The moment you tell people that you’re expecting, the floodgates open and the parenting advice comes pouring in. Some of it is extremely helpful and some of it, not so much. As a new parent, it can be difficult to sort through it all after a while. You’ll never know for sure what kind of parenting approach suits you the best until your child is actually born, but regardless of which parenting style you choose, here are some parenting tips that you should definitely ignore.
Let the baby cry, it will make her lungs strong
It’s cruel and senseless to leave your baby crying solely for the sake of letting her cry. Furthermore, crying does absolutely nothing for a baby’s lungs. Take that trash advice and toss it back at the person who offered it to you.
Don’t hold your baby too much or you’ll spoil her
Feel free to snuggle your baby as frequently as you’d like. According to science, it’s impossible to spoil an infant.
“A spoiled child is one that’s manipulative, but babies don’t learn until they’re about 9 months that they can cry to get you to do something for them,” Dr. Barbara Howard, assistant professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore tells Web M.D.
If you pick your baby up every time she cries, you’ll spoil her
While we’re on the subject of spoiling, you also will not ruin your baby by responding to her every time she cries. It’s a mother’s natural instinct to respond to her crying baby and by doing so, you’re helping him to develop a secure attachment. Catering to a crying baby “isn’t a matter of spoiling,” says child psychologist J. Kevin Nugent. “It’s a matter of meeting the child’s needs.”
Just sleep when the baby sleeps
Yeah, also cook when the baby cooks and wash dishes when the baby washes dishes. While the people who dole out this golden nugget new parents probably mean well, it’s just not realistic advice. It oversimplifies the responsibilities that come with being a parent often leading new parents to believe that they’re tired because they’re doing something wrong when in fact, parenting is just straight up exhausting.
Don’t be your child’s friend
Being a friend to your child does not mean that you don’t conduct yourself like the adult in the relationship, fail to maintain boundaries, nor does it mean that you should expect or tolerate disrespect. Your role as a parent should take priority over the other roles that you may play in your child’s life and boundaries should be set, but there’s no reason that you can’t act as a friend to your child.
It’s the teacher’s job to teach your kid to read
As a parent, you’re your child’s first teacher. If learning is only taking place during school hours, you’re setting our child up for significant academic disadvantage.
Children should never have screen time
We all know that too much screen time has been linked to a variety of negative side effects in children including obesity, poor sleep patterns, speech delays, and behavior problems. However, people will use these statistics to shame moms into feeling like their kids should never have access to screens, which is completely unrealistic in today’s world. Technology has its place and can be beneficial to a child’s development when used in moderation.
If you don’t hit your kids, they’ll end up in jail or on drugs
Everyone has their own philosophy when it comes to disciplining children. However, in the Black community, parents who shy away from spanking their kids are often deemed “too soft” and told that their kids will be out of control because of this decision. Not every child responds to physical punishment.
She’ll just have to get over it just like everybody else
Umm no. She’s not “everybody else.” She’s your child and what upsets her upsets you. So give her space, time, and language to express her feelings regardless of how small the issue is. Don’t let people talk you into minimizing your child’s feelings.
Children should be seen and not heard
The old school was good at many things, but some of their philosophies caused them to fall short because they failed to see their children as people.
Teach your girls to take care of home
It’s irritating and sad to encounter grown men who are incapable of taking care of themselves because they were raised to believe that cooking and cleaning is a woman’s job. We should be teaching our sons and daughters how to take care of themselves and their homes.