6 strategies for dealing with your parenting critics: handling criticism graciously, but firmly.

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If you admit to the world that you’re not the Mother of the Year, folks will step forward agreeing with you, most in a spirit of camaraderie, one parent in the trenches to another.

But a few will come out of the woodwork just to tell you how you’re mucking up the job.  I’m okay with this because I know it is a side effect of blogging and putting my parenting on public display.

But what about if you aren’t putting your parenting on display?  What if you are just going about your normal day, living your life, raising your kids, and suddenly out of nowhere you find yourself being attacked.

If you are a parent, chances are a few of your choices have drawn some criticism.

I’ve developed a fairly thick skin for this, and most of the time I can laugh it off, because I know I’m not perfect and I know that it is okay that I’m not.  But it seems to me that lately my social circle is abuzz with “mommy bashing” and comparison, as if those “mother of the year” awards actually exist.

Everyone has a passionate opinion on how children should be raised.  I’m not convinced that is a totally bad thing, either.  I’ve appreciated having my thinking challenged at times, either because it cemented my own views or because it caused me to open my mind to another idea.

However, there are those who take it a step further and openly criticize or attack the parenting choices of others. 

  • Fact #1: We aren’t going to be able to please everyone.
  • Fact #2: There are those who want to make sure we know that!

Normally I am my own worst critic, but there are a few people that I cross paths with in life whom I suspect are trying out for that particular title.  Perhaps you’ve got someone in your life like that, too?

Here are six strategies for dealing with criticism that work for me:

ParentingCritics

1. Don’t Mistake Curiosity for Criticism

I have pretty thick skin, but when it comes to my children, I will admit that there are some holes in my “armor.” Because of this, I can find myself on the defensive when someone starts asking a lot of questions about why my husband and I do or don’t do something a certain way as we raise our children.

I find that it is helpful to take a step back and really listen to the way I am being questioned. Sometimes people genuinely want to know why we do or don’t do something and a healthy discussion can occur – as long as I don’t start out on the defensive, too sensitive to the topic being discussed.

2. Agree to Disagree

There are those, of course, who question us but are not open to hearing the reasons behind our decisions. We’ve all come across that relative or acquaintance who brings up a topic up just because they want an opportunity to tell us all the ways that they think we are wrong.

In some cases, that comes from concern stemming from their genuine love for our child and I can appreciate, even value, that. However, I am my child’s parent and I have a right to make my own decisions (and even to change my mind or make my own mistakes).

I find that there are some issues on which certain individuals and I will never see eye to eye. In those cases, to preserve the relationship, it is best to find a way to agree to disagree.

That usually means having to actually say the words, “I can see that you feel strongly about this. I do, too. You mean a lot to me, so we need to agree to disagree about this and move on.”

Easier said than done in some cases, I’ll admit.

Which brings me to my next strategy …

3. Set Limits

You aren’t under any obligation to constantly defend yourself or your parenting decisions, so don’t waste your time and energy doing so.

Especially if you’ve already walked down this path with this particular criticizer, set a firm limit. You are entitled to set a limit on the time you spend together or the subjects discussed.

Just because someone wants to dish it out, doesn’t mean that you, or your kids, have to take it. And you absolutely don’t have to stand there and let someone criticize you in front of your children!

Now, do I think there is a time and a place for being an advocate for a parenting decision or a cause? Of course. But the company picnic or Mother’s Day lunch at great-grandma’s probably isn’t it.

4. Bean Dip ‘Em

One of my favorite strategies for setting limits on critical conversations is to change the subject with the “bean dip” response - “Yes, Mrs. Busybody we are still ____. Can you pass the bean dip?” End of discussion. No arguing, no further discussion, that is it.

The “Bean Dip” (or pizza, or cupcakes, or whatever) response is something I first read about on a parenting message board years ago. It has become an inside joke between my husband and I when dealing with critical people – “Could you believe Mrs. Busybody today? I had to ‘bean dip’ her twice before she got the hint and dropped the subject.”

If your subtle hint isn’t picked up on, smile and walk away. You have my permission.

(Yes, the argument could be made that it is rude to walk away when someone is talking to you, but I would counter that it is equally ugly social behavior to openly criticize someone else’s parenting choices).

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5. Draw a Clear Line in the Sand

Sometimes there are extreme cases of criticism where you have to set limits regarding interactions. “Look Uncle Bertie, we love you, but if you’re going to insist on bringing up XYZ every time we meet, then I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to spend time together.”

