Unwarranted advice about raising a child

Raising Children – Giving advice when you don’t have children

Everyone has a specific idea of what it takes to raise a child or to raise multiple children. They also have an idea of how someone should be doing it, but unless you are a parent of a child you really don’t have any idea at all. Raising children isn’t the same for everyone and if you don’t have a child you really cannot give someone advice on how to raise them especially if you do not know that child/children.

Every Child is different.

Three Different ChildrenEvery child is different so raising them is also going to be different than just taking care of someone else’s child. Raising children is not something that you can learn by babysitting your niece or nephew or watching someone else raise their child because every child has a different personality and every household has a different situation than someone else’s household.

When I was growing up I always thought that since I was so good at babysitting and so good with kids that I would be a pro at raising my own children and I used to try and tell my mother how to do it with my siblings (I am the oldest of 7). Little did I know at the time that raising my kids was not going to be at all the same as helping my mom with my brothers and sisters.

When I became pregnant with my first child at the ripe age of 18 (please do not judge, I know that is way too young) I thought this is going to be a piece of cake and I am going to kick butt at being a mom. Boy was I wrong and I wish that I could go back and tell my younger self to have a better mindset than that.

Getting Advice From Those Without Children.

Irritated emojiWell after a few years of making mistake after mistake with my daughter and apologizing to my mother profusely I came to realize that I had no right to give advice to someone about raising their children when I had no children of my own.

Just because I had babysat and did a great job doing it and just because I took child development classes it did not make me an expert on how someone should be raising their child because in reality I had no stinking clue what it entailed.

To be completely honest even people who have children shouldn’t be giving others advice on how to raise their child unless they are asked for the advice. As I mentioned above, every child is different and your way may not be the right way for them.

I mean I hated when people told me I was doing something wrong and should be doing it this way especially when they had no children of their own and I now understand why it upset my mother so much. I had no right and no amount of education about bringing up children was going to make me an expert at it because, again, there is no one way of raising anyone or anything.

At 41 years old I am still learning the best ways to bring up my children and I have 4 now. So, I am not going to sit here and tell you that how I raise my children is the way that you should raise yours, but I will give you some pointers on what I did with mine and let you decide if you would like to try those or not.

Those So-Called Experts.

Are you a parent that has seen all those ads for so-called experts on parenting? I certainly am and in the beginning I thought that their information was going to help make me a better mother because they are the experts after all and their kids are doing so well, but later found that was not the case.

You see most of the experts do have children, but some don’t, and most have gone to school to learn about child development, but most of them have not taken into consideration that all children are different, that household situations are different, and/or they are not giving you the whole story of their family life because, well, they are just trying to sell you their product.

Now don’t get me wrong their advice/suggestions are helpful for a lot of people, but it does not work for everyone and just because it worked for them and they went to school, in my opinion, it does not make them experts on raising children.

Maybe I am just a very skeptical person and don’t trust anyone especially those that have not experienced it before or maybe after raising 4 children (alone I might add) I have just come to learn that there are no experts when it comes to raising kids.

Giving Advice When Advice Isn’t Needed.

Frustrated woman

You remember when I said that when I was younger I tried to tell my mom that she was raising her children wrong? Well that is what I mean when I say giving advice when advice isn’t needed.

I had no kids of my own and my mother was going on kid number, um, let’s see, I was how old, oh yeah, kid number 6, and she had not asked me for any advice, she hadn’t said anything about not knowing what to do or ask me what she is doing wrong. So there was no need for me to put my two cents in especially since I didn’t even really know what in the world I was talking about.

Giving advice to someone about raising their children when they have not asked for advice only makes you look like a you know what and makes them feel like you are judging them on something you know nothing about. This is a good way to lose that relationship you have with them because you opened your big mouth and inserted your nose where it does not belong.

This is why you should never give your advice unless they are seeking advice from someone and you definitely shouldn’t be providing advice when you have not experienced being a parent.

You Are The Expert!

There is no perfect way to parentAs I have mentioned over and over again, no one is an expert at being a parent. However, you ARE an expert at being a parent of your own child/children (You know them better than anyone else), I am an expert at raising mine (I know mine better than anyone else), but no one is an expert at raising children in general.

I know that it can be extremely frustrating and sometimes makes you feel less than when someone tries to tell you how to raise your child and that is why I only give advice when I am asked (you are on my site reading this so you, in my opinion, have asked for my help) and my advice is only based on my experiences with my own children and I will never claim that it is what you should do.

