The internet is an amazing place. I don’t know how I would raise my kids without it. You see, there is no shortage of opinions on how to parent, or perhaps more popularly, on how not to parent. Over the past few years, I’ve seen and read many Very Strong Opinions (often backed up with a New Study) on the best ways to raise children, and I’ve heard Dire Warnings about the Grave Risks of deviating from the Correct Path.
As a kindness to new parents everywhere, I’ve compiled a list of parental choices which could irrevocably damage your child. Be sure to avoid the following:
- giving birth at home
- giving birth in a hospital
- nursing your baby for less than a year
- nursing your baby for longer than a year
- nursing your baby in public
- not nursing your baby in public
- feeding your baby solid foods too soon
- feeding your baby solid foods too late
- sleep-training your child
- not sleep-training your child
- putting your baby in a crib
- wearing your baby
- not wearing your baby
- not giving yourself enough “me” time
- giving yourself too much “me” time
- having too many children
- having too few children
- having your children spaced too close together
- having your children spaced too far apart
- giving your child too much structure
- giving your child too much downtime
- exposing your child to too many outside influences
- sheltering your child from the world
- potty-training your child too soon
- potty-training your child too late
- being too strict
- being too permissive
- putting your child in a playgroup too soon
- waiting too long to enroll your child in a playgroup
- sending your child to a babysitter
- never sending your child to a babysitter
Okay, got that? I’m sure there are many, many more examples. Just do a Google search, or go on a forum or something.
It’s funny, because I haven’t yet heard anyone express the sentiment, “Gee, I can’t wait to start messing up my kid.” However, according to someone, some study, or method of parenting, that’s just what we’re doing. All the time.
But don’t despair (that’s probably bad for your child, too)!
After pondering this conundrum, I came to the conclusion that if everything I’m doing is wrong according to someone, chances are there’s a study or expert somewhere supporting what I’m doing. Phew!
Rest assured, by the time I’m a bubby (IY”H), there will be new Correct Ways to Parent and my children will smile knowingly as I attempt to dole out advice from when I was a new parent. I can just hear them now:
“Thanks, Mom, but there’s this study that I just read…”