Parenting Myths

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All the advice and opinions you receive won’t stop flooding in once you have had your baby. This is to be expected, as most people have their own ideas about how to raise children. However, not all of these ideas are true. While these untrue ideas about parenting may not be necessarily harmful to your child, they can have less than ideal consequences for both you and your child. These eight are some of the worst offenders:
  1. Perfection is Attainable. Let’s get this out of the way first - there is no such thing as a perfect parent. You will make mistakes and fall short sometimes. Everyone does. It’s perfectly ok.
  2. Your  Marriage/Relationship Should Take A Backseat. This sentiment is perfectly understandable. You and your partner are adults who can take care of yourself; your baby is not. But to really strengthen your partnership and be the best parents to your child, your relationship should be a priority. A happy relationship with your partner will also model what one looks like, which will improve their relationship skills when the time comes. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your child or put them in harmful situations for the sake of your relationship. If your partner urges you to do that, you may want to consider whether or not that relationship is beneficial.
  3. You Can Spoil Your Baby. Your child is new to this world and is depending on you for everything it needs to survive. Tending to them when they cry builds their trust in you and in the fact that their needs will be met. So go ahead and pick them up when they start crying, at least for the first six months.
  4. The Terrible Two’s Are A Thing. This is and isn’t true. Around the age of two, children do become a bit of a challenge. But remembering that this is the stage where they are trying to gain some individuality and independence is a major help in understanding how to deal with it. How can you foster their independence while keeping boundaries?
  5. Good Behavior Should Always Be Rewarded. This sounds mean. I understand. But you can probably think of someone that won’t do anything unless they are getting something out of it. I’m guessing you don’t want that for your child. This doesn’t mean you can’t reward them every once in awhile, but avoid using it too often.
  6. Your Child Needs To Be Protected From Everything. Children learn a lot through taking risks and getting their hands dirty. It can be a little anxiety inducing, but what you’ll get in return is an independent child that isn’t afraid to take (appropriate) risks.
  7. Your Life (And Relationship) Will Become All About Your Child. They will be the biggest part of your life - but not the whole thing. Having a child doesn’t mean that you have to set your goals and dreams aside. It doesn’t mean that you and your partner are solely parents now. It doesn’t mean that your life is over. It just means you’ve got something extra (special) in it.
  8. What Works For One Kid Will Work For Another. This is especially important remember when someone gives you parenting advice that doesn’t seem to be working with your child. Each child is different and will require different things. There will even be different needs between each of your own children. Parenting is not a one size fits all job. It’s okay if what works for other people doesn’t work for you. You will know your child better than anyone else.
What are some parenting myths you’ve been told? Let us know in the comments below!

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By Alecia Stanton of Expecting Parents Alliance of America

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