If you are a new dad, you may often receive unsolicited advice on how to bring up your baby. Close friends or family members may typically offer this. Casual acquaintances and even total strangers may add their bit.
While it may be well meaning, a torrent of unwanted advice can be highly annoying. Parents have the first prerogative of making choices and making decisions for their baby. Exasperated parents are not to blame if they see unwanted advice as interference in their freedom to bring up their child the way they want to.
However, it is also important that you respond to such counsel in a way that is not hurtful to the other person. These are different approaches you can adopt when faced with unsolicited advice:
- Listen before you react: Listen to and consider a suggestion offered to you before rejecting it. Chances are you may actually value it.
- Find something to agree upon: Even if the advice in its entirety is not acceptable to you, try to see if there is some part of it that you can agree upon, and acknowledge that.
- Be polite: If you know that your rejecting it will not go down well with the person offering you advice, you could thank the person for the concern and let him know you will consider it. It will keep the peace and you are not bound to put it into practice.
- Argue wisely: If you must counter unsolicited suggestions, do so logically, backing your arguments with facts.
- Be frank: If you think it necessary, do not hesitate to let the person know that you do not agree with his or her opinions.