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Parenting Problems

How To Handle Other People's Opinions on How You Should Parent Your Child

By Kimberly EssenburgPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

Walk into any public venue or walk down any public street and you will find any number of people who have an opinion on how you should parent your child. Read a magazine or go online and you will find a ton of people voicing their opinions on how to raise your child. Co-sleeping vs crib sleeping, breast feeding vs bottle feeding, time outs vs taking things away. As a parent these things can be helpful but also aggravating and very confusing. We all want to be the best parent we can be and we all want to do everything completely right by our children and it can be hard to figure out what the right thing to do is.

Let's also not forget those lovely people who don't even have kids but have very strong opinions on how you should raise your kids. We all know them and in some cases we are those "well meaning" people who think we know what is best. As a mother of two I have run into many people who want to offer me "advice" on what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing and to be completely honest I find myself biting my tongue to keep from setting them straight on what they can do with their opinions.

A couple years ago my daughter and I went to the store to pick up a few things for the house. My daughter was 6 at the time and she loved wearing dresses. I couldn't get that girl to wear pants or tights to save my life even though it was March in Ohio and probably about 40-50 degrees outside. Given the fact that we would only be gone at most 40 minutes and that we were in a brand new car with heating I decided this particular battle didn't need to be fought. So I allowed her to wear the skirt and we went to the store. The trip went fine and as we were waiting in line to grab a couple pretzels to take home a lady came out of no where and asked me "What kind of mother are you?" in front of my daughter. She proceeded to point out that it was freezing outside and that my daughter should be wearing pants.

I looked down at my daughter and gave her a reassuring smile and then proceeded to inform the lady in no uncertain terms that I was aware that it was chilly outside but that MY daughter would be just fine and that she had no reason to be worried. I then grabbed my daughter's hand and walked away. I couldn't believe the nerve of that woman and was fuming for a long time after that.

Encounters I have had with people over my son are never ending and always frustrating to me also. For example a couple years ago I found out that my son has A.D.D and had to go on medicine so he can focus in school. That particular decision was not exactly greeted with support by people in our lives. Half the people understood why it had to be done while the other half believed that my son was just lazy and didn't need the medication and instead would learn if I disciplined him better. People are quick to judge your decisions without getting the facts and as my mom told me then if those same people had to deal with what I was dealing with they would understand my decision. Those people who think my son shouldn't be on medication have not had to have the three or four hour battle with him just to get through a few pieces of homework or had to repeat simple instructions 50 times for him before he understood what you were saying and was able to actually do what he was told to do.

The bottom line to this story is simple. Everybody will have opinions and everybody will voice their opinions to you but you don't have to justify yourself to anyone. At the end of the day everyone is different and every kid is different and only you as their parent knows what is right for them. As long as your child is happy, healthy and well adjusted that is all that matters and you need to take the time to remind yourself that you are a good parent doing what you need to do for your children despite what anyone else has to say about it.


About the Creator

Kimberly Essenburg

I am a new author that is trying to get my work out to the public. I love to travel and experience new things, music, reading, and of course writing.

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    Kimberly EssenburgWritten by Kimberly Essenburg

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