The Worst Parenting Assvice of All Time

Being a Mom 100

Assvice. [ass-vahys] Noun. An opinion, recommendation, or comment offered as a guide to what should be done about a situation or problem. Differs from advice in that it's unwelcome, unsolicited, and just plain sucks.

Every parent has had to deal with assvice. It sometimes comes in the form of drive-by parenting (you know, those little shitbombs dropped on you by a total stranger, like "Isn't he so cold without his socks?" or "Maybe she's crying because she's not getting enough to eat. Have you tried putting rice cereal in her bottle?"), but often comes from friends and family. Oh, they mean well ... or so they say.

"Just wait until they're (toddlers/teenagers/whatever) ..." "Don't forget to sleep when the baby sleeps!" "THIS TOO SHALL PASS."  I've heard some of the more common(ly useless) pieces of motherhood advice, but the worst thing any stranger ever said about my parenting? It was so obnoxious I can still remember it word for word:

I question how much she really loves and nurtures her children. Why did she choose to have another, and heaven forbid she does it again.

That little gem was a comment in response to my desperate musings about how to improve my second son's no-sleeping situation. As I considered the possibility of letting him cry it out, I heard everything from "CIO is NOT the answer, because this isn’t about you. You chose to have this baby, and I’m sorry you’re so tired, but he comes first," to "CIO is PROVEN to give your child ADHD, a lower IQ, and poor motor development." Ah, good times.

Aside from being told I'm a horrible selfish mom, my absolute least favorite piece of assvice is that old standby, "Treasure every moment, because it goes so fast!" This article explains perfectly why it's so annoying to be told you should be savoring every second of parenthood, and it's my personal long-term goal to never, ever say anything that to another mother.

The runner-up in terms of sheer irritation are the "Just you wait" comments. Oh, you mean no matter what challenge I'm facing right now, it's destined to get a thousand times worse? HOW HELPFUL.

I asked some friends on Twitter to share their most obnoxious parenting assvice encounters, and judging from the responses, almost everyone has at least one crappy story to share:

My family suggested I put my 18-month-old on Ritalin. — Ginger

Someone demanded to know why I would bother to have a child if I was just going to return to work and "let someone else raise her." — Meredith

Someone said formula would "fix" my baby's reflux, so I was selfish to continue breastfeeding her (at 3 weeks old). — Diane

I was told that my gross motor skill delayed child wasn't walking because we were bringing everything to her. — Madge

Don't ever pick her up when she cries, it will totally spoil her. At the time she was less than a week old. W.T.F. — Katherine

I had someone tell my infant that "Mommy doesn't care that you are hungry right now because mommy wants to eat her own food." — Jen

My MIL told me breastfeeding was disgusting and I shouldn't do it. — Amy

When my boys were under 2, a lady asked me about their age gap, shook her head, and said, "Bet you didn't know how fertile you'd be after the first!" — Liza

I was told to bottle feed my second baby because of how tired I looked when my first was little. — Elaine

My boss asked me why I bothered to go to college if I was just going to be a SAHM. — O

From an alcoholic, drug addicted uncle while I was pregnant: "You should have a drink each day. Good for you AND baby!" — Anna

I am still told regularly that I should hit my children to keep them in line/teach them respect/show who's boss. — Dawn

"Don't worry about keeping the house clean, just spend time with the children." Look! It's bad advice AND an insult. — Rachael

I was told I should quit breastfeeding because I need to have a life. Also, when I told a woman that I just had a boy (not a girl), she said, "Oh good, that's better." — Sarah

Someone once told me that our decision to have just one was "the worst thing we could ever do" to our son. — Jennie

I'm a reproductive toxicologist, and had a colleague (!!!) tell me I was poisoning my fetus by drinking diet coke. Which is absurd. — Susie

I was pregnant and I'd skipped lunch, so I bought an egg sandwich at 2 p.m. Co-worker said, "You know eating for two is a myth, right?" — Shawna

We have one child, and the assvice was to have a second child in case the first one dies. Yes, someone actually said that to me! — Nate

A lady on the street told other people about me, "I'd never wear a baby in a sling like that. It'll probably kill him." Err, thanks? — B

I was told that my "toe walking" child had everything from Aspergers to cerebral palsy. Sorry folks just tight hamstrings ... — Kathleen

Someone said my 6-month-old was spoiled b/c I picked her up when she cried. Then someone else said, "She's not spoiled! She's in daycare!" — Angie

I was told, "As soon as you adopt, you'll get pregnant because that ALWAYS happens." (It didn't.) — Sarah

I suppose some people really do have good intentions when they offer advice, but their delivery leaves a lot to be desired. And, of course, some people are just assholes.

