Opinions vs Professional advice and the importance of support is just one of the topics that will be discussed during Parental Advice Week.  We are going to take a look at a crucial difference between two things all parents need: advice and support.

Opinions vs Professional advice

The key thing to remember is that while both of these things are important and valid, only advice given by professionals has authority. This is earned.

This is won over time by being tried, tried, tried again. By being tested against new ideas, and coming out on top. It’s a mistake to think that all parenting tips are equal. They’re not.

Health and professional advice

Everyone’s heard the advice to let your baby ‘cry it out’ when they in fact need attention or care. Or that gem of giving them a drop of wine or whisky on their dummy when they can’t sleep. These are not valid points of view. They are harmful.

Support or Wisdom from other other parents

This is not to say that support or wisdom from other parents can’t be helpful. Support from friends and other parents can help us feel heard, which can rejuvenate us after difficult times, and may even provide some insight from their own personal experience. However, that insight is not a substitute for real, professional, researched parenting techniques and methods.

Authoritative, professional advice does not have to be followed, of course. It doesn’t come from a place of judgement, or superiority, but rather a willingness to help.

Parent to parent advice

Leading on from this, the actual core concept of support is a massively healthy and beneficial one. Having a network of people who understand what you’re going through and can empathise and identify with your struggles is invaluable, and will help you feel part of something bigger than yourself.

Modern parents hold themselves to impossibly high standards, trying to do everything at once, and that’s just not feasible.

You owe it to your child!

You owe it to your child to do your best, but you owe it to yourself to give yourself a break, and talk to people who, likewise, need to talk. Having someone who understands and is going through the same thing will mean they really listen when you ask for help, which is nothing to be ashamed of, by the way.

Carrying the emotional burden of parenting, the stress, the worry, the nagging feeling that you’re doing something wrong, those feelings are shared by every parent, and you shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed by that. Understand that the important people in your life, your family, your friends, the other parents you know, they will want to help you. Talking to them will help you.

There are dozens of forums and blogs out there for every stage of your parenting journey, and they can help you find a group of people who know exactly what you’re going through.

Don’t Trust everything you read..

But, as said before, you shouldn’t trust everything you read. With the spread of the internet and social media, it’s more important than ever to check techniques, verify sources, and make sure you know what’s true, and what isn’t.

In that spirit, NowBaby aims to thoroughly research and verify any advice endorsed on the site. We know that the most important thing in the world to you is your child. We know because we feel the same.

Check out #ParentalAdviceWeek on Twitter, and go to Parental Advice Week for more advice and resources to help you through parenthood.

Where to next:-

Read more about becoming new parents