Parenting Advice You Didn’t Ask For, But Didn’t Know You Wanted


Parenting Advice. Ask for it. Don’t ask for it. Either way, you will get it. A lot of it.

mother cuddling with daughterWe all know that we need to sleep when the baby sleeps, right? But do we all realize that we should also do laundry when the baby does? If we are going that route, we should also cook dinner when baby cooks dinner, and shower when baby showers. Unfortunately, neither of my babies did those things, so some days I slept, other days I took care of the house stuff. This piece of parenting advice was less than helpful.

We have also been told that we “are going to spoil the baby if you hold him too much.” Studies have actually shown that holding your baby and responding to your baby are exactly what your baby needs from you to build trust and feel safe, so based on that, I snuggled and held my babies as much as they needed it (and I always will).

But what about the good advice?

The advice we didn’t know we wanted or needed? And what about the advice for when they get a little older, when they are no longer a baby or an infant, but a toddler or a child, a teenager?

I asked a few parents with children 15 years old or older this same question:

“What is the ONE piece of advice you’d give to new parents/parents with younger kids? It can be something you wish you had been told, or even something you figured out that served you well.”

Here is their advice:

The first mom has a 17-year-old son, and she answered, “Don’t push them to be someone or something they are not. Let them be their own person and learn something from them. Let their light shine. They will find their place in the world, but they have to navigate it their own way.”

Our second mom has a 32-year-old daughter, and she says, “Enjoy them as littles…you will miss it…slow down to their pace when walking and really listen when they talk. They remember time spent with you. My daughter will bring up memories of things she did with me, her dad or grandparents. They remember the people who loved them. AND do not be afraid to remove ‘toxic’ people. They need to be children not little adults.”

Our next mom has two daughters, ages 15 and 29, and she says, “Best advice I’d give would be to resist the urge to give them/buy them everything.

Keep it simple. Keep them humble. Make them work.

You WILL end up with entitled, greedy, selfish brats (ask me how I know.)”

She further explains, “We always feel like we want to give our kids everything we never had; however, I feel like the things we didn’t have made us who we are today, strong, independent, hard-working and grateful. I know as kids we feel like we’re missing out on things but as an adult we can see that not being spoon-fed everything has only made us stronger, more independent and successful adults.”

Our final mom has two boys, ages 15 and 18, and she says, “Don’t succumb to social guilt and be authentic to yourself and your unique child. Some explanation – being a parent is hard in and of itself – the pressures of just daily life and wanting to feel like you are raising a good human. But parents always put everyone else’s expectation and pressures on themselves and make it harder with guilt and comparisons.”

She goes on to further explain her decision to be a working mom. “I chose to work full time right after maternity leave (12 weeks or less for both) and really give a lot to my career. Being a working mother generated a lot of grief and judgment from people. For me, working made me happy and fulfilled me and this made me a better parent.

It taught me how to juggle but also be patient.

I learned I didn’t have to be at everything, but my kids always knew (and still know) that I made a point to be there when it mattered. For them, seeing me as a strong woman and role model I think serves them as boys well – the balance of living life and how being there for family isn’t just an appearance but a deeper connection. Within that is celebrating your child for the unique amazing little human they are – again, put aside social judgment and meet them where they are.

I think inherent in this whole theme is be authentic and teach your child to be authentic and be their own unique selves by modeling it yourself. It has gotten us through two very different kids from baby, to toddler, to elementary, to teen, and now one in college. Being able to celebrate yourself and your kid’s self is what really helped me center through parenting.”

I don’t know about you, but I think this is the type of parenting advice that should take over the “sleep when baby sleeps” advice.


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