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  • Learned the Art of 'Deadma'? Moms Share How They Deal With Unwanted Parenting Advice

    Do you listen to every advice you get or do you raise your child the best way only you can?
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Learned the Art of 'Deadma'? Moms Share How They Deal With Unwanted Parenting Advice
PHOTO BY iStock
  • As parents, it’s no longer surprising to get pieces of advice from other moms and dads. Whether it’s a tip on baby product brands to buy to anecdotes on raising a child better — we’re sure you’ve heard it all. However, along with those words of wisdom, some people cannot help but comment on your parenting style, too. Elders who can’t help but say “’nung kapanahunan namin hindi ganyan” can sometimes make you feel bad and question your choices.

    Many get unwanted parenting advice on a daily basis. While some friends give advice with good intentions in mind, Motherly says “you can feel their spoken and unspoken judgments, and it’s really putting you on edge, but you don’t want to have uncomfortable conversations or tension.”

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    How do you deal with unwanted parenting advice?

    According to the parents who responded to our question posted on our Facebook group Smart Parenting Village, their reactions either smile and listen patiently or ignore the advice they get to avoid arguments. Many stick to the phrase “my child, my rule.” There are also some who filter the suggestions they get and still remain thankful for the advice. Can you relate to how they handled the unsolicited advice they got?

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    Smile, listen, and thank them

    “I choose my battles. I don’t argue, kahit na-offend ako minsan especially on how they say it. I just say ‘Thanks and I will think about it.’” – HanieMae Lpt

    “I just smile and say ‘Ah okay po.’ Try to filter din minsan ‘yung advice nila. Pero pag parang ‘di ok ‘yung dating, pasok sa isang tenga, labas sa kabila.” – Leslhee Herrera

    “I listen and thank them. They may mean well by it. No need to go against what they said.” – Jessica Fleur Gonzales

    “I just let them give advice, as a sign of respect to the person. Listening to them doesn’t necessarily mean that I will follow what they said when I think that it’s not appropriate. It’s still up to me to decide. I just don’t want to be arrogant.” – Maria Behope Almase Cando 

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    “I listen and smile as a sign of respect. I apply some of their advices, which I think are helpful. But in some suggestions — take giving solids to babies less than 6 months as an example. I stood my ground and explained to them my basis, like recent studies or informative articles. In the end, I am still the parent, and I’ll follow my instincts in raising my child.” – Ivy Alla-Ani 

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    “Will listen to them but at the end of the day, my husband and I have the final say.” – Ela M. Pangilinan 

    Filter through the advice and follow what you think will be useful

    “It actually depends. There are wise words I’m thankful for albeit unsolicited. I know and recognize my shortcomings as a parent and truly grateful to those who keep me in line. I know they’re saying those out of love and care for me and my children. Like how my mom noticed that my bunso is sipunin lately and maybe we should have him checked out by an allergist. That’s something I never would have thought of myself and would think na maybe it’s just something viral or from the weather.

    “Then there are the dumb 'advice' — the mema (sabi na lang) and mamuru (nong). Do I even have to give examples of these? I think we all know what they are. Hahaha! My reactions can vary from acknowledging and smiling to dedma to full on mama-bear mode depending on their delivery. Like are they legit clueless about what they’re saying? Is it a backhanded remark about me or my kids? Are they pushy about it? I don’t take everything as a direct assault to my parenting. Sometimes, people are saying stuff for the sake of, may masabi na lang, for the sake of small talk. Those I let go.” – Ciel Oh 

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    “I listen, absorb the good/useful and dispose of those that are not. Hindi din maganda yung laging nega agad to advice.” – Jil Arbonida-Tagsuan

    “I just ignore those advice if 'di siya kaaya-ayang pakinggan. Pero baka kasi tama pala sila, mali ako. So, minsan better listen to them. Pero if may doubt ako whether it's a good advice, I ask my mom or older moms if it's true or not. Makikinig ka lang naman eh.” – Nicole Caravana

    Natuto ako mag-assess lagi kahit unsolicited advice. Sa 3 kiddos ko na full term, may nag-advise sa akin gamitan ko raw ng bigkis. Eala naman ako makita na reason why need noon so I asked my pedia no need daw. But for my bunso na preemie na-realize ko may purpose pala ang bigkis at importante siya. It supports the belly area of a preemie during times na stretch sila ng stretch nag outie ang pusod nya advise ng neonat gamitin ng bigkis tapos hayun nag ok agad ang pusod kung hindi ako gumamit malamang ngayon 6 months na preemie ko baka outie pa rin.” – Naomi Jane Parco Sarangay 

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    “Listen and then check kung applicable sa amin ng mga anak ko. Kung pwede naman, why not and thanks for the tip. Kung hindi naman, thanks for the concern na lang. Sometimes we learn from other parents' experiences”. – Joanna Colonia

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    “If that is applicable to my kids why not. Kapag hindi oks lang lagi naman may lesson learned, and I think that's part of growing up journey naman so try. If hindi ubra wag na kasi I do believe pa rin naman sa 'individual differences.' Everyone is unique, so accept na lang na hindi lahat ng bagay ay pwede sa isang bata.” – Cukie Lhan

    “Every child is different, so what may be applicable to you may not work on mine. I also believe that mas kilala mo 'yung anak mo more than anyone. But still when I get unsolicited advice from others especially elders, I just listen and take note of things that I can try. But if it is just an insult to my ways of parenting I just simply explain why I do this or that.” – Yan Yan Naima

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    “If the information is objective, truthful and said in good taste, I'll read it carefully and take time to discern. If it will help, I'll keep the inputs. There are those who give unsolicited advice who appear to be so authoritative and forceful that instead of convincing the recipients, they give them reason to turn their backs away. Also, if I find information that are not true nor realistic, I'll be frank and voice them out to the person using kinder words.” – Lines Ruivivar

    At the end of the day, moms and dads, you know what’s best for your kids. Trust your decisions, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you get caught in a sticky situation with a close friend giving unsolicited parenting advice, Motherly shares these positive phrases you can use as your response:

    • “Every family is different, but this is what works best for us.”
    • “Kids are so different. This is how my child responds best.”
    • “I appreciate how much you care about our kids, but I’m really happy with how we’re doing it.” 
    • “We’ve tried different methods, and this is what works best for us.”
    • “Thanks for your advice. I’ll give it some thought.”

    Got a favorite response that you’d love to share with fellow parents? Leave a comment below!

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