Don’t Tell Me How to Parent: Why Trust is Key

Don’t Tell Me How to Parent: Why Trust is Key

“don’t tell me how to parent” is a statement that emphasizes the parent’s autonomy in raising their child. This sentiment is common among parents who may feel judged or criticized for their parenting style or choices.

Despite this, it is important to note that seeking advice and feedback from others can be beneficial in improving one’s parenting skills and providing the best possible outcome for the child. In this article, we will explore the reasons parents may be defensive about their parenting, the importance of seeking guidance while maintaining parental autonomy, and how to handle unsolicited advice from others. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the balance between seeking guidance and maintaining your parenting style.

Don’t Tell Me How to Parent: Why Trust is Key


Understanding Different Parenting Styles

Parenting styles vary greatly and can impact children in different ways. Some parents follow strict rules and guidelines, known as an authoritarian style, while others opt for a more hands-off approach known as permissive parenting. There’s also authoritative parenting, which combines structure with warmth, as well as neglectful parenting, where the child is largely left to fend for themselves.

Each parenting style has its advantages and disadvantages, affecting a child’s behavior, self-esteem, and coping skills. However, it’s important to note that a parent’s personal background and experiences can also play a significant role in their parenting style. Understanding different parenting styles can help parents reflect on their own choices and help them find the approach that works best for their family.

The Problem Of Unsolicited Parenting Advice

Unsolicited parenting advice can be overwhelming and exhausting for new parents. It seems like everyone has an opinion on how to raise your child. The prevalence of this type of advice is staggering, and it can come from anyone, including family members, friends, and even strangers.

The reasons why people feel compelled to give advice can vary, from a desire to help to a need to impose their beliefs on others. However, regardless of their intentions, the impact of unsolicited parenting advice can often be negative.

It can create feelings of guilt and inadequacy in parents and can undermine their confidence. As a society, we need to recognize the importance of respecting parents’ choices and providing support and encouragement instead of judgment and criticism.

The Importance Of Trust In Parenting

Trust is the foundation of positive parent-child relationships. It’s developed by showing your child that you believe in them. Listening to their thoughts and feelings, and giving them the freedom to make mistakes. Trust is maintained by keeping your word and being consistent in your actions.

It’s important to establish trust early on, as it sets the tone for future communication and interaction. When trust exists in a parent-child relationship, children feel safe and secure, which leads to increased self-esteem and confidence. For parents, it means less stress and worry, and a deeper connection with their children.

Overall, trust is an essential part of successful parenting, and its importance cannot be overstated.

The Destructive Nature Of ‘Parent-Shaming’

Parent-shaming is the act of making a parent feel guilty or inadequate about their parenting decisions. It often occurs when a parent is judged by others for doing something differently or not meeting expectations. Examples include breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding, co-sleeping vs.

Crib sleeping, or even discipline methods. The impact of parent-shaming is harmful, as it can cause anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem for the parent. Children may also be affected by the tension caused by parent-shaming. The negative effects can also extend to the community, as it creates a culture of judgment and intolerance.

It’s time we start supporting and encouraging each other instead of shaming.

How To Handle Unsolicited Parenting Advice And Parent-Shaming

Parenting can be a challenging job, and it can be even more overwhelming when everyone around you has an opinion on how you should raise your child. Handling unsolicited parenting advice and parent-shaming can be a difficult task, but effective communication strategies can help.

When faced with unwanted recommendations, it’s essential to acknowledge the input but be clear about your decision. Reframing the conversation and redirecting the criticism towards shared experiences can also be effective. Furthermore, acknowledging your own feelings and setting boundaries can be helpful coping mechanisms when dealing with parent shaming.

Remember, ultimately you know what’s best for your child, and trust in your abilities as a parent.

Frequently Asked Questions On Don’T Tell Me How To Parent?

Why Do People Say “Don’T Tell Me How To Parent”?

Parents may say “don’t tell me how to parent” to resist unsolicited advice from friends or family. They may feel it is an invasion of their privacy and that they know what is best for their child. It can also be a defensive reaction when criticized for their parenting choices.

How Should I Respond When Someone Criticizes My Parenting Style?

When someone criticizes your parenting, it’s important to remain calm and avoid getting defensive. Politely thank them for their input and consider if there’s any truth in what they’re saying. Remember that everyone has different parenting styles and there’s no one “right” way to do it.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions People Have About Parenting?

Some common misconceptions people have about parenting include thinking that there is a one-size-fits-all approach, believing that good parenting comes naturally, and expecting immediate results. Additionally, many people think that parents should be perfect and that mistakes indicate failure. It is important to recognize that parenting is a learning process and making mistakes is a normal part of the journey.

How Can I Avoid Being Judgmental Towards Other Parents?

To avoid being judgmental towards other parents, try to understand and accept that everyone has their own parenting style and beliefs. Avoid comparing yourself or your children with others, and focus on positive communication and support rather than criticism. Practice empathy and respect towards other parents’ choices and challenges.

What Are Some Effective Communication Strategies For Discussing Parenting Differences?

Effective communication strategies for discussing parenting differences include active listening, respecting each other’s opinions, avoiding blame or criticism, using “i” statements, finding common ground, and seeking outside resources if needed. It is important to approach the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to compromise and work together as a team.

When Is It Appropriate To Express Concern About Another Parent’S Choices?

Expressing concern about another parent’s choices should only be done if the child is in danger or at risk of harm. It is important to approach the situation with empathy and respect, and to communicate in a non-judgmental manner. Ultimately, the goal should be to find a solution that benefits the child’s well-being, while maintaining a positive relationship with the other parent.


As parents, we face what seems like an endless number of challenges in raising our children. We strive to give them the best life possible, but who’s to say what that looks like? It’s easy to feel judged or criticized when someone else tries to tell us how to parent.

While some advice may be helpful, ultimately, we know our children better than anyone. Trusting our instincts and making decisions that align with our values is the best way forward. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn along the way, as long as we stay true to ourselves and our children.

So, the next time someone tries to tell you how to parent, remember that you are the expert when it comes to your own family. Embrace your own unique ways of parenting and trust yourself to make the right choices for your family.