse told us that farex was better so we persevered and still Mr 6 wanted no part of it. The advice itself wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t right for us.
- When I was being discharged after having Mr 6, the Dr tried to write me a script for a sedative I had been on previously. He insisted that I need it, despite me telling him it had been stopped almost 12 months before even falling pregnant. Fast forward to two years ago and again I was faced with a Dr who was trying to force sedatives on me, despite my insistence that they would make things worse for my anxiety. I know that there are parents who have to take anti-psychotic medication in order to stay well, but I wasn’t in that position. I just wasn’t sleeping well. Something which thankfully my psychologist backed up when he rang her.
This advice isn’t mine, but is a story someone told me a few years ago. I don’t know whether what the nurse said had any merit but the person she said it to made it hilariously incorrect. This person was changing her baby and sprinkled the freshly cleaned rear with talcum powder. The person next to them in the parent’s room scolded her and said that it could harm the baby. Never having heard this before she asked what harm it did. The person explained that it could cause cervical cancer. Now throughout this exchange the baby was still wriggling around nappy free, waving his penis around for all to see. The person who told me this said that she didn’t know whether to smack the person upside the head for being so stupid or to laugh in their face!
What’s the best or worse parenting advice you’ve received?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT!