All moms have experienced it. You are standing in line, on the subway, at a party, eating at a restaurant… doesn’t matter where, but it has happened to each and everyone of us. A stranger gives you unsolicited parenting advice. Right, wrong or indifferent – it doesn’t really matter – we didn’t ask for it, we don’t want it – we are the parents, please just let us parent!!

Stupid unsolicited parenting advice

Not long ago, we started talking about getting pregnant and the really unthoughtful and more importantly, unsolicited comments that people feel the need to say to already uber emotional pregnant women. (You can see those stories and comments here – Stupid Things People Say to Pregnant Women).

This led to the next stage in life, parenting. You are tired, cranky and overwhelmed…. the perfect time for a perfect stranger (or maybe not a stranger) to tell you how you should be parenting your child…right?!

I asked all of you for the stupidest unsolicited parenting advice you have received and let me say, you did not disappoint – far from it!

You all had my jaw hitting the table on more than one occasion! Thank you for all of your submissions… I would have loved to use them all, but you all would have been reading forever!!!

stupid unsolicited parenting advice (1)

Stupid Unsolicited Parenting Advice…. these were statements that were actually said to people!

People ACTUALLY said these things OUT LOUD to a parent! Wow…. just wow!

said no mom ever

That you shouldn’t say “No” to a child… that you should distract them to change the behavior or “suggest an alternative”. As a mom of teens now, I can say that teaching a child to respect the word “no” at face value is one of the best things you can do for both of you.

“She doesn’t need that thing in her mouth” referring to her pacifier.

I was told that colic wasn’t real and that I just needed to burp my baby more often.

“Don’t breastfeed your baby too much…..breast milk is actually your blood. You are feeding blood to your baby..”

“Never let baby sleep with you, never hold or give them to much and practice cry it out from birth.”

“Breast milk is “useless” once menstrual cycle returns” – complete stranger by the way!

The best unsolicited parenting advice I have heard is:
A) my daughter was playing with trucks in dirt and one lady said that I should probably get her more involved in “girl” activities so I wouldn’t have to deal with gender confusion and same-sex attraction when she was a teenager.
B) That having my kids so close would cause all of them to have emotional problems because I couldn’t give them the attention they needed.
C) By not having my son circumcised, there is evidence that he will be more prone to same sex attraction.

“Just hit or pinch them to let them know you won’t just meet their demands.” My baby was two weeks old. Are you kidding me??!!

“Wrap that baby up in a blanket, or he’ll catch a cold.” It’s July. 95F. I’m sweating; he’s sweating.

After my son had a difficult flight and cried some “next time you should give him Benadryl so he doesn’t cry the whole time”. Needless to say I almost slapped her for having the audacity to suggest I drug my child.

“You should take her home now, she’s tired” ..why thank you random stranger in a shop; it is just 3 in the afternoon and we’ve only just left the house! She was a baby BTW!

“You not allowed to make your child cry”. I was told by a lady behind the deli, this was after one of my 3 kids decided that he does not know what he wants for lunch and when I made my mind up for him he burst in tears.

“Only women on welfare breastfeed .” Yup, that was my mother-in-law. Operative word being WAS.

“You hold that baby too much, you’re going to spoil her!”

“You shouldn’t tell him he’s adopted”. He’s a different race than us. Lol ! I think he will figure it out.

My friend has twins born on different dates 5 min before midnight and other 5 min after, also different star signs, she told somebody and there reply was are you sure you are a parent as twins can’t have different birthdays and you shouldn’t of had any kids if you think twins have different birthdays

“You should keep your kids inside when it’s raining.”

“I spit on my nipples before I breastfeed….that way the baby gets antibodies” — my FORMER sister-in-law.

My little girl “scooted” instead of crawling. A lady told my husband we had to stop her from doing that because it would cause other developmental problems. Let me add that this was an older woman that had never had children! Ridiculous! My daughter is 6 now and smart as a whip!

“Stop calling her baby or she will never grow up.”

“I wouldn’t wish triplets on my worst enemy”…With a close second of “I would kill myself if I had triplets”

When my son was 2-ish we were in line at grocery store and he wanted corn nuts, not having enough teeth at that age I say no he thirties himself on the floor starts a fit and the lady behind me offers to buy them for him and said I was mean!

“You should get your son on Ritalin now….mark my words, he has ADHD.” He was 3-ish at the time and at a birthday party where all the kids were running and playing around.

When my daughter was a few months old I had an old lady in the grocery store ask me how I liked being a big sister

Regarding have only one child
1.) But you have to have one of each!
2.) You do know accidents happen? (As if we don’t thoroughly understand how sex and baby making works.)
3.) You’re not a real parent if you don’t have at least two.
4.) That’s selfish of you. Your son will have no one to play with.
5.) Don’t you like being a mother? Don’t you like your child?

