When you become a new parent, you’re likely afraid of making a mistake. Th ese sweet bundles of joy seem so fragile, and you want to make sure you get everything right. Even when they get older, you still want to do what you can to make sure your children get the best care.
In an eff ort to give your kids what they need, you may turn to friends, family, and medical professionals for parenting advice. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice out there. Th e Cheat Sheet spoke with some parents and parenting experts to hear about some of the bad information they’ve been told. Sit back, get a cup of coff ee, and read on for the worst parenting advice they heard.
1. Don’t hold your baby too much I was told not to hold my baby too much because she would get too used to me holding her! I trusted my instincts and held her as much as we both wanted. Th is made for a secure and independent child.
2. Give kids a “taste of their own medicine” Th e worst parenting advice is to “give kids a taste of their own medicine,” so if they use a disrespectful tone, you speak the same way to them. If they break something of yours, you break something of theirs. It is a better idea to model the behaviors and attitudes you want your child to demonstrate. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, go out of your way to show positive reactions and call attention to your child when they are doing things you appreciate and want to see more of. Basically, catch them when they shine, and make a point to specify what you like. For example, say, ‘I like the way you got your shoes on even though you were frustrated and we had to go,’ or ‘thanks for picking up your stuff when I asked the fi rst time.’
3. Hit your kids to get them to behave Th e worst parenting advice I’ve ever received was from an “old school” parent who told me that it’s OK to hit your kids when they’re misbehaving. She backed it up with her experience as being a mother of two, and if they misbehaved or threw tantrums, she would spank them to get them to stop. I was a new parent when I received this advice and I was shocked to think that people were still condoning this kind of action toward their kids.
A s a p a r e n t a n d a professional parenting coach, I never advise my clients (or anyone I know) to hit their children. There are many other ways to address misbehavior and tantrums that won’t leave a lasting impact on a child’s selfesteem. I teach my clients how to set and enforce boundaries with their children by using communication tactics, such as relating the punishment to the misbehavior.
For instance, if a child is not responding to a request to clean up their Worst parenting advice ever received helicopter over your kids. With this method, a child never gets to learn lessons for themselves. And the parents who refuse to give up any aspects of their own personal lives for the sake of their kids end up with children who are primarily raised by either nannies or technology, and end up starved for human aff ection and interaction.
Being a good parent doesn’t mean being perfect; it just means being present. Our job is to keep our kids safe from harm. However, we aren’t going to be there forever, so keeping them safe also means teaching kids how to take care of themselves. Sometimes that means they will fall and get hurt, and we have to learn to be OK with that. We also have to learn that being a good parent means, at least some of the time, putting our own needs behind the needs of the child and recognizing that if one is working 80 hours a week, no matter how much money that generates, it isn’t providing the child with their most important needs.
5. Never let your child eat sweets Th e worst parenting advice I have heard is to only feed your child healthy food — no cookies, cake, potato chips, French fries, pizza, burgers — you name it! While eating healthy sounds amazing, it is not practical and defi nitely can have negative social and emotional effects on your child. You would be teaching your child not to touch the potato chips, while every other child is sticking their hands in bowls to get handfuls.
Th is does not allow them to organically build relationships with other children, and your child could end up feeling like an outcast. Yes, it is great if a parent can have a child stick to a healthier diet with less junk food, but in the world of children — which includes birthday parties and play dates — you will find it seemingly impossible with pizza and cake being off ered at many gatherings. Set yourself up for success by trying to achieve balance.
Teach your child the diff erence between the good versus bad — when it is OK to indulge in yummy chocolate cake, cotton candy at a fair, or gummy bears as snacks, while also integrating healthy snacks into their lunches. Parenting advice is really just an opinion, so listen to your personal maternal/ paternal instincts. As a parent, most of the time you already know the answer.
Be confident in making your decisions because you know your child best. If you feel lost, consult a pediatrician or a trusted parent or friend, or you can research mommy blogs, as well. But, ultimately, after all the advice you receive, you are the one who will make the decision. Remember, what works for others may not work for you! www.cheatsheet.com