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Thread: Dealing with unwanted advice from strangers...

  1. #1

    Default Dealing with unwanted advice from strangers...

    How do you deal with unwanted advice from strangers? I have never even had any that comes across as well-meaning!



    The most recent one happened yesterday. Jeremy and I were taking Oskar for a walk in his stroller and a woman came up and said "You should cover your baby's face when he is out in the cold." I have no idea what she meant, firstly, it wasn't cold, and secondly, he had a hat on - what did she think he should be wearing - a balaclava!?!? I told her he prefers to see than have his face covered.

    Then she went on and on about how he was swallowing air and would have terrible wind and gastro problems that night. Swallowing air??? I had no idea how to reply to that nonsense (and he slept seven hours so no problems there!).

    How do you deal with these people? Next time I think I will either not answer or say something like "My baby is healthy and happy, so please keep your criticism to yourself."

  2. #2
    angelfish Guest

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    Ummm, I'd probably laugh at her - I honestly can't figure out whether this woman was even serious. Apart from that, you pretty much have the following range of strategies:
    1. Be polite but non-committal (eg "hmm, that's an idea")
    2. Be polite but still disagree with her (eg "I choose to do xyz as I believe it's best for Oskar")
    3. Be rude. Tell her what you think of her BS advice and/or that it's none of her business. Or say she should cover her mouth and stop breathing so you don't have to put up with her comments. Or that you don't cover his face because it isn't as scary as hers. etc. etc. After all, she was rude to you first.

  3. #3

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    I'm with Isabel - I'd laugh at her ("Swallowing air? It's called breathing and I rather think my baby does need to do that.") then tell her to go forth and multiply. Stupid random woman!

    Oh, I can't wait to get these stranger comments so I have a whole host of new people to be rude back to. I've only had people I know comment so far so I can't be too rude... yet.

  4. #4

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    I am guessing that she was an "older" lady?? They seem to be the ones that comment most!! They either think that they are being helpful, or that we are useless? Its a hard one though. It would depend on what mood i was in, as to what i would come back with. Most of the time i just go along with them, and laugh to myself as i walk off "Silly ol begga" LOL!!!

  5. #5

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    I usually feel kind of bad for these poor old souls, 'cause things have changed so much from what they were taught when they had kids. Think of all the things they had to be stressed about! They were supposed to go through labour without knowing what was going on, and without a support person, sometimes tied to the bed. :mad: They were supposed to put their newborns on a strict 4 hour feeding schedule, or they were bad mothers. (think of listening to your baby cry and feeling like you CAN"T feed him!) Some were told not to nurse their babies, 'cause formula was better for them. They had to use cloth diapers whether they wanted to or not. They may or may not have had an electric washing machine to deal with all those diapers. (my grandma had 7 kids with a washer the size of a pail, with a roller to squeeze the water out of the clothes.) They often didn't have a car to get out and visit other mums, or the internet to discuss their issues and concerns, etc. And apparently they had to worry about their babies swallowing air on windy days. So they probably feel like mothers these days aren't doing anything right, 'cause it isn't what their doctor told them, and they're just trying to do their part to keep some of these poor babies safe and healthy! We'll probably be doing something similar in 40 years or so.
    I'd smile and thank them for their advice, and go along on my merry way. It's what I'd want someone to do for me, when I'm in that position, some day.....

    All the best!

  6. #6

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    I find checkout operators the worst for giving unwanted advice. What makes them hard to deal with is that you just can't walk away, especially if it is a large shop. Next one that tells me to CC will be reported to their manager. I don't mind chit chat, but actual advice is not warranted, I wish they would concentrate more on getting me through quicker than on how I parent.

  7. #7

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    I got the swallowing air things ALL the time!! Matilda had colic & reflux and my neighbours kept telling me it was because we went on so many walks... WT? LOL I smiled an nodded and went along on my walk

  8. #8

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    I agree, next time a stranger tells me what they think I am doing wrong, I am going to say something equal back to them...

    I reacll being yelled at by some old purple haired ladies about Maddison walking at 10mths & being as tiny as she was/is...

    I just stood there listening thinking how ridiculous they were coz how do you STOP a child from walking????

    But if anyone says anything negative I am gonna reply with, well you know your skirt is really ugly, you dont have legs for it & those varicose veins should get looked at, also did you know you can now remove facial hair from your top lip!
    Then smile & walk on... If they think they can give me unwarranted advice, I sure as h4eck can offer something back, but if someone says something nice, I will also say a compliment back!!! Maybe they'll learn!!!!

  9. #9

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    LOL Tracey! I had someone tell me 10 months was too early to walk, and I said "Well... what do you want to do, hold her all day long for me & make sure she doesn't move?"

  10. #10

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    LOL, I had the opposite problem with Olivia.......the amount of times people said to me, critically, like it was our fault "She should be walking by now" was amazing........it was always on the tip of my tongue to say "Yeah, I know, but I strap her down all day so she can't walk......."

  11. #11
    tiggy Guest

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    Christy,
    I'm with you...smile and nod, smile and nod...

  12. #12

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    Funny that others had the same. I was told too that DS would have all sorts of problems bcos he was walking at 9 1/2 months. My MIL said that someone told her I should push him down to stop him walking! I don't know what's worse - that someone said that or that she passed it on!!

    I like Mama of 2's philosophy - that's very "zen" of you and I think you're right. Usually I try to just grin and nod and then ignore it. However with a newborn, hormones and lack of sleep I tend to be a little less understanding!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch
    OK, i never get unwanted advice from strangers.... My trick is to look like the worlds biggest bi-atch!! Noone wants to give you advice for fear of being at the other end of a b!tch slap! hahahahahaha.
    PMSL Fletchy, You crack me up every time, I am gonna follow your posts every day, just so that i can have a good laugh he he he!

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks girls - you gave me lots of laughs in those comments and I'm feeling much less annoyed. With the criticism some of you had about your babies walking "too early" (?!) I think I'd better get used to all this unwanted advice. I guess the way I'll respond will depend on how many hours sleep I've had the night before!

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