What was your worst experience with parenting assvice/commentary?

Image via Flickr/selago



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dee31087 dee31087

My boy's are for the most part out of control .. always want to run run run and never listen.. I have people tell me daily that I need to beat them n make them listen.. ya cuz that will work.. smh

nonmember avatar SingleMom

My son was 4 years old and had a severe speech delay. I was told by the pre-k social worker that the reason for this was because I wasn't in a relationship with his father, and if I got back with him the delays would resolve (I canceled our wedding when he broke my cheek bone and found out I was pregnant that night at the hospital). Now wouldn't that be a better situation for him to grow up in? I'm sure 20+ ear infections before the age of 3 had nothing to do with his speech delay, right? He's now 7 and has caught right up without me getting back with his father!

NatAndCo NatAndCo

I had someone tell me while I was pregnant that it was good I was having twins so because I had a "backup" in case one of them died. Apparently I wasn't anxious enough for their liking.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I was told to have a second child in case my first died too. That was my gynecologist that said that! I changed to a different office after that little gem.

When my son was a baby he absolutely loved being tapped on the head with a finger or a sock or just about anything. He made him giggle and anytime he was crying for no apparant reason I could stop it instantly by tapping his forehead. I was tapping his forehead while we were out one day because he had been getting fussy but after a few seconds he was giggling. A woman came up and demanded that I stop. Sure, I'll just stop playing with my kid and let him start crying and yelling in the mall. Silly cow.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

My mom told me to give my BF eight month old chocolate milk and let him CIO. She was joking, but I was frazzled enough to think she was both serious and stupid.

I've been told several times that my ERF two year old has to be uncomfortable sitting like that. Really? Then why is my FF four year old the only one complaining about his legs hurting? And even if he was uncomfortable, why would I let a two year old make decisions about his safety?

And why does everyone seem to think my children are cold? If I can walk out of the house in just long sleeves and be fine, they can too. It's not the arctic here.

It's funny to me that the same people who tell me to let my baby CIO and stop picking them up or holding them turn right around and give me the "treasure every moment" line. Which is it?

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

While I was pregnant with my first, my (now) husband and I were actually planning our wedding when BAM...bun in the oven! My due date was one month before my wedding date so there was no way that shindig was going down, so we decided to wait...but we didnt exactly know how long. We were just gonna play it by ear. 

OH MAH LAWD this drove people NUTS! "You need to get married, so you three can be a REAL family" they'd say or "Whats this baby going to grow up and think if you're not married....You dont even have the same last NAME!"....

Seriously track to an ass whoopin' right there. 

jen1130 jen1130

I have 7 kids 3 bio and 4 adopted. I hear enough to piss me off well what are you going to do when they are 18 and they go back to their real family! Ok we are their real family just not blood.

So now I just tell them I will go adopt another one: p

kebates kebates

I'm not due until the end of may, but already the assvice is coming.  My favorite is when people ask me how I am feeling, and I say that I'm a little tired these days, and they say "oh just wait til the baby is born".  Yes, I know that I will be tired then too, but that doesn't make me less tired today. 

andreahm andreahm

OMG I cant believe people tell them to have another in case the first one... I cand even say the d word. Thats AWFUL. My in laws told me that if I spanked my then 5 year old with a belt it would fix his smart mouth... I wanted to clock them right in the face. They know Im anti spanking- and hitting a child with a belt is horrific to me. Like wtf for real.

writi... writingafwife

"you are doing your children a disservice by over populating the planet all on your own" this froma  random stranger at the store who wouldn't leave me alone while I was pushing ym 2 boys in a stroller at 9 month preg with my daughter..yeah im sure her family of 6 has nothing to do with that either- her children were there and looked mortified and apologized for her. oh and my favorite

random lady walks up to my 2yr old who just got released from the ER with a broken leg in a splint and squeezes it "just checking because kids fake things like that for attention." she was soooo lucky there was a cop right there who told her to f off for me. I could've decked the woman

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