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Parenting Experts List Thirteen Popular Parenting “Trends” Moms And Dads Can Ignore 

Parenting Experts List Thirteen Popular Parenting “Trends” Moms And Dads Can Ignore 

The pressure to be a great parent can take a toll on any mom and dad. Trying to raise a secure, happy, confident child is easier said than done. And it doesn’t help that there are countless books and websites dolling out parenting tips, a lot of which can feel contradictory.

In addition, there’s the shame that comes with not participating in certain parenting “trends.” If you opt out of the parenting techniques many others are trying, you may feel like you’re missing out and doing something wrong. But that’s definitely not always the case.

Woman’s Day spoke to several parenting experts, from psychologists to sleep consultants, who talked about the parenting tips they think you can ignore. If you’ve done these things before, there’s no reason to beat yourself up over it.

And if you want to keep doing these things because they work, that’s fine too. Every family is different and, as a result, will require different parenting techniques. Just take this as an opportunity to see things from a new perspective.

Request your child do something rather than ask. (THIS IS THE SAME — A REQUEST IS AN ASK. DO YOU MEAN TELL INSTEAD OF ASK?)

Dr. Chris Norris, chartered physiotherapist, neurologist, and Clinical Associate Professor at The University of California, tells Woman’s Day that many parents now request their children to do something instead of just asking. For example, if someone wants their 4-year-old to tidy up, they say, “Can yoC FH u put your toys away?” and follow with, “Now, OK?”

The problem lies in that last OK. Dr. Norris explains that when you do this, “your child hears a request and assumes that he has the option of not doing it.” He explains further:

“You relinquish your authority and drag out the process of getting your child to do what you need him to do. When your child ignores your ‘request,’ you’ll repeat yourself and lose your patience. Then no one’s happy.” Instead, he recommends being more clear and using words like “please” and “now.”

Embrace night wakings instead of MN them.

A common argument against sleep training is that the period of time when a child wakes throughout the night is short in the grand scheme of things, so you should just enjoy it instead of trying to get them to, you know, sleep.

Eva Klein, JD certified infant and child sleep consultant, tells Woman’s Day this isn’t helpful for anyone.

“The reality is that chronic sleep deprivation is tortuous and can take a toll on a parent’s mental health,” she warns, adding that children need proper sleep as well. “If your little one’s night wakings aren’t something you enjoy, don’t feel guilty. It makes you human.”

Put all your kids’ moments on social media.

Putting pictures and videos of your kids’ every move on Facebook and Instagram is so common nowadays that parents who don’t do this are the ones who seem like they’re doing something wrong. But Carol Muleta, certified parent educator and consultant and host of the podcast Parenting 411, says doing so is harmful and “dysfunctional.”

Muleta explains to Woman’s Day that not only is this an invasion of a child’s privacy, but it also sets a dangerous precedent.  In her words:

“They come to expect attention and even applause for everything they do. This reliance on external stimuli solidifies the already inflated sense of self that comes with the age, potentially hindering the proper development of empathy and regard for others’ feelings and needs.”

Avoid the idea of sleep training.

“Sleep training used to be more popular, and now many parents are opting to follow their baby’s lead, sacrificing their own sleep due to concerns about causing their child unnecessary trauma,” Dr. Myszak says.

But Dr. Myszak promises that sleep training is not dangerous. She says:

“I have never seen a child experiencing problems due to sleep training trauma. I am not advocating for letting a baby cry for hours, but there is a middle ground where parents can shape their child’s sleep habits.”

SEE ALSO: Why Parents Should Think Twice About Tickling Their Children

Negotiate with your child.

In theory, negotiating with your children seems like the way to go, as it would teach them patience and cooperation. But Susan North, parent educator and author of The Opposite of COMBAT: A Parent’s Guide for Teaching Siblings How to Collaborate And Solve Their own Conflictstells Woman’s Day that it can make children unhappy. North explains:

“As much as parents want their children to understand and embrace the reasons behind all the adult ‘nos,’ that is probably just not in the cards.

Little kids don’t understand very much about money, time, safety, nutrition, or health — and these are usually the themes of negotiating. To engage kids as if they were your peers sends the message that they are your peers, which they are not.”

In other words, it’s better to show that you’re in charge in a nice, but firm way until they have a better understanding of the negotiating themes.

Focus on group activities over independent play.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a well-rounded kid who has a lot to do, but there is such a thing as too many activities in their schedule. Dr. Jessica Myszak, a child psychologist and director of The Helpand Healing Center, tells Woman’s Day that parents have to make time for independent play instead of planning everything. According to her;

“Many parents today have children engaged in camps, music classes, language programs, and other activities and feel obligated to entertain their children rather than giving them space to use their imagination.

“Children grow their mind and develop their imagination during periods of boredom and opportunities for free play. Children should have frequent opportunities to engage in independent, screen-free, unstructured play.”

Bed-share with your child.

Letting your kid snuggle up after a bad dream or once in a while is OK, but many experts aren’t a fan of doing this daily. Child psychologist Dr. Forrest Talley, Ph.D., tells Woman’s Day that this is harmful for the parents’ relationship, as it means they lose out on time to reconnect. It’s also not great for the kids. He says:

“The child is learning to be more dependent, rather than becoming more independent (keep in mind, the entire trajectory of youth needs to be toward greater physical, intellectual and emotional independence).”

That said, if you want your child nearby at night, be it for cultural or personal reasons, you can consider co-sleeping, which is when your child is sleeping in the same room, but a different bed.

SEE ALSO: Do Kids Who Grow Up With Dogs Behave Better Than Those Who Don’t? Read What New Study Finds

Do your best to prevent obstacles.

Lawnmower parenting refers to parents who try to prevent or “mow down” any obstacle in their child’s way. Muleta discourages parents from doