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If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!


Question:How do I tell people to stop giving us their parenting advice?

I'm pregnant with my first child, so I appreciate when other parents share their words of wisdom with me. But some people are really pushy with their parenting beliefs - especially when it comes to topics like breastfeeding, circumcision, co-sleeping, etc. I have tried to tell them thanks, but my husband and I are going to make our own decisions, but that doesn't stop them from telling us what we "have" to do. Any help on getting these people to back off without causing a major rift?

Asked by lindad14 on 8/21/08 2 Answers»


Oh, man, it's taken me about five minutes to stop.....I can't stop.....I saw your question at the top of the list and instantly burst out laughing, thinking, "Good luck" Oooh, deep breath, and exhale, ahhh.

Maybe that's the approach: DO NOT take them seriously, because if you do, it's like the old barbershop with mirrors on opposing walls , theoretical infinity, left right left right, it goes on forever just like these peoples' opinions. If you allow them inside your mind, even after they've departed something is left behind, rummaging around like a rodent among your thoughts for who knows how long, hours? days?

My brother clued me in to this technique about five years ago relating how he'd dealt with a dangerous 'road rage' incident- the DUMB BLANK STARE. The other driver didn't fall for it initially and pressed the attack and Joe felt his confidence waver, almost got out to defend himself, but managed to stick with it and the aggressor turned and walked off.

Once your vacant gaze has halted the attack, you might regain momentum by asking, "Do you remember when... " and relate a scene from your favorite movie. Ms. Opinion may slightly recoil thinking you're a little balmy or be drawn right in to following your lead.

Good luck!

Answered by: oldgold on 8/21/08


That's such a great question, and so many women and couples go through that. Unfortunately, there will always be "well-meaning people" who want to share their best practices with you.

Whenever someone has given me unwanted advice on anything-career, relationships, health-I find that the best response is a brief "Thanks. I'll consider that." and then change the subject. If they push, I just walk away. I know that's hard to do sometimes, but if it's what keeps you happy and healthy, then just do it!

Congrats on your pregnancy and good luck!

Answered by: kristen on 8/21/08
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