17 Parenting Myths That People Have Been Blindly Following For Years!
Ask any parent about what parenting is like, and they all will tell you one thing – it is not an easy task at all. And it is not just limited to managing your kids’ tantrums, helping them with their calculus homework, or buying them the “must-have” toy before the holidays that freaks out parents so much. A lot of parents these days are also worried about the rising number of misinformation. From nonsensical things like how often they should snuggle their babies to how one’s own marriage can affect their kids in the future, there is a lot of misinformation out there!
We took the help of some of the psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other experts in order to bust some of these popular myths about parenting. We hope this goes on to make “the toughest job in the world” slightly easier for you!
You should always keep your kids’ needs on topmost priority
We all need to prioritize things in life in order to strike a perfect balance, and parenting is no exception. There has to be a fine balance between parenting and finding time for your relationship – and it doesn’t mean your kids’ needs have to always be on topmost priority. According to most relationship experts, couples who put their marriage on a back burner while devoting all their time to parenting, often find themselves struggling with their relationship down the line. It is extremely important for your kid to see that they are being nurtured and cared for, but at the time, they also need to see and be aware that every relationship needs to be nurtured the same way.
Children whose parents are divorced always have relationship issues in life
If you know your relationship is in its dying stages, you really don’t have to drag it just for your kids – a lot of children whose parents are divorced turn out great. In fact, many relationship experts accept the fact that children who go through their parents’ divorce where both parents talk to each other, collaborate, and take care of the child together – those kids go on to have healthy relationships when they grow up. That said, divorce is a really difficult process to handle, and it takes a lot of effort to turn divorce into a problem-solving scenario where everyone remains civil.
Breastfed babies have a higher IQ than formula-fed ones
There have actually been numerous researches on this – most of them turning out to be flawed, later. So, if you are breastfeeding your baby in the hope that it will give them an IQ level of a genius, think again. According to numerous health experts, making sure that the baby is well-fed and isn’t left hungry is far more crucial than what the bottle contains.
Spanking your kid will make them disciplined in life
Spare the rod, spoil the child? Well, not really! Not at least to the experts, who, in fact, argue that it has a completely opposite impact on your kid most of the time! There have been numerous studies that prove that when you spank your kid, you are actually teaching him or her to believe in violence. So, in essence, you’re basically teaching your kid to be violent and hit everyone around them who doesn’t listen to them! According to a study published in the year 2017 in the Journal of Pediatrics, there is a direct link that proves kids who are spanked in their childhood turn out to be the ones who have the most likelihood of perpetrating domestic violence when they grow up.
So, think twice before you spank your kid.
Your kid’s fears are just a phase in life
Kids’ fears are as real as an adults’ fear, and when you ignore or dismiss them, those fears grow even more. According to experts, even reassuring and supporting parents can have a child who is anxious, but that fear is quite real for that kid. At times, the fear does turn out to be just a phase in your kid’s life, but even then, you should strive to work through it, not be dismissive about it. By dismissing their fears, you’re dismissing their experience and their emotions, which can have dire consequences for the child.
Having even slight disagreements in front of your child is traumatizing
If you’re one of those people who believe even the slightest of disagreements in front of your child will scar them for life, hold your horses. While any kind of violence, yelling, or name-calling will certainly cause irreparable damage to your child’s psyche, having respectful, polite discussions in front of your kids is actually a good thing according to experts. When your kids notice the calm and civilized discussions, they learn from it and it is a very healthy sign for a growing child. It not only teaches the child the art of problem-solving, but it also teaches them to be respectful of other’s opinions and also teaches them how to negotiate. Most importantly, they learn that it is alright to disagree with each other and still be in love.
Sleep training comes automatically to a child when they’re ready for it
If you are seriously expecting your kid to give you cues that they are ready for sleep-training, you are in for some trouble and countless sleepless nights. According to pediatricians, it is always an easy task to sleep-train your child a bit earlier, when they are slowly learning to pull to stand. However, it gradually becomes more and more difficult if you delay it, so think twice before you actually believe that sleep training comes naturally to a child.
Giving a baby solid food will make them fall asleep easily
According to a lot of people out there (all well-meaning people, of course), if you want your baby to go to sleep easily, all you need to do is feed them solids. However, this can actually backfire, according to pediatricians. Introducing solids in your child’s diet too early can make their stomachs gassier and can even cause a lot of pain. So, when parents feed their kid solids before they are ready for it, it backfires as the babies scream all night in pain and find it difficult to sleep.