I know from personal experience this isn’t an easy one, but it is sometimes necessary.  My husband and I once had to deal with a relative who would repeatedly interject themselves into discipline situations with our children because they didn’t agree with our methods.

After trying to talk with this person, with no success, in the end we just had to draw a line in the sand and say, “look, this behavior won’t be tolerated any longer.”  Unfortunately, they didn’t change their behavior, so we had to limit the time we spend with them.  Is it sad?  Yes,  but we had to choose our battles and couldn’t allow the inappropriate situation to continue.

6. Let Them Talk … You Don’t Have to Listen

Of course, with some people, none of these things will work and even if we walk away they will continue to criticize us. Somehow these people always find an ear willing to listen to them.

That’s okay.

I know it hurts, but their behavior says more about them than it does about you – and at least this way, if they are gossiping to someone else, you don’t have to listen to it.

As one of my mentors says, “your opinion of me is none of my business.”

How do you handle it when someone criticizes your parenting choices?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

Comments

  1. calliope says:

    This is one of the best posts I have ever read. Thank you!
    What do you do when the critisism comes from your parents or in-laws? I’m afraid it hurts every single time but you’ve given me a lot to think AND respond :)

    • It can be more difficult with in-laws and parents, after all they are family. That isn’t the same as a random comment by a stranger or a difference of a opinion with a relative you only seen once a year at the holidays. :-(

      Sometimes it is easier than other times, depending on what the criticism is and what place is it coming from (is it a true concern? or just a personality conflict? or just meanness or nit-picking? was that person having a bad day? was this a one time thing? or a constant issue? was the statement made in a respectful way? were the kids present at the time? etc.)

      My husband and I *try* to handle things with patience, remembering that they love our kids, too. It tends to work better if any issues we have with his folks get addressed by him and issues with my folks get addressed by me.

      Sometimes we have to just agree to disagree, for the sake of keeping the peace, especially on issues where we know we aren’t going to change our minds.

      Good luck! I know it isn’t easy.
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: 6 strategies for dealing with your parenting critics: handling criticism graciously, but firmly.

  2. I used to try being graceful with my Mil but now after more than a year I just tell her to blow it out her ear. She is just an odious little woman, toxic even. I caught her saying to my son this: “You are too attached to your mother, we have to fix that…”. Some people are just impossible and no strategy can fix it.

    • Wow. Just … wow.
      Yeah, I would say that saying something like that to your child crossed the line from mere criticism into something else entirely. As you say, there is “toxic” behavior.
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: 6 strategies for dealing with your parenting critics: handling criticism graciously, but firmly.

    • My maternal grandmother said this, almost verbatim, to me directly. I was around 9 or 10 and my mother was having surgery. My grandmother took me to the cafeteria when my mother was going back for surgery. I began to cry (not obscene bawling) and she told me that I was too attached to my mother – it was unnatural. I’m 36 and I still remember how pained I was and how fiercely I disagreed (inside). That said, I’ve since learned a lot about my grandmother’s childhood. It was a sad and lonely one with an uninvolved mother and a cold, emotionally repressed father. It doesn’t excuse her behavior – nothing could – but it has helped to explain that what was unnatural to her was simply beyond her understanding because she had never experienced it.

  3. You are a smart mama Kara. I love this post today: wise, encouraging, no nonsense. Pinning!
    Cathy @ NurtureStore´s latest post: Eggheads, playdough sheep and baking birds nests :: Play Planner

  4. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    It’s so hard when these critisicms come from those closest to you. When I had my first my cousins wife was on her third. She was aghast that I was going back to work after my 12 week maternity leave and then she was all snippy about the fact that I did not continue breastfeeding (first, despite all my work with a consultant I could not make enough milk and my daughter knew it! I formula fed and supplemented with what little I could produce from pumping. Then she wound up allergic to everything I was eating anyway!). Interestingly enough that third child she had was having major issues. They though it was colic, but turned out she had major food allergies too and could to breastfeed. She apologized to me after that.

    My sister had her first child 11 days before my second came and she was very into breastfeeding…so much so that she she the lactation consultant to me when my second was born. Despite my previous experience and my being uninterested in putting myself though that again. Then she had the benefit of a mother in law that lived a block away and was able to care for the child in shifts with her husband. He watched the baby until 1 and the mil watched her from 1 until my sister got home. I did not have that ability and so she criticized the fact that my girls were in daycare (although she has since apologized too…she found her her mil was teaching my niece that mil was better than mommy. She has determined when her second comes this may, mil is no longer allowed to be around the children unsupervised).

    Then there is my mil who is really a wonderful woman, but had this crazy idea that I was exaggerating about my oldest’s milk allergy. Every single time she was with my child she gave her things that she shouldn’t eat. Cheese, yogurt butter and milk. Every time my poor daughter was with her, we would have 3 days of vomiting and diarrhea to follow. Sadly it always happened after we left so she never experienced. When we moved and she came for a four day weekend, she gave my daughter yogurt on day one and then had to experience the affect for her entire visit. Leaving us unable to leave the house. She learned her lesson and has never given her anything she can’t eat again!

    I guess I was vindicated in all these scenarios, but the road getting there was irritating.

    • It IS harder when it comes from someone close to you, especially if – before parenting – you never really had issues come up before. :-(

      What is it with people not taking allergies seriously? We’re going through something similar in that we are eliminating certain things from our diet for a period of time because our family doctor thinks they might be behind some of our younger girls’ issues. It has been a bit shocking to me the number of comments we’ve gotten like,”well, isn’t that trendy?” (yes, we hope its a gluten allergy so we can be trendy. whatever.) Or “is that even a real thing?”

      Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. I know for me that goes both ways – situations where I was proven right as well as some things I said before I had kids myself that I’d love to be able to take back now that I’ve lived a little and know better.

      Here’s to vindication! :-)

  5. Good post. I actually haven’t had anyone openly criticize me. However, we just had a visit with my MIL and she stepped in to try to control my daughter, when I was trying to deal with her already (so in a way she was criticizing me, by her actions not necessarily words!). My daughter was being naughty and not listening to me, I get that. But it didn’t help to have her interjecting! I wish I had kindly stood up for myself, but alas…I let it go.

  6. Thank you so much for these useful tips! Some parents need to understand that there’s no 1-solution to every parenting problem. What works for a child may not work for another so it’s never a good idea to just barge in and demand to other parents what you want them to do to their kids because it is what you think is right. Parents know what’s best for their kids. :)

  7. Thank you for this post, I really needed this today.

  8. Wonderful advice, as always, friend!!
    steadymom´s latest post: debunking the myth of consistency

  9. Wonderful post! Wish I had read it 8 years ago when my first came along. I have learned all these lessons the hard way from one person. I call the bean dip response the reroute but yours is much funnier! I think I’ll steal it. Thanks

  10. I would add, right after your first point about not mistaking curiosity for criticism, to also be aware of your own sensitive spots.

    Example: my son loves to walk the edge of a raised garden bed. One evening a girl a few months younger copied him. Her mother stepped up to hold her hand. As I moved out of her way, I said “oh, she’s just about ready to do this on her own!”; meaning to compliment the girl’s bravery and balance; however, the mom took my words as criticism of her helping her child (sadly, her justification included describing her daughter — in her hearing — as “uncoordinated” — let’s hope she doesn’t internalize that!). I stammered something about “she’s doing very well” & tried to get out of the conversation…but I was left feeling distinctly ill-mannered.

    The point of that story is that clearly this mom was sensitive about being seen as over-protective where another parent might have just accepted a compliment on behalf of her kid. We all have our sore spots; the trick to is to recognize them and consider giving people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people are only guilty of opening mouth and inserting foot.

    As for me, I’ve learned to be wary of opening conversation on the playground. That’s kind of sad.
    FrancesVettergreenVisualArtist´s latest post: The time the world turned pink.

    • That’s a very good point, and I know for me, not always an easy one to do. But, yes, we need to separate ourselves a bit and be aware of our own sensitivities. :-)

      I know for me, I’m so weary after times when I’ve felt under the microscope about our homeschooling or family size or whatever that even when someone is just innocently asking about it, I feel myself gearing up to get on the defensive and bracing for a debate … when sometimes they just want to mention that they noticed it and say “that’s cool” or “wow” and then move on. It is ME that has the issues there, not them.

