Taking care of children is an amazing challenge that only seems to get more complicated with time. When they’re babies, there are questions about feeding, diapers, and sleep. As they get older, parents wonder about appropriate toys, developmental skills, and a host of other questions. It’s only natural that parents would turn to others that they feel have more experience in order to better understand the maze of parenting. Unfortunately, not all of that advice is good!
In 1929, parents were advised that paying too much attention to their children would spoil them. Habitual or excessive crying was to be ignored. Even at that young age, parenting experts insisted, babies should be taught that they had to conform to their parents’ needs. These parents were also advised to let babies cry it out at night, even if that meant laying them in a crib, turning up the radio, and letting them cry as long as it took. After all, babies had to be taught that their desires weren’t as important as the needs of the entire family, right?
Bite your child back. Many moms even in the current generation have been the recipient of this advice when their child goes on a biting spree. On the surface, it sounds great. Show them how much it hurts, and they’ll decide not to do that again, right? Unfortunately, for many kids, biting them back just confuses them. Little ones don’t always associate their action with the negative consequences, and they aren’t able to understand why Mommy did that. They just know that Mommy did it, so that means they should be able to, too, right?
Punishing your child is always wrong. There are better ways to teach them appropriate behavior. There might be some kids out there who can understand right and wrong with a simple discussion. There are also a lot of kids who are strong-willed and who are unwilling to bend to parental expectations unless there’s appropriate incentive attached. You don’t want to create a child who has to be bribed to complete simple tasks, so following the advice to never punish your child probably won’t work in most homes!. Sometimes, loving punishment is the best way to redirect your child toward better behavior.
Don’t use big words when you talk to your kids. One mom actually had the experience of being told that she needed to over-simplify the way she was talking to her children in order to help them understand what she was saying. Children can’t pick up a broader vocabulary if they aren’t exposed to it, so giving them access to the language you want them to learn is part of being a parent!
With all the bad and often conflicting parenting advice out there, it’s a wonder any parent can figure out how to raise a child! Ultimately, however, each parent has to find their own way–and most of them do it with grace, wisdom, and skill. Parenting is an amazing journey that’s well worth taking with that much-loved little one who makes it all so difficult…with or without the advice of well-meaning strangers and family members.