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Parents Share The Worst Parenting Advice They’ve Ever Been Given

Parents Share The Worst Parenting Advice They’ve Ever Been Given

If you are a parent, there’s pretty good odds that you’ve been given unsolicited advice at one time or another, some good, others bad. There’s nothing worse than contradicting advice, especially when you’re tired, frustrated, confused and just want the peace that comes with a solution. One mother has taken to the Parenting Sub-Reddit to rant, vent and give a platform for other parents to share the bad advice they’ve also been the unwilling recipient of.

  • When my baby was small, she used to cry a lot, and no one knew why. They simply termed it as colic. Two visitors came one after the other: one told me never ever to give the child gripe water and the other said it was so important that I gave it. Like this, many people told me conflicting advice on various matters. Emotionally I couldn’t handle it, until my husband told me that I was the mother and I should do what I feel is best, and shouldn’t worry about other people’s comments, as they were not the parents. I instantly felt in control and felt peace ~ MrProducer01


  • My soon to be MIL called us when we were on our way home from the hospital and scolded us for using a car seat and said that baby is safest on my lap. My fiancé hung up on her! ~ Nunya_B1zness


  • An old lady to help with teething to take a safety pin and “pre cut” my sons gums. She said it would make teething be shorter and less painful…… safe to say we didn’t do it.” ~ Repulsive_seesaw_367


  • Maybe I’m wrong but I’m 8 months pregnant with my second and my MIL told me a few weeks ago to ignore my toddler as much as possible and to not take her to any activities she likes anymore so she’ll get it used to it before the baby comes and it won’t be such a shock – which sounds absolutely horrible and a waste of our time together to me ~ lullaby225


  • A friend told us that starting at 6 months old, she didn’t go into her kids’ rooms from bedtime until wake up. She said sometimes her kids would scream until they puked and that having to sleep in their own throw up would teach them not to do that anymore. If they pooped overnight they just had to wait until morning. No matter what, she didn’t go in the room. To say that I was horrified was an understatement. ~ MrsLeeCorso


  • it’s just a habit, she’ll grow out of itmy 18m was standing tiptoe on one foot. Turns out she had developmental hip dysplasia. And her hip had actually dislocated and her body built a groove for it to sit in. They had to take 2cm out of her femur and shave the socket for the join to sit in it properly. ~ Mum_of_rebels


  • Someone once told us if our baby started trying to walk to push them over, because once they walk your life gets harder. LOL ~ musician_mom


  • My mom told me a coworker of her’s told her she tried to make summers super boring for her children so they’d look Forward to school in the fall and my mom should do the same…and my mom was like “no. I want my children to enjoy their childhoods” lucky I had my mom and not the other one! ~ lovely_like_a_lily


  • An elderly man told me that when his children were newborns, the doctors instructed them to put the babies to sleep at the complete opposite end of the house, so that they could only be heard if they cried really loudly so you would know if they actually needed something. That was his genuine advice to me, was to put my baby as far away as possible with no baby monitor. I was horrified, and sad for his kids. ~ Hangryhangryhipp0


  • “You need to get your anxiety under control because all your cortisol is getting into the breast milk and that’s why he’s not sleeping though the night”. Cool, let me get right on that and flip that switch! ~ Worldly_Science


  • I just had my baby. She’s 5 days old. My mom said I shouldn’t hold her or keep her in the boob so much. This poor baby barely knows she’s alive, she’s scared and wants comfort and wants love! I have zero problems sleep training in the future when it’s age appropriate but right now she needs me so much! ~ carolweigel


  • “Oh, she is fine. She is just like her daddy.”, “Don’t pick her up, she is just spoiled.” No, she wasn’t fine, she had severe allergies causing her insides to bleed. Also her dady wasn’t fine either, he has problems with his digestive system at 34 because no one gave a fuck about this baby crying all the time. She wasn’t spoiled, she had awful acid reflux. I still get mad thinking about them. ~ Bakecrazy


  • My grandmother insists that cats suck the milk out of babies. – Hedonistic-catlady


  • The advice I hate the most, that my mother so frequently loves to give to people ‘don’t keep picking them up, you’ll spoil them’. When they baby is only a few weeks old. When I was 20 and had my firstborn, I didn’t have a clue what to do so I stupidly listened to her. I know not to do that now 🙂 – Gumgums66


  • General unpleasantness from the husband’s grandma started after my first was born. The two most outrageous things she said were 1) “don’t breastfeed him for very long, your breasts are for your husband. They make formula now.” and 2) “don’t love on him or cuddle him too much, that’s how you turn them gay.” – AriCapVir




  • My ex MIL tried to tell me not to put hats on my newborn because they “breath out of their soft spot and would suffocate if he wore a hat” – Cynthiaistheshit


  • Baby doesn’t need to sleep during the day, she should sleep at night.