I was having a hard time breast feeding and someone told me that if I was going to be a stay at home mom I better figure it out because there’d be no point in me being a stay at home mom if I didn’t.

“Don’t reach above your head like that, you’ll wrap the cord around your baby’s neck!”-coming from a mother of 4.

Let me say first my son has SPD (sensory processing disorder) this causes him to act out when he’s over stimulated (a LOT) it’s something you roll with you can’t punish it out of them. So that said. “if that were my son he’d be spending a LOT of time in the time out chair”

An older lady witnessed my 3 year old having a tantrum at the grocery store, came over to my daughter, and told her, “if I was your mommy, your little tush would be sore from a paddling right about now.”

Now…. share what the BEST parenting advice you ever received? That’s right – let’s share the GOOD advice we have received!!

See our post on Stupid Things People Say to Pregnant Women 

Stupid Things People Say to Pregnant Women

Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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  1. 1. I was told by my MIL that my husband was allergic to humidity growing up and that our baby may be as well. I asked a nurse if thatwas even possible and she laughted at me.
    2. Bite them back.
    3. Don’t tell them “no” because they will say it back to you. Just give them “the look”.

  2. Funny list! Yeah, I just basically let the stupid things go in one ear and out the other, but I’m sure I’ve heard most of these at one time or another. I just try to avoid saying any of them. Now that’s the real challenge…. 🙂

  3. When my son was about 4 and my daughter was 1, we were in the store checkout line. My son was in the basket of the cart and my daughter in the child seat. My son would not stop pestering her. I told him to stop and then I said “One” very sternly. The cashier, an lady in her late 50’s or so, said, “You know that counting doesn’t work, right” My 4 year old son looked her dead in the face and said, “Don’t let Mom get to 3” I laughed so hard I forgot why he was in trouble.

  4. When my oldest daughter was just 9 weeks old I was told I couldn’t call her gorgeous because it would go to her head. So I said…what kind of mom doesn’t tell her child how beautiful she is every day? There was no response back. How stupid!

  5. After having some breast feeding issues with my first child, my now ex-husband, said he read an article stating that the greatest athletes had been bottle fed. He then asked if I could do like 50/50 to give him a better shot at sports.

  6. when my oldest was about 3 we were in a public restroom that had automatic flushing toilets. she really had to go but realized the toilets were like that and started flipping out. I started trying to yell over her to tell her i was putting my hand over the sensor so it wouldn’t go off but she wasn’t hearing me because she was crying too loudly. We ended up walking out of the stall and this other woman got in my face and told me she was going to call CPS on me for talking to my daughter like that and that my daughter was going to be scarred for life for having a mother like me. I just stood there in stunned silence. I wish now i could go back to that time and let her know I was only trying to calm my daughter down so she wouldn’t end up having an accident in front of people and getting completely embarrassed. So rude!

  7. Best advice was to always look at a child when you are telling them how to behave. Be kind and respectful as you want them to be. That was followed by “You are an awesome Mom!” This was from a stranger who saw my now 5 year old having a meltdown in the store. I stopped and knelt down to talk to him. She placed her hand on my shoulder in a supportive way.

  8. I’ve gotten quite a few… My former roommate has said “to rock him down to sleep, you need to do this”, proceeded to snatch my son away, and swing him violently, holding him way too tight, while whacking him on the butt. “They like the rhythym.”

    Another time when my fiance and I were coming home off the bus (we don’t have a car) these women passed us and were like “oh, my God, the sun is all over his FACE…” as if sunscreen wasn’t a thing.

  9. I was shopping with my at the time 2 year old years ago when I received unsolicited parenting advice. My son was seriously misbehaving to the point that I could not ignore it. I popped him on his diapered behind to get his attention and remind him who was in charge. A much older gentleman came up to me put his finger in my face shaking it saying “young lady spanking is wrong and you are going to raise a man who beats his wife and kids”. I still remember my son instantly stopping crying at this interaction and me popping off with ” mind your own business and walking away fumming”. My son survived the child abuse and is now in college. He needed a few attention getting physical interactions while raising him… My daughter? I could just look at her wrong and poof behavior corrected. I still think of that old man and think that he must had had a rough childhood and saw a reflection of it while I was correcting my son.

  10. When my first son was 2 1/2 years old. I was 21 and I do look young but doesn’t help comments from people that don’t know you at all! (I’m 27 now and people will tell me I look like I’m in high school) but anyway I was at bobs big boy restaurant and in the restroom, washing my hands. Some lady walks in and says if you put him in strips he’s gonna end up in strips in jail. !!!!!!!what!!!! I was like excuse me lady? I don’t care how old you are, you don’t know me! Please keep your damn comments to yourself and go away! I was so angry couldn’t imagine that some stupid person can say that to a little child.