I feel I'm Doing It All Wrong in Raising My Children

You may think you're doing it all wrong because of other people's advice, but nothing could be further from the truth!
I feel I'm Doing It All Wrong in Raising My Children

Last update: 20 February, 2021

Many parents feel frustrated with all the advice they get from family and friends. Maybe it’s happened to you and you think you’re doing it all wrong in your parenting, but that’s not true all! Sometimes all that unwanted advice can make you feel so bad that you may even cry.

What to do if you feel like you’re doing it all wrong in your parenting

Don’t take it too hard

The people who care about your baby are attached to you and your child in a special way that invites advice from their heartfelt goodwill. Knowing this may give you reason to handle interference gently, in a way that leaves everyone’s feelings intact without feeling like you’re doing it all wrong.

Regardless of the advice, it’s your baby and, in the end, you’ll raise your child in the way that feels best to you. Therefore, it’s rarely worth creating a war over a well-meaning person’s comments. You can respond to unwanted advice in a variety of ways, but always with empathy and assertiveness.

I feel I'm Doing It All Wrong in Raising My Children

Listen first instead of thinking you’re doing it all wrong

It’s natural to be defensive if you feel someone is judging you, but chances are they’re not criticizing you. Rather, the other person is sharing what they feel is a valuable insight. Try to listen, as you may learn something valuable that will be good for your parenting. And, if the information doesn’t work for you, saying thank you and moving on to something else will be fine.

Don’t dismiss it

If you know there’s no way to convince the other person to change their mind, just smile, nod your head, and give a noncommittal response, such as, “Interesting!” And, then gently change the subject without offending the person in front of you.

Choose your battles wisely

If your mother-in-law insists that the baby has to wear a hat for the walk in the park, go ahead and put one on her head. This won’t have any long-term effect, except on whether or not the little one accepts it. However, don’t give up on issues that are important to you or your child’s health or well-being.

Let the issue go and don’t think you’re doing it all wrong

If a friend or family member is pressuring you to let your baby cry to learn to sleep alone but you know perfectly well that your child doesn’t need that, just don’t listen to them. Your baby needs your arms and your love to feel calm, and you shouldn’t care what anyone else tells you. Follow your instinct and you’ll never make a mistake or feel like you’re doing it all wrong.

Educate yourself

Knowledge is power. Protect yourself and your sanity by reading up on your parenting choices. Trust yourself and trust that you’re doing what is best for your baby. This will help you inform others as well when they give you advice that you don’t want to accept or that you think is wrong. In this way, you’ll also be opening the other person’s mind and can even show them the information for more truthfulness.

I feel I'm Doing It All Wrong in Raising My Children

More tips to keep in mind if you think you’re doing everything wrong in raising your children

Talk about what the doctor tells you

Many people accept a point of view if a professional has validated it. If your own pediatrician agrees with your position, you can say something like, “My doctor said to wait until she’s at least six months old before starting solids.” If the doctor doesn’t support your view on that issue, consult another doctor that aligns more with your perspectives on childraising.

Be vague

You can avoid confrontation with an evasive response. For example, if a friend or family member asks if you’ve started potty training (but are still many months away from starting the process), you can respond with, “We’ll see in a while.”

Ask for advice!

Your friendly counselor may be an expert on some topics that you can agree on. Look for common ground and share your similar thoughts. That person will be happy to help you and you’ll be happy to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Memorize a standard response

In a soft, friendly tone, you can say a standard phrase along the lines of, “This may not be the right way for you, but it’s the right way for me.” Try to be honest with your feelings, but don’t feel bad if the other person has a different parenting style than you. There’s always time to find a friend or support group that has similar parenting ideas to yours.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.