  11. This is such a great post and such a fabulous topic!!! I have found that when I was a new mom I took all my decisions so personally – of course I was doing what was the right thing for my children and I felt a “strong” need to convince people that what we were doing as parents was the right way – wo’ betide the mother-in-law (who is my biggest critic) that questioned the family bed or the best friend that thought a home-birth was insane!!! I have realised with age that I don’t have to “evangelise” every other parent to our ways – in fact I don’t even have to explain what we are doing… Do folk actually need to know that my kids sleep in my bed or that they nurse well into toddlerdom. If folks don’t ask then I just don’t tell. At this stage folks assume that we have conquered parenting (HAHAHA!!!) and they are far more critical about homeschooling… I just say it works for us and move on – “Smile and wave”…whereas when I was younger I would have pointed them to documented evidence to “make-our-case” lent them reading material… I think I just grew up!!! Probably the hardest criticism, from complete and utter strangers is those that “Want to know what possessed us to have have eight children…” even those I feel less bothered about than I used too… clearly they don’t “get our lifestyle” and most likely I don’t “get” theirs. I assume they are misinformed, just as they assume that we are… and I am happy to continue with my life, rather than to be devastated and miserable for days on account of it!!!
    se7en´s latest post: Sunday Snippet: Se7en + 1 Steps to Decluttering Your Spiritual Life…

    • That was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, too – that there is a time and a place to be an advocate.

      Ironically, as I got more confidence in my own parenting, I too felt less of a need to try and explain things to everyone. Sometimes you don’t want to be an advocate, you just want to live your life :-)

      We get more comments about homeschooling than anything else, too. Well, the occasional remark on our family’s size ;-)
      Here’s to rising above!

  12. I am feeling very lucky that I don’t have to deal with this too much. We do have a few people bring up homeschooling, which stings a bit.
    vanessa´s latest post: Colombian Arepas

  13. Nice article, Kara. Two things I want to mention in response to parenting “involvement” in general and also brought on by some of the comments:
    1. Oftentimes people generally want to help because, like you mentioned, they too truly love our children, almost as much if not as much as we do, if we can believe that! It’s true that others love our kids, too. We don’t have the mama monopoly on love.
    2. The remarks I often hear parents make about knowing what’s best for their children because they are the parents…just…wow! Really? I wish having sex, giving birth, and reading parenting blogs made me that all-knowing (forgive my crassness, but we are all aware that storks don’t bring babies)! I sure do wish I knew what was best for my 7 kids, because that would make me truly an amazing, faultless mother. I like what you, Kara, said about listening to what others say and considering it rather than merely dismissing it all and holding blindly to our set of parenting ideas. Sometimes, yes, we must stick to what we are doing, but sometimes, what we are doing is not working, and our ideals blind us to the reality. There are people out there who have been where I am now, who have blazed this trail already. They learned by their mistakes and by listening to those who have gone before. I would rather learn from their wisdom and mistakes than from making my own mistakes on my own kids. There are plenty of chances for messing my kids up with my mistakes, so I’d love to minimize that. Oftentimes parents get so much into the “I’m the mom!” mode that they close their ears and minds to anyone else’s “interference,” when in reality, society at large would benefit if said person accepted a little interference…also known as guidance. We are so close to our kids and our parenting, that it’s often hard to see the big picture. Others can look in and see parenting habits or behavioral ruts that need addressing. They can also see what may not be working with our kids, something to which we have simply grown accustomed or blind, but sure wouldn’t want to have to put up with from someone else’s child. It’s humbling, but so is parenting.
    Nice article, Kara. I merely hope people don’t dismiss all help and guidance as interference.
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    • Oh, certainly help and guidance are different, the main difference being the intent on behalf of the person giving the advice or making the comment. Is there compassion there? A genuine desire to be helpful, share wisdom and parenting lessons learned? I think that there are valuable lessons to be learned there, I agree!

      A stranger’s random comment on the size of your family versus your mother-in-law’s unsolicited potty training tips, for example. Or the difference between a fellow homeschooling mother sharing a math program they have had success with versus your cousin who likes to quiz your kids at family gatherings because she’s convinced that your homeschooled children can’t possibly be learning all they need to know. ;-)

      When I wrote this, especially the last few strategies for dealing with criticism, I was thinking more along the lines of dealing with those whose intent isn’t coming from a positive or a teaching place, but from one of judgement and a lack of compassion for the receiver of their remarks.