I will never state that this is the way it is supposed to be done. I will only state that this is what I did and how it helped or didn’t help and maybe you can give it a try and see if it works for you.

I hope this article helps shed some light on giving a parent advice or helps you feel that, no, you aren’t the only one that hates when people butt their nose in your business.

How do you handle when someone gives you advice when you didn’t ask for it or tells you that you are raising your children the wrong way?

Please feel free to let us know in the comments below or if you have any questions.

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  • Keryn Sanchez

    Hi, Kristena.

    I handle advice situations always the same. No matter what subject the advice is circling about, I always say “I don’t give out advice unless I’m asked for it.” I think this way one can avoid misunderstandings altogether. I’m assuming that if people don’t ask for advice, they’re doing just fine b themselves. The last thing I’d ever mettle into is how to raise a child. Everyone has his own methods, and unless there is some violence involved (may it be verbal or physical) I will not mix into it. People will always raise their children in the same manner that they’ve been raised. That’s just an instinctive behavior and process, and I believe that as long as the kids are happy, all is well. Of course, it’s essential to always watch out for signs of abuse, and I truly hope that I never have to be a witness of such an act in person. Other than that the way people raise their kids is entirely up to them. To be honest, I wouldn’t like anyone to butt into my way of nurturing my offspring either.

    Anyway, thanks for another great read here. I truly enjoy your site; so many interesting things to read about.



    • Kristena


      That is a perfect way to think about things. When you give advice that is unwarranted you will come across as being very nosey and most people don’t like nosey people. Now the other way of handling it is asking them before giving them advice, “Would you mind if I give you a little advice?”. If they say yes I would mind then you keep your mouth shut. I also usually tell them after asking them that I am in no means trying to run their life or tell them they are wrong but I have experienced this before and this is what I did and it worked or didn’t work. That usually tells them I am only trying to help, not trying to completely butt into their lives.

  • Lynn

    Thanks, Kristena! I loved reading your post. I am a mother of 4 and grandmother of one. I can relate to some of the things you said and agree with what you said. I just wanted to share a few things. I remember when my kids were little and we had gone out to eat with my brother and his wife, who did not have kids at the time. My kids were acting up and one of them had some smart comment to make about the way my kids were acting. Well, a few years later when they had a couple of kids of their own, we went out to eat with them and their kids were worse than mine ever were. I just laughed to myself because, you were right, raising kids is not easy and they were finding that out.

    Also, want to say that I have really had to bite my tongue a few times when I have been around my granddaughter. You’re right again when you say “every child is different and your way may not be the right way for them”. I have to remember she is not my child and I don’t have any business giving advice unless it is asked for even if she is my granddaughter and I do not. That is hard for a grandparent to do, but so far I’ve stuck to that.

    I appreciate your words of wisdom. Thanks!

    • Kristena


      I have two grandbabies. Both of them and my daughter are living with us right now and sometimes I have to really bite my tongue especially with my daughter because if I discipline them or take over she will let me so she doesn’t have to. It is really hard for me because they are in my home and I like things a certain way in my home. Another learning process for all involved and you will definitely become a pro at knowing when to speak up and when not to.

  • Angelique

    I think this is the best approach on parental advice: (I repeat what you wrote: “So, I am not going to sit here and tell you that how I raise my children is the way that you should raise yours, but I will give you some pointers on what I did with mine and let you decide if you would like to try those or not.”
    Because getting advice (on any topic, not only raising children) when you haven’t asked for any advice, might feel unpleasant to some people.
    Although personally it doesn’t hurt me if someone is telling me what they did with their children in certain situations. Even though when their intention s could be: “and if I were you, I should do it to your child in this situation too!” It’s up to me to decide wether to do something with that “advice” or just leave it. Heard you, thank you….But sometimes it is good too to listen to or observe other parents and learn from their experiences. I might know my child best, but I’m not an expert in every situation!

    • Kristena


      You are absolutely right! We are not experts in every situation and the misconception out there is that some believe they are experts at raising children and everyone should raise them the same way they are. This thought process is what causes so many parents to worry about what society thinks about their parenting and that they are doing it wrong. You should always pay attention to others around you because they may be doing something that you had not thought about. Being observant in any case is always a good thing.

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