Handling Unsolicited Advice from Grandparents
I’m very close with my family. My husband and I bought a house less than 20 minutes away from the house I grew up in and we see my immediate family at least once every week. When I was pregnant I was so excited that my parents would get to be such a big part of Liam’s daily life, as my grandparents were during my childhood. While this closeness really has been wonderful, it’s also created some issues I wasn’t prepared for, the biggest of which is dealing with unsolicited grandparent advice. It seems for every issue (or perceived issue) we have with Liam there is a healthy dose of grandparent advice coupled with a skepticism on what today’s experts advise.
Liam isn’t sleeping through the night? According to Grandma, we should have been giving him rice cereal before bed from a very early age. Liam has a cold? Why aren’t we giving him bottles of water, that always worked. Liam’s not supposed to watch TV? Apparently we all watched TV and we turned out fine.
My problem is that I really do value the wisdom of parenting experience my parents bring to the table (as my brother would say, when it comes to their parenting, the results speak for themselves), but I also want to feel that they respect the parenting decisions we make even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. At the same time, when we make a parenting choice that differs from what they advise I don’t want them to take it as a personal affront and rejection of their way of doing things. As I’ve told my parents before, we’re just trying to do the best we can for Liam with the information we have.
Does anyone have any advice on dealing with grandparent advice?