There is no such thing as a “difficult” person

Posted By on February 18, 2013

Now that I’ve parented three of my own children. I’ve had my fair share of people from my family of origin to complete strangers who tell me, unsolicited, how to parent, care for and nurture my children the “right” way. Have you had that?

I’ve also discovered that there is no such thing as a “difficult” person, there are:

  • people whom I have no patience for
  • people who just care about my children
  • people who are sharing what they know.

There are no ill intentions only positive ones. Here is what I mean.

A: Why aren’t you giving your baby solid foods? He’ll never get full with just your breast milk.
Me: Thank you for caring about my baby. So you think solid food will nourish my baby? Tell me what you know about this.

Acknowledge their positive intention. Approach with inquiry rather than judgement. It will make rapport and connection. Sometimes people just want to be heard or to connect with us, and this is their strategy.

Me: (after listening) That’s interesting. I’ve read from various sources that breast milk offers the best food for a baby, especially if the mother eats a healthy and balanced diet, which I do. Gosh, there is so much information out there about how to raise our children… we can only do our best. Hey, thanks so much for caring and for your concern.

When a person feels heard, they are more available to listen. If we are not able to listen. This will fall under the “people whom I have no patience for”. And my quick reply would be, “thanks for the suggestion, I’ll think about that.” Which means, I will need more time to process what your positive intentions are so I won’t be so reactive.

I’ve tried this out with every challenging interaction and I have yet to find an exception. Can you?

Please share if you do.


About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


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