We’re getting a flood of parenting advice, but is it always good? Heck no! Common and well-intentioned conversations can simply be, unfortunately, bad parenting advice. Here’s why…
The second you announce a pregnancy, you’ll discover that everyone is a parenting expert. You’ll get advice from all kinds of people, young or old, whether they have kids or not. Some will come as genuine advice, while some will come as criticism.
There will always be an endless supply of advice on what you should do as a parent. Some will be good and some terrible.
But just because many people say something doesn’t make it accurate. Some of the most popular advice you hear about parenting could be very bad.
Consider these common examples:
Common Examples of Bad Parenting Advice
You’re in the grocery store, and your child starts making a fuss. They want ice cream. You have a “no ice cream before dinner” rule, so you say no. Your child starts to scream.
Before long, you hear the voice of a kind old lady say, “Oh, he is just a child. Let him have it.” You feel the stares of people around you and finally you give in. After all, if your kid is screaming because they want something, it can be hard to say no.
But giving children whatever they want is not a good idea. If you give your child an iPad, ice cream, or video game just because they whine for it, you raise entitled children.
Your children will feel like they deserve to be given things simply because they want them. Kids like these grow into entitled adults who have difficulty fitting into society.
Many people think they need to be their child’s friend before they are a parent, and not the other way around. This is because many parents fear their children will not like them. But this also is not good advice.
There is a difference between a friend’s role and a parent’s. A friend is willing to overlook minor deficiencies in character, while a parent knows that if you catch certain behaviors early enough, they might not become habits.
Parents don’t ignore behavioral issues, hoping their child will grow out of them. That leads to inconsistent parenting.
It’s a fine line between friendliness and authority. As a parent, you have to set boundaries and stick to them. As your children get older, they will be grateful you enforced the things you did.
Some parents have internalized this advice to the point where their children get very little rest. They fill their children’s schedules with so many extracurricular activities that they barely have time to breathe.
Many people are afraid of their children being bored or understimulated. But the reality is that boredom is not always a bad thing. For a child, it can give rise to wonderful hobbies. Never underestimate how powerful a child’s imagination can be.
Free up their schedules on some days and see what they get up to. You could be quite pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
You let them win any games you play with them. If you don’t let them win, you reward them for a mediocre performance. This is an unhealthy practice. You are robbing them of one of the essential lessons life has to teach about healthy competition.
Overcoming failure, learning to deal with shortcomings, and accepting responsibility for losses are important things to learn.
You aren’t doing your kid any favors by preventing them from making mistakes or shielding them from the consequences of the ones they do make.
From a very early age, some parents do this. The child thus grows up thinking they are more intelligent than everyone else and that life will be easy because they are so smart.
Of course, your children aren’t stupid, but they’re also probably not the rare geniuses you told them they were. But here’s the thing. Discipline trumps intelligence in most cases. Being smart doesn’t matter when you don’t have the discipline to work hard or finish what you start.
Instead of telling your children that they are smarter than everyone else, teach them about the value of hard work and discipline.
Alright, let’s dive into a crucial aspect of navigating the sea of parenting advice: trusting your own instincts. Sometimes, the most popular advice might not be the best fit for you and your child. Here’s how to do it:
The value of intuition in evaluating parenting advice
Your parental intuition isn’t just about understanding your child; it’s also a fantastic tool for sifting through all the advice that’s thrown your way. Here’s why it matters:
- It’s your inner compass: When you’re bombarded with conflicting advice, your instincts can help you determine what feels right for your family.
- Recognizing what resonates: Pay attention to which pieces of advice align with your values and your child’s personality. Those are the ones worth considering.
How to tune into your instincts when evaluating advice
Now, let’s talk about how to tap into your parental intuition specifically when you’re confronted with potentially bad advice.
- Take a moment to pause: Before you jump on board with the latest trend in parenting, pause for a moment. Ask yourself how this advice aligns with your beliefs and your child’s needs.
- Consider your unique situation: Remember that every family is different. What worked wonders for your neighbor’s kid might not be a great fit for your own. Trust your instincts to decipher what’s best for your unique circumstances.
- Question with an open mind: It’s okay to question popular advice. In fact, it’s healthy. Your instincts are like a built-in truth detector. If something doesn’t sit right with you, dig deeper.
Seeking guidance when you need a second opinion
Now, here’s the kicker: even when you’re relying on your instincts, it doesn’t mean you should go it alone all the time.
- Consult trusted sources: Reach out to experts or experienced parents when you’re unsure. They can offer guidance that aligns with your instincts or provide alternative viewpoints.
- Engage in thoughtful discussions: Talk to other parents who may have faced similar challenges. Sharing your experiences can help validate your instincts and provide fresh perspectives.
- Balance advice with your own judgment: While external advice can be valuable, remember that you are the ultimate authority on your child. Trust your instincts even when considering outside guidance.
You’ll hear some good advice as a parent, but bad advice will always be out there. Your way of parenting may be just what your child needs. Do what works in your house for your kids and ignore the judgment and unsolicited advice, because it’ll never stop coming. Raise your babies your way.