      I think you raise some good talking points about being open to learning, which is always a good thing. (Though I might put forth that even good, well intended advice will probably fall on deaf ears if it is unsolicited.) :-)
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: 10 Ideas to encourage your kids to read after school (A Bullseye View guest post)

    • “It’s humbling, but so is parenting.” INDEED! :-)
      Kara @SimpleKids.net´s latest post: 10 Ideas to encourage your kids to read after school (A Bullseye View guest post)

  14. I so needed to read this. The reminder to stand firm and we don’t have to keep listening to the person.. but that you can be firm but kind at the same time! Great post!
    Lindsay @ Bytes of Memory´s latest post: Weekly Wrap-up Journal: Snow Storms and Convention Blogging

  15. Well said Kara!
    And just for the record, I think your awesome and inspire me! Yours is one of the only blogs I still love to follow. Most I have left off of….they often left me drained and feeling like I had one more thing I was supposed to do, or was already doing wrong. Yours leaves me feeling like I’m ok, like if I just keep doing what I feel is best the world won’t end. In a word, you encourage me :)

  16. After seeing your picture of the unicorns standing behind the penguin family, I thought one of your points was going to be:
    FIND A LIKEMINDED COMMUNITY TO SHARE WITH.
    We all need supportive friends that will build us up in our choices, so that we have the confidence to gracefully manage criticism. It’s so hard not to be defensive when we’re new parents and not all that confident in our own choices to begin with!

    I have a MIL who just loves to talk about all the bits and pieces of what my kids are doing. From the time they were born, she wanted to know every detail about our parenting choices. You know what? She was asking OUT OF LOVE! Once I put my defenses down, I realize that she NEVER has a single critical response. She likes to compare how thing are different from when she was a new mom (car seats, anyone?), but it’s always from a learning perspective – if she has a criticism, I don’t hear it.
    She is a jackpot MIL and I hope I can follow her example some day.

  17. Excellent post and wonderful comments to read through for further exploration and shared stories.

    I have not been outright criticized, but when my children were young I had to deal with undermining comments and ruffled feathers with grandparents (especially my husband’s) as I just have a different approach to parenting – i just stuck to my guns and explained that I have reasons for my decisions and need them to respect that (and then ignored anytime they tried to undermine it). As an example I did not enforce “you must clean up every bit of the house when you finish playing” but rather encouraged them to care for their stuff and help me take care of tidying as I wanted them to learn via modeling and a genuine desire to care for the home (and i was imperfect on this myself so did not expect more of them than i could do). My MIL especially hated to sit by and let them “get away with” not tidying their things (even as preschoolers!)
    Deb @ Home life simplified´s latest post: Evolution of a blog + free ebook

  18. Love live the Bean Dip! I’ve used this for years!
    This is so good, Kara. Such a timely reminder for me of old techniques and new approaches!
    Megan at SortaCrunchy´s latest post: Your Green Resource – Week Seventy-Five

  19. Love it…especially the “Pass the bean dip” response! And also, unrelated, I just LOVE the font you use on your website:) (graphic designer here!) Keep up the good work!
    Carolyn @ Mama’s Little Muse´s latest post: DIY Rainbow Rice!

  20. Kara, love how practical your posts are. It’s really easy to get stuck on the two extremes: the doormat on one side, and the militant on the other. Many times I find myself amused at the way some people feel they have a license to step in and start casting out opinions and judgments. I ask myself whether their comment has merit, is it true and can God use it? If so, I chew on it and see if it can bear fruit in my life. If not (if they are misinformed) then I marvel at the guts it takes to stick their nose into something they know so little about, feel awe at the energy they are expending on my behalf, morph that into pity for the friendships they are driving away, and bundle all that together into a smile and a “bean dip” response. (Totally stealing that lingo, Kara! ;-) ) Grace covers a multitude of sins…but on PMS week, I’m so glad I’ve got these 6 “try these Heather before you do/say something you regret” options to refer to.
    Heather Gaither´s latest post: 4-Step Formula for Handling Difficult Grandparents

  21. This is a fantastic post I wish I had read years ago! I agree that boundaries are important, but it can be hard to have the confidence.
    For years, I carried myself as if I was waiting to be attacked by certain family members. Now, I have a different attitude–I don’t expect anyone to attack, criticize or question me because it isn’t their place. I think that has eliminated much of the problem.
    Christina F´s latest post: why I quit running a secret organization

  22. Yeah, these mommy wars can be really tough. I’m the kind of person to let them talk and I don’t respond with a judgement, I simply say, “uh huh,” and move on to a new subject.

