Without fail, as soon as you announce your pregnancy, the (mostly unsolicited) parenting advice begins rolling in from all corners of the globe. You can’t avoid it. Everyone has an opinion: family, friends, the random lady behind the deli counter at the grocery store. Everyone has something to share, whether good or not, and lots of side-splitting funny. Or maybe that was just me? (The constant contradictory advice I find especially endearing.) I truly received some of the worst parenting advice EVER! At any rate, sometimes we have to decide to laugh at ourselves so that we won’t drown in our Chardonnay-soaked tears. Am I right?
Worst and Best Parenting Advice I Received
Here’s a fun little list I’ve compiled of the worst and best parenting advice I’ve received over the years (including some from our readers.) Enjoy!
1. A Personal Favorite: “Don’t worry. I did it (insert nonsensical parenting advice) with my kids, and they turned out just fine.”
2. Combatting a Biter: “When he bites you, bite him back.”
4. On Horror Movies and Teething: “Don’t watch horror movies while pregnant. You will curse the baby. Give them a chicken bone for teething.”
5. On Surviving Life as a New Parent: “Sleep when the baby sleeps!”
6. On Increasing and Maintaining Your Milk Supply: “Start pumping in the hospital. Try feeding baby on each side, then pump ’em empty. Repeat 50 million times a day. And don’t forget to eat balanced, healthy meals!”
7. On Maintaining Your Sanity: “Drink lots of wine. Hide the good candy and the Oreos for emergencies.” Oh, mommy wine culture . . .
8. On Making the Most of Every Season: “Enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast. Enjoy every phase. You will blink and they will be graduating from high school.”
9. To Avoid Spoiling: “Stop holding your baby so much. You’re going to spoil him.”
10. General Parenting (The Early Days): “Run to her cribside as soon as she starts crying. Better yet, as soon as she lets out a whimper. She will know she is loved and can trust you to be there for her.”
11. General Parenting (The Early Days): “Let him cry it out. Wait at least 30 minutes to an hour before checking on him. He’s just testing you to see how far he can get.”
12. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Baby should never, ever sleep in bed with you. Baby should always sleep in her crib — with no pillows, blankets, bumpers, or stuffed animals. Think as sterile as possible. The crib mattress should be neither too soft nor too firm.”
13. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Baby should only co-sleep in bed with mom and dad. This is the only way to establish a lasting bond with him. Don’t you want him to thrive?”
14. General Parenting: “Watch your babies’ eyelashes grow. It’s amazing to see the change! Listen to your mother’s intuition. It is always right!”
15. On Dining Out: “Always check under the table before leaving a restaurant. You never know what you might leave behind!”
16. On Encouraging a Love for the Written Word: “Read to them often. This helps develop language skills and a love for literature from an early age.”
17. General Parenting: “Do what you think is best for your children. If you’re wrong, you’re the one who will suffer the consequences.
18. Potty Training: “You don’t have little Johnny potty trained yet? I had Susie completely potty trained by fifteen months. With no accidents.”
19. On Teaching Resilience: “Let your children fail. When they fall down (as they inevitably will do), brush ’em off and send them back on their way.”
20. On Creating a Positive Sleep Routine: “Be strict about bedtime.”
21. On Teaching Them to Eat Adventurously: “I am not a short order cook. You will eat what I make or won’t eat at all. This battle won’t last long.”
22. On Getting and Holding Their Attention: “Louder isn’t always better. Sometimes, they need us to get down on their level, look them straight in the eyes, and tell them exactly how it will be. Try lowering your voice instead of raising it.”
23. On Maintaining Your Sanity: “Don’t be a martyr for the sake of martyrdom. Some arguments are not worth having. You are a person, too. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your needs.”
24. On General Parenting: “The backseat of your SUV will soon be unrecognizable. Don’t buy nice cars or furniture again until your kids are in college. Just don’t do it.”
What is some of the worst parenting advice you have ever received? Good luck parenting, Mamas!