The Struggles of Parenting: Unsolicited Advice and Toxic Criticism

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As parents, we always want the best for our children. We strive to create a loving and nurturing environment for them to grow and thrive in. However, despite our best efforts, we often face challenges and struggles in our parenting journey. And one of the most difficult struggles for me has been dealing with unsolicited advice and toxic criticism from my own family.

From the moment I became a mother, I have faced a constant barrage of criticism from my relatives, parents, and even siblings. It started with the very hurtful words I heard when I lost my first child – someone bluntly told me that I was not taking good care of myself, which is why I lost my child. This made me feel responsible for the loss of my child, even though it was out of my control.

The second time around, when my son was born, the pressure and criticism only intensified. It felt like no matter what I did, it was never good enough. Every decision I made as a parent was scrutinized and criticized by my family. And what was worse is that it wasn’t just one or two people – it seemed like everyone had something to say about my parenting style.

The most frustrating part was that most of these criticisms came from older mothers in my family who seemed to have forgotten what it’s like to be a new mom. Instead of offering support and guidance, they would openly criticize me in front of my children, undermining my authority as a parent. They would push their own ideas of discipline onto my children without even knowing the whole story behind my decisions.

One particular incident that stands out to me is when I decided to homeschool my kids. My family’s reactions were less than supportive – they would constantly comment and worry about my children’s social skills, without even understanding why I chose to homeschool them in the first place. It was as if they thought I was depriving my children of a proper education, without even considering the benefits and reasons behind my choice.

Even unmarried family members would chime in with their unsolicited advice. They would blurt out their opinions on how my children should behave, as if they knew anything about parenting. They would compare my children with their friend’s children, as if all kids are the same. They would even go as far as suggesting which schools are best for my kids, completely disregarding my own decisions and preferences.

But perhaps one of the most frustrating things was how they would only buy things and clothes that they liked for my kids, without considering what my children actually wanted. It seemed like they were more concerned with making themselves happy rather than my children’s happiness.As my daughter grew older, things only got more complicated. When she turned 11, she started to develop her own fashion sense and music preferences. And of course, this did not align with what my family deemed appropriate. They would make negative comments about her weight, her fashion choices, and even criticize my parenting in front of her. This constant criticism from the people who are supposed to love and support us the most took a toll on my daughter’s self-esteem.

I couldn’t believe that my own family were the first ones to bully and criticize my children. It was heartbreaking to see how their words were negatively impacting my daughter’s self-image and confidence. I lost patience one day when my daughter opened up to me about how she felt embarrassed because of the remarks made by our family so I decided to limit their interaction with them.

As parents, we face enough challenges and struggles in raising our children – we don’t need our own family members adding to that burden with their unsolicited advice and toxic criticism. It’s important for us to set boundaries and stand up for our parenting decisions. We shouldn’t let anyone undermine our authority or make us doubt our abilities as parents.

To all the parents out there who are facing similar struggles, know that you are not alone. We must remember that we know what is best for our children and we should trust our instincts and decisions. And most importantly, we should surround ourselves with a support system of friends and family who uplift and support us on our journey. Let’s not let toxic criticism and unsolicited advice bring us down – we are strong, capable parents doing the best we can for our children.


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