    Recently I’ve been thinking about these mommy wars. The one good thing about them: everybody cares about the kids. All sides have the kids’ best interest in mind and heart.
    Mel@ThDizzyMom´s latest post: safe and secure

  23. Thanks for sharing the strategies..will try my best to figure it out..Kids can be unpredictable too..so theory is fine..but needs to be tested..

  24. My mother in law is very critical. I have come to realize that her criticisms aren’t logical differences of opinion, but rather a deep need to feel superior to whoever is around her. She will say I should do something different, only to turn around and tell me the exact opposite when I am doing whatever is is she told me before. I have yet to figure out a graceful way of dealing with this. Every time we visit her I get super stressed out, with major headaches and trouble sleeping. I am thinking maybe in the future we will have to stay at a hotel because it seems to only get worse. In her eyes, her role as mother in law is to fix me because I can never be as good as her. (Seriously, though, that is not an exaggeration.)

    My mother is also very critical. I have never had a good relationship with my mother and she has never had much positive to say to me. From the time I was a young child she has not been shy about telling me how I have ruined her life, and continues to do so to this day. It’s easier with my Mom, because I don’t see her very often.

    Having no support from both sides leaves me often feeling very lonely and stressed out. Luckily, I go to amazing church where I am able to get a lot of support from the other moms around me. I have a hard time talking about how difficult it is with other people because people who do not have abusive parents tend to cringe when you say bad things about your mother. So, you know, there are other people who go through this. It is hard. But, over time I am learning to be confident in my own decisions despite criticism from others, and that is a great strength and blessing. In a way it is good that they are so over the top in their criticisms because it makes it easier for me to ignore them, and not doubt myself as much as I would if they were more subtle.

  25. Becky Emter says:

    Bean Dip ‘Em, I love it. I will definitely be using that one. Thanks!

  26. What a wonderful post! This is one of my biggest concerns, and probably a big factor when it comes to having to talk myself into taking my 2-year-old out in public. I dread what anyone says to me. When she’s on her good behavior, I wish more people took notice. It’s only when she’s misbehaving for having a tantrum I get criticism or, even worse, unwanted advice.

    Shortly after having my daughter, my inner critic was getting the best of me so much, I finally saw my doctor and was diagnosed with post-partum anxiety, which I had never heard of. PPD, yes. But PPA? Thank goodness there was such a thing!

    I’m still working through it, but I constantly need to be reminded that I AM a good mom and, despite what other people say (or what I may think about myself), my daughter loves me and she’s turning out to be a wonderful little girl.
    Emily´s latest post: The War

  27. Hi Kara! I really enjoyed your article. I’ve been having some issues with people criticizing my parenting ever since I had my first baby. My boyfriend and I had a lot of problems when we found out I was pregnant, he has a serious drinking problem, and was verbal abuse to me while intoxicated. Once our baby was born, he criticized everything; how I breast fed her using a pump after I went back to work) how I dressed her, etc. Then recently our relationship got worse and while drunk he told me I was a bad mother. He said “all you feed her is milk” and “You force her to take naps all day because youre lazy”. This could not be farther from the truth, I feed her very healthy food and she takes two hour long naps a day, they just seemed to coincide with jis lunch break and right when he was off work. So I f inally had enough and left him, and moved in with my mom. She is a widow and my daughter is her only grandchild so she is a little obsessed with my baby. She is constantly giving me suggestions and commenting on how I do things. Its being to really weigh on my nerves. I have a set bedtime for my daughter, and twice this week my mom has insisted that I put her to bed half an hour before her bedtime because she looked tired to her. I told her that she was fine, and she was my child and tried to smile it off. She then tells me that she is not going to sit back and watch while I “torture” my baby. This happened earlier tonight and we are not speaking. I want to tell her that those kinds of words are very hurtful to me , and that I am the mother. The problem is my mom, like most moms I guess, is very quick to criticize her daughter, but any criticism directed her way is a HUGE stab in the back. She has a sort of martyr (sp?) complex….she gets her feelings very hurt. But she wants us to stay here so bad, and I don’t want to go back to my drunk ex….sorry this was so long! Any advice would be much appreciated!
    -Claire

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  1. [...] I have written a few times here about the dilemma of parenting criticisms. I do not think I have shared tips on how to actually deal with these people who just love to give out unwanted parenting advice. So when I stumbled into this amazing post about this subject, I immediately felt the necessity to share. The post is entitled, 6 Strategies For Dealing With Your Parenting Critics: Handling Criticism Graciously, But Firmly. [...]

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