    My husband’s grandma about our 3 month old. – maminkamiminko


  • A friend told us that starting at 6 months old, she didn’t go into her kids’ rooms from bedtime until wake up. She said sometimes her kids would scream until they puked and that having to sleep in their own throw up would teach them not to do that anymore. If they pooped overnight they just had to wait until morning. No matter what, she didn’t go in the room. To say that I was horrified was an understatement. – MrsLeeCorso


  • My daughter was having a particularly bad tantrum when my in-laws were over. I did what I normally do and took her into her bedroom, sat on the floor and just waited it out with her while she did her thing. Didn’t say much, just told her I was sorry she was feeling this way, and I was here for her when she needed a hug. I get her calmed down, and we go back to the living room where my FIL proceeds to tell me I should have spanked her. I proceeded to look at him and say we don’t do that in our family. – Training-Ad171


  • I was told I was neglectful and abusive because I let my kid make her own lunch. It was generally a Nutella sandwich, some sort of cracker, chips and Juicifuls. Not nutritious aside from some Vitamins from the Juicifuls but she ate it. A big issue we were having was that she is easily distracted while eating so talking to her friends and going to play (why do schools have only one recess and its after lunch?) then eating. We are working with a medical team as she has extreme proficiency deficiency and is under wieght. Her pediatrician and dietician think we should just focus on her packing lunches she will eat. Working on nutrition can happen at other meals. According to Reddit users that I am totally sure were all parents I shoukd ignore the medical team and make her take Pinterest worthy lunches filled with a variety of foods she won’t eat because they are healthier. – Solidsnakeerection


  • When my baby was two weeks old my husband’s grandparents came to visit. I breastfed my baby and then two hours later he needed to be fed again. My husband’s grandmother suggested I give him water to “confuse him into thinking he’s full” so I didn’t have to breastfeed again so soon. Like what??? – Legitimate-Big-3595


  • “He’s not autistic, he just needs more discipline. Spank him if he doesn’t look you in the eye.” – TheIdealisticCynic


  • “Just bite them back” Advice given by a boomer when it was mentioned that my, at the time, not yet 1 year old had entered a biting phase.

    I did not follow said “advice”. – SotonSwede


  • To never give up on breastfeeding. It was terrible for my mental health and I should’ve supplemented much earlier! cryktnsml


  • I was told when my son was an infant to tape back his ears so that they wouldn’t grow out so large. I did not listen. – Elpisie


  • My grandma was adamant that the reason my daughter was late walking (15.5 months) was because I didn’t keep shoes on her all day. She’d make a little comment about it every time we saw her about how she’d be walking if I’d put some hard-soled shoes on her. My mom and I would tell her every time that most babies actually learn to walk better barefoot, but she didn’t let it go until my daughter finally started walking. – Periwinklepanda_


  • I was told to get rid of my baby gate from the top of the stairs…the reasoning you may ask – “This way she’ll fall down the stairs once and learn to never do it again.” All because the one guy that stays at our house in the summer can’t be bothered to open and close the gate when he comes upstairs. He often wonders why I never let him babysit even for 5 minutes. I just tell him our parenting methods are too different (in reality it’s because I want my child to live) – Best-Ad6856


  • That I needed to ask my doctor for a c-section because my husband wouldn’t want to touch me otherwise. Already had a child at this point and was pregnant with my second. We were at a Mother’s Day service at my in-laws church and I was in the last trimester. I’d stepped out to use the restroom and one of the church “greeters” stopped me in the hallway and asked me how far along I was. She then proceeded to tell me this “little advice” and that it was a woman’s duty to be in the best condition possible for her husband. I was so flabbergasted I just excused myself and walked off. I told my husband later and he was shocked she’d said that. – CoffeeforCobwebs

You may not be raising your child like your parents or grandparents did, and this may invite well-meaning criticism and advice. Take heart knowing that child rearing knowledge has come a long way since ‘their day.’ If your concern about your child is related to their health or development, we recommend speaking to your local GP, paediatrician or professional health care worker.

Now it’s your turn to spill the tea. What’s the worst parenting advice you’ve been given?


Disclaimer: This information is intended as information only and should not be used to diagnose any illness. If you suspect that you or someone you know is unwell please consult your local GP or health provider.

Jolene Marie Humphry

Jolene is Editor at Mum Media Group, where she enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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