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The Tightrope Walk : Family members interference in your parenting style

family interference in parenting style

The Tightrope Walk : Family members interference in your parenting style

Ah, the family. A source of unconditional love, endless support, and…sometimes, unsolicited parenting advice. We all know the feeling of being on your knees when you’re asleep, and just as you’re about to execute your elaborate plan, a well-meaning dude swoops in with a suggestion that throws your whole plan (and your… sanity ) out in the window.

This blog explores the delicate dance of house members having differing views on raising your children. We’ll examine the reasons for their intervention, their impact, and most importantly, how they navigate these situations gracefully (and perhaps a bit of steel).

Why do family members do that?

Before we launch into defensive mode, let’s acknowledge that most home members probably don’t have bad intentions.

 Here are some common reasons for giving their parents unsolicited advice

1. Generational differences: Parenting styles change. What was considered good manners in your parents’ or grandparents’ generation may not be the best option today.

2.Love and Concern: They genuinely care about your child’s well-being and offer advice based on their experience.

3.Fear of leaving: Especially with grandparents, they can feel a bit nostalgic and want to shower your child with love they may not have received themselves.

New parents can inadvertently make older family members feel excluded. Their advice should be a way to communicate and feel relevant.

The impact of the intervention

While the intention may be good, the usual parental interference can have negative consequences:

Confusing messages to children: Mixed messages create uncertainty and can make it difficult for children to understand what is expected.

Parental insecurity: Feeling overwhelmed can undermine your confidence and make you question your own parenting decisions.

Strong family relationships: Conflicts can arise, leading to bickering and anger.

To find your balance

So how do you walk the tightrope between respecting your superiors and maintaining your rights? Here are some tips:

1. Communication is key:

Opening Conversations: Talk to your family members! Explain your parenting philosophy and reasons for your choices.

Acknowledge their perspective: Thank them for caring and validate their experiences.

Set boundaries: This doesn’t have to be a difficult conversation. While you appreciate their opinion, explain that you have a plan.

Focus on common ground: Look for areas where you can agree on parental principles.

Present a unified face: Discuss parenting strategies with your partner first and present a unified approach to family members.

2. Situation Specific Methods:

Public waste: If the act comes up in front of your child, apologize politely and have a private conversation with a family member later.

More gifts: If grandparents shower your child with treats, gently introduce the experiences instead, or make an appointment to get treats.

Inconsistent discipline: Consider first an integrated approach to discipline for your spouse and family members.

3. Remember that you are the captain

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to raise your child. Here are some reminders to boost your confidence:

Trust your instincts: You know your child well.

Do your research: Educate yourself about current parenting practices to support your decisions.

Prepare: Identify potential areas of disagreement and have options prepared. Building strong family relationships

Remember, your goal is a harmonious family environment. Here are ways to give a sense of unity:

Keep them involved: Have grandparents or family members read stories, play games, or participate in age-appropriate activities with your child.

Share highlights: Let them know your child’s growth and development.

Planning Activity: Plan a family outing or gathering where everyone can bond and have fun.


1. How do I know if my family member’s involvement is interventionist or just helpful?

This blog can help you distinguish between well-meaning advice and breaking boundaries. Supportive family members can offer suggestions but respect your decisions. It usually involves undermining your opportunities or restraining their style.

2. What should I do if a family member constantly criticizes my parenting?

 You can thank them for their concern, but explain firmly that you trust your opinion. If appropriate, it means that you and your partner are not united.

3. How can I set boundaries for family involvement?

The blog explores ways to set boundaries. This may involve having a private conversation with your partner about expectations for family relationships with your children. You can also talk directly to a family member about your shortcomings, perhaps suggesting other ways to help.


Family can be your greatest support system, but navigating parenting strategies can be difficult. By fostering open communication, establishing clear boundaries, and trusting your instincts, you can create a happy, healthy environment for your child and maintain close family relationships is in the strong. Remember, you are not on this journey alone!





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