In PART 1 of this post, “Non-criticizing advice from an older to a younger mother,” I wanted you to see that you could gain a whole lot by listening to the advice of your mother. Don’t get me wrong. I agree that a mother must instill in her children the principles and values that she would like to see passed on to her grandchildren. However, by the time you have children, their father would also have values and principles instilled by his parents. They might differ from yours, and the two of you will decide how you want to raise your kids. If they messed up raising you, you might make the same mistakes with your kids.
Advice about how to raise your children is not welcome
Neither your mother nor your mother-in-law has any further rights to interfere with or criticize how you and your spouse raise your children. To avoid contention, you could explain that their respective duties are done when it comes to your children. However, you could tell them you would welcome and appreciate their advice about coping with motherhood challenges.
I covered your right to choose a name for your child and the fact that it is quite natural to love your own children much more than anybody else’s kids. Also, you can admit that raising children is not a walk in the park. In fact, it is a life-changing process as you encounter new phases in your children’s lives. And this is where I will start on PART 2.
“IT’S JUST A PHASE” is a bit of advice you can believe
While you can take many things people say with a pinch of salt, this one could be true. You will likely hear that when you’re battling to cope with diaper rash, your kid biting others, bed wetting and more. A mom in Utah said she was horror-struck when her preschooler handed her an incident report. This was the third one, and she made up her mind that her kid would always be the class bully. She cried on her neighbor’s shoulder when she saw visions of her child in jail. Guess what her neighbor said? Yeah, you’re right. She said not to worry because he would soon grow out of it — only a phase, she said. She was entirely right because number four of the incident reports never arrived.
Valuable advice from the start is “Don’t sweat the SMALL STUFF”
Any young, inexperienced mother would do herself a favor by avoiding unnecessary stress. A Colorado mother admits her sweating the small stuff made her life and her daughter’s life miserable. She had to learn the hard way because she believed the internet and the remarks of people who told her of the consequences of thumb sucking. Every time the little one’s thumb went into her mouth, the mother envisioned thousands of dollars floating from her purse to the dental specialist and therapists.
She tried every tip she found to stop her daughter’s thumb sucking but gave up eventually. The entire household seemed calmer, and she closed her small stuff in an imaginary box and stored it, never to open it again. By the time her daughter was 13, she had perfect teeth, and guess what. Her son, who never once sucked his thumb, was the one who had to get braces!
Advice for coping with teenage-related challenges is MOSTLY EXAGGERATED
How many people have told you that dealing with teenagers is a dreadful challenge? A Florida mom said every other person advised her to enjoy her kids while they are little. They went on to say when they become teenagers, they will make her life a living hell. She dreaded the upcoming teenage years; but her predicted living hell never occurred. With three teens in the house, she realized that this was just another piece of advice that made her sweat the small stuff.
She admitted that teenagers could be difficult at times. However, so could toddlers and newborns. Each age has its own kind of “difficult.” And mothers can just as well admit, even they prove to be difficult at times. Ask the rest of the household, and I bet they will agree.
Ignore advice to STOP NURSING your child
Pay no attention to those who want to tell you when to stop breastfeeding. A San Francisco mother says many people told her to stop nursing her daughter. According to them, the child would be dependent and clingy forever. She was brave to ignore them and only stopped breastfeeding the kid sometime after she turned three. This mother proved those haters wrong multiple times over the years. The latest was when she dropped her Little Miss Independent at college without any problems. She maintains every mother should nurse for as long as both mother and child enjoy the extra-special bonding experience.
OVER-LOVING your child is impossible
A California mother said the dumbest advice she received was not to hold her baby too often. They said the child would never learn to go to sleep on her own. She heeded their advice and most days ended with mom and baby crying. Fortunately, she realized that one could never over-love your child. Furthermore, that was the last bit of advice that she followed blindly. She tells as many people as she can to hold and cuddle their little ones as much as possible because there is no such thing as too much love.
Do you BABY your kids?
To each his own — I may disagree, and you can make up your own mind. Another California mom says mothers should not baby their kiddies from the get-go. According to her, you should treat them as little adults from the start. I agree that we sometimes underestimate their capabilities. However, I believe kids should be kids, share children’s games with other kids and grow into adults at their own pace.
Similarly, I agree that children should learn the importance of cleaning up where they mess and help around the house. Essentially, I see them as kids helping to clean up instead of little adults. When you think about it, the number of years they are kids is insignificant compared to the adult years with all the grown-up things that come with it. Well, Mrs. California mother, you say all the teaching of adult skills was worthwhile. I’d like to know whether her kids ever learned how to play and communicate with others of their age. Communication skills are crucial in adulthood and should grow from seeds planted in childhood.
Regardless of my opinion about this, you might feel different. You are entitled to your own opinion, and that is what I meant at the start when I said each child’s parents could raise their children as they see fit. There are no one-size-fits-all plans, and never underestimate your motherly instincts. Feelings rather than voices provide the best advice in most cases. Most importantly, you will soon realize if you read your instincts wrong. Correcting your own mistakes is another invaluable part of motherhood.
Don’t miss PART 3 of this post. I will cover the need for ridiculous schedules, potty training, your value beyond being a mother and more.