By KATE HUNTER
How do you know whose advice to take when it comes to raising your kids?
It used to be so easy: you just had your mother, your mother-in-law, your sisters and the lady at the shops to either listen to or tell to pull their heads in.
Now, the whole entire world is joining in the chorus of people telling you you’re doing it wrong.
Some are highly qualified teachers, doctors, nurses and academics.
Others, like me, spout stuff for no other reason than it’s interesting to talk about.
So how do you evaluate which advice you listen to?
Whose criticism do you take to heart?
And whose opinions do let bounce off your brain straight into the bin?
Here’s a handy guide to help you sort through the oceans of advice and opinion out there.
Q: Is the advice coming from someone who stands to make money from dispensing it? Are they selling a book, DVD or software program guaranteed to create healthy, happy kids with Rhodes scholarship potential?
A: Ignore. I know a family who turned out three Rhodes scholars. There were ten kids in their house and neither parent had time to read parenting books. They were too busy parenting. Also they were working, gardening and enjoying a fine social life. Incredible but true.
Q: Is the opinion on whether or not your child’s lunchbox contents are appropriate coming from a blog commenter who calls herself militant_macro_mom ? Are there three or more links to her various blogs? Does she tell you to ‘educate yourself” ? Hmmm. What to do?
Q: Is the advice coming from someone who at some point has hung out your washing?
A: This is someone you should listen to. In my experience, no person handles the laundry of another (hotel staff excepted) unless there is genuine care and concern at play.
For example, if you have a baby and a toddler , and your sister clears the washing backlog while you sit on the couch with your baby and a cup of tea, then said sister has earned the right to suggest a few tips for getting your toddler to eat something other than popcorn for dinner.