When you become a parent, everyone seems to want to give you advice about the best way to parent – whether it’s the best way to swaddle your baby or how to get your kids to do their chores. Sometimes it can be unsolicited and annoying, but other times, you pick up a few gems that change your parenting for the better. We’ve reached out to a handful of experts and authors to ask them, “What is the best parenting advice you’ve received?”
Have a life-changing piece of parenting advice you’d like to share? Post in the comments below!
“My favorite advice came from my mom. She gave me permission to make nurturing my soul a priority. She suggested I take 20 minutes everyday to sit outside by myself with a tea (either she or my hubby would take the kids). The simplest advice is always the best. Having 3 babies under the age of 3, this little moment of inner peace and harmony kept my nerves from frying out. I did this everyday for almost a year and it was my inner sanctuary time.”
—Leanne Jacobs, mother of Kya (10), Ryland (4), Jaks (2), and Lincoln (1), and author of Beautiful Money: The 4-Week Total Wealth Makeover
“Especially as they get older, you have to resist the urge to solve all your kids’ problems. It can be a really hard thing to do because we all love our kids to no end and want to protect them from anything remotely unpleasant. But ultimately our job is to give them the skills to solve problems on their own, and sometimes that means intentionally remaining on the sidelines when they want your help.”
—Sam Weinman, father of Charlie (11) and Will (8), and author of Win at Losing: How Our Biggest Setbacks Can Lead to Our Biggest Gains
“Dorothy and I find Dr. Becky Bailey’s philosophy on parenting to be effective and compelling. One of her central concepts is always with me: presume your children’s intentions to be positive. She explains why this makes good sense developmentally, and in all events, why it is the right strategy for parents hoping to inspire in their children confidence, self-awareness, and accountability.”
—Isaac Lidsky, father of Lily Louise (6), Phineas James (6), and Thaddeus Johnston (6) – aka “the Tripskys” – and Clementine Alice (1), and author of Eyes Wide Open: Overcoming Obstacles and Recognizing Opportunities in a World That Can’t See Clearly
“As both a trained neuropsychologist and a mother of four children under five, I know one priceless piece of parenting advice that makes plenty of neuroscientific sense: Make sure your kids fall asleep on their own. Each new routine establishes a neuronal pathway. Once that pathway is there and well worn, the brain is reluctant to set out on a different route. If your children need you each night to fall asleep, both parenting and neuroscience tell us that can be a difficult routine to break. On the other hand, if you get it right the first time and let your kids fall asleep on their own, they will quickly develop the habit. Thanks to that simple neuroscientific nugget, I still have time for working, for writing, and, above all, for sleep. My children are well rested and happy, and I am too!”
—Friederike Fabritius, MS, mother of Benita (4), Wolf (2), Heinrich (1) and Sylvester (1 month!), and co-author of The Leading Brain: Powerful Science-Based Strategies for Achieving Peak Performance
“I am not sure that you will like my real answer but here it is…The best advice I ever received was from a woman who was helping me with my first son. She observed the struggles that my husband and I were having both individually and together as new parents. And she said this to me, “Honey, as long as you know and accept that once you have a child you start to realize how incapable husbands really are, you will do just fine.”* Her words helped me embrace my own strength as a woman and my innate ability to mother. They also helped me be more compassionate towards my husband as he tried to do the right thing but just couldn’t. No matter how hard things were in those early years, my husband and I accepted our roles, learned from each other and embraced parenthood.”
—Stefanie Sacks, mother of Jack (11) and Hunter (8), and author of What the Fork Are You Eating?
*Note from the editor: To those fathers that might feel like they’re floundering, we suggest checking out From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy and Diaper Dude: The Ultimate Dad’s Guide to Surviving the First Two Years by Chris Pegula!