You should always reward your child for good behavior
While rewarding your child for good behavior is certainly a good thing to do as a parent, doing it every time your child does something good is a bit too much. According to experts, when you reward your child every single time they do something good, it does not allow them to internalize what exactly they are working towards, and it ends up hampering your child’s capacity to take information, process it, and do something worthwhile with what arises from child’s own internal values system.
Your instincts are always accurate about your baby’s care
You may know more about your child than the pediatrician they see once in a while, that certainly doesn’t mean your instincts are always reliable about their care – particularly when it is related to health issues. According to health experts, parents often insist that their kid just has a cold and infection as they understand their child’s body better. However, that isn’t always necessarily the case, as a medical provider is better adept at understanding what is truly wrong with the kid’s health, and can treat it accordingly.
Loving your children beyond a certain point will make them codependent
A lot of people actually believe that if you are being too kind, affectionate, or gentle with your children, you will only end up causing more problems for them. However, experts don’t agree with this.
Experts are of the opinion that you cannot be “too loving” to your kids. Kids need nurturing, they need support, guidance, and they need a parent who can understand their emotions. This not only helps them in emotional regulation, but also teaches them problem-solving skills that they use throughout their life. In fact, experts believe that it is very important for a parent to share a good bond and attachment with their child in order to help them with their emotional and social development.
Babies only cry when they are hungry, tired, or sick
While everyone would like to have a checklist of things that makes it easy to understand why your baby is crying, it is next to impossible. According to experts, babies cry for a lot of different reasons – and sometimes, for no reason at all! Therefore, it is very difficult – almost next to impossible – to figure out why your baby is crying at any point in time.
“Love your kid” makes parenting an easy task
While loving your kid is certainly an easy thing to do, parenting them is certainly not. In fact, parenting doesn’t come naturally to most people, according to experts. While everyone loves their kids, parenting them involves a whole other level of understanding your child’s unique needs and catering to them accordingly. Since every kid is different, it becomes a difficult task to relate to a child. While it doesn’t mean it is unpleasant, it is still a task for all practical reasons.
Easy babies grow up to become difficult children
A lot of people are of the belief that if your six-week, happy baby who sleeps peacefully all night is all set to become horror the moment she or he grows a bit older. However, experts find this completely baseless. According to experts, a lot of kids are easy personalities naturally, and that certainly doesn’t mean that they will turn out to be a terror later on. In fact, most babies who are easy at the beginning turn out to be even more so when they grow slightly older.
Every bad behavior needs to be punished
Even the easiest of kids are likely to misbehave at some point or another. So, the belief that as a parent you should be ready to dole out punishments or limit your child’s TV time every single time your kid does something bad, is completely misguided and can actually backfire.
According to most psychotherapists, if you haven’t established a set of ground rules for your kids to follow, then they are not really misbehaving. You are just holding your child responsible for a standard you never actually set in clear terms. In such a scenario, your kid is not learning anything. Instead, experts suggest that parents should talk to their child and explain it to them why a certain kind of behavior is not considered good, in a gentle and calm manner.
Every kid becomes a better learner before the age of five
While it is a well-established fact that little kids have the capability of learning and retaining a lot of information before they become teenagers, it certainly isn’t a big issue if your kid hasn’t already learned a second language or mastered the art of playing the piano before the age of five. It has zero impact on whether they will be able to learn it at a later stage in their lives, contrary to what most people believe.
Experts believe that those born with a natural talent at something, don’t have to start before a certain age to master the craft. Experts also recommend that parents shouldn’t push their children to master certain skills before a certain age by being over-enthusiastic. For instance, learning a new language is easier when a child hears it early on in his or her life, but that is definitely not the only way to learn.
Holding one’s baby for long hours spoils them
A lot of people out there believe that holding a baby for too long or snuggling with your cute little baby will make her or him a difficult, or even spoiled! Experts strongly disagree with this belief. Holding one’s baby, in the beginning, isn’t a wrong thing to do, and there is definitely no such thing that snuggling your child will make them difficult. In fact, experts suggest that parents snuggle their newborns, as they have just spent three quarters of year cozily snuggled before being born.