Dealing With Monster In Laws Who Question Every Parenting Decision
One frustrated parent has had enough, with her in-laws commenting on every parenting decision. Our Dear Paisley tackles it head-on and offers some sound advice.
I have just about had it with my in-laws. They are so judgmental and critical of every parenting decision I’ve made. From raising my son vegan and extended breastfeeding, to gentle parenting and bed sharing, they have an opinion on it all. They very obviously think that children are supposed to be obedient and “trained” to not rely on their parents, which goes against everything I believe. Don’t even get me started on what they think I should be feeding my son.
How can I get them to stop forcing their opinions on my family?
Dear Over It,
I am all too familiar with this situation. I have similar issues with my in-laws questioning every parenting decision, it has taken some time to find a solution that both my husband and I are comfortable with. I would like to touch on the core issue here, “They very obviously think that children are supposed to be obedient and “trained” to not rely on their parents, which goes against everything I believe.”
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My mom was raised with the attitude that children were to be “seen and not heard.” Isn’t that terrible? There are so many aspects of how previous generations raised their children don’t sit well with us. There has been so much more research done on how our parenting decisions affect our little ones during childhood and well into their adult lives. Everything from co-sleeping, which has been shown to have a positive effect on sleep patterns even into adulthood, to talking to a child instead of spanking them, which affects their conflict resolution skills and confidence as an adult, has a huge impact on their physical and emotional well-being. Our parents and grandparents don’t mean to be critical, they just can’t see past their own outdated parenting knowledge. They look at your husband and think to themselves, “our kid turned out great, so our parenting decisions are the right decisions for his family, too,” even if their ideas are outdated and lack evidence-based research.
When it comes to giving advice regarding dealing with the conflicting opinions of others, more often than not, I circle back to… educate them. Print out studies or articles. No, you shouldn’t have to convince someone else of your parenting decisions. However, it could definitely help your in-laws to understand your decisions, and even possibly support them, once they know the reasons why you have chosen them for your family.
Do you have a question for the Raise Vegan agony aunt? Maybe every parenting decision you make is questioned or living with an omnivore driving you around the bend? Send me an email to [email protected] and I’ll be sure to answer you.
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