When Mariah Carey sang “Always Be My Baby,” she was singing about a romantic interest. But she just as easily could have been a parent singing to her child. In our parents’ eyes, though we may grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually, in their eyes, we’ll always be their children and even their “babies.” It’s a sweet bond. But as these babies move out into the world, regarding them as children can present a bit of a problem. Nowhere does this show up more prevalently than when we, the babies, go on to have our own children. And our parents, newly minted grandparents attempt to enforce their standards, rules, and desires into the way we’ve chosen to raise our kids. If you’re a new parent raising children while simultaneously trying to establish boundaries with the people who raised you, here are some tips for standing your ground in parenting choices with your parents. 

Trust Your Intuition 

Your parents may have kept you alive throughout your childhood, but today is a new day. While there may be some similarities, children are living in a world that is vastly different than the one we were born into 20-40 years ago. Times change. More than that, this child is a unique individual. They were not born to your parents. They were gifted to you. No one knows what is best for your child better than you. If your gut is telling you to do something or not do something when it comes to your child, trust it. 

Ignore or Inform

When our parents were raising us, they had Dr. Spock What to Expect When You’re Expecting, the advice of their personal pediatricians and not much else. Now, with the internet, the answers to our parenting questions are a few keystrokes away. You can weigh the pros and cons of introducing certain foods at certain times. The latest car seat regulations and recommendations are available online. Mommy Blogs offer a wealth of information through personal anecdotes. Many concerned moms research, take in the information, and weigh those decisions. Your parents may have suggestions, but they are likely not doing the research you are. If they offer an outdated suggestion, you can tell them about what you’ve learned about today’s standards. If you don’t feel they’ll be receptive, simply nod and smile and do what you were going to do anyway.

Take Time to Consider The Advice 

Mothering is an emotional and vulnerable time. Advice can often seem like a critique of the job you’re doing. Those emotions can make you less receptive to prudent advice. Instead of responding with an immediate no or attempting to check your parent in the moment, tell them you’ll consider it. If after some time, you believe their suggestion might work, then tell them it did. And if not, you can gauge whether they’ll be mature enough to handle your decision to go your own way.

Remind Them That This is Your Time 

As parents, we can’t yet understand the love that our parents have for their grandchildren. Just like us, they want the best for them. The intention is beautiful and admirable. But sometimes, that means that they’re stepping on the toes of their children in the process. If their loving care and concern is working your nerves, gently remind them that you’d like to figure this out on your own and troubleshoot your own ideas. If they do have wisdom you’re interested in hearing, tell them that when you do need them, you won’t hesitate to ask. 

Set Clear Boundaries 

Some people believe they know better than anyone else. You just can’t tell them any different. If you have parents who refuse to step back and let you do things your way with your child, remind them that unless you specifically ask for advice or opinion, you’re not open to their thoughts. If they can’t respect that, end the conversation and remove yourself if necessary. Repeat as needed.