8 Ways to Deal with Criticism about your Parenting Skills

criticism by others about your parenting- Parenting resources by ZenParent

No matter what we do, say or choose for our kids, there will always be people who judge us and criticize us. Be it the mother-in-law, sister-in-law, nosey neighborhood aunty, your mom or even your husband; somehow parenting seems to be a “free for all” subject for anybody to judge you and criticize you. So what do you do when people criticize you? Do you withdraw? Defend? Ignore? Here are a few ways to deal with it:

1. Don’t get emotional: This is much easier said than done because parenting is one of the most personal projects we may ever undertake and it always feels like a direct failure when somebody criticizes us about it. But… try not to get emotional about it. Every child is different and nobody has all the answers. If you think there is no shred of truth in what the critique is saying, ignore it as the blithering of the ill informed.

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2. Don’t encourage: Sometimes when some people advise us, even though we disagree(especially superstitious stuff), we nod our head and agree in the hope that it will go away. It does not. These people mistakenly assume that their advice is appreciated and welcome and keep coming back with more pearls. Quickly change the topic of conversation which conveys the message that you don’t care for that piece of advice or pretend you got a phone call or use the restroom if you have to!!! If you can manage it, tell them politely that somehow you find it hard to believe these things.

3. Be Assertive: If you are sure that what you are doing is right, stand by your principles and be assertive. Tell them you have done your research and you are sure that what you are doing is right.

4. Stand up for your kids: Sometimes our children are also criticized along with us – You may be ready to put up with the criticism of your parenting skills, but do not put up with them criticizing your children. Stand up for your children.

5. Set it straight: This is the toughest one of all- if this person constantly nags you about the same thing- tell them that you are tired of them talking about the same issue over and over again. You are comfortable with your choices and you don’t want to discuss it.

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6. Use your spouse as your support: Tell the criticizer that you and your spouse have discussed this and believe that what you are doing is best for your children. Criticizers tend to back off when husband and wife are united.

7. Try Humour: The next time someone criticizes you, don’t be stung or cringe- Instead try and make a joke out of it. For e.g.: “Why is your son so skinny- don’t you feed him well”- yeah Aunty, my husband does not make enough money for all of us to eat well. This is a nice habit to build- it is one of the best ways to deal with criticism. “ If you did not have a full time job, maybe your child would not be behaving this way” Retort : “Sure Uncle, when he is ready for college, you can be his scholarship fund”  🙂

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8. Let go off the guilt: Moms especially have a PhD in this art. We always want to beat ourselves about everything. From whether our child poops properly to bad grades at school we believe that we are responsible for all outcomes. Let it go. Believe that we are doing our best and as much as we would like to believe otherwise, research shows that parenting has a marginal influence on a kid’s life! 🙂

Click here to check out some common Parenting myths that all of us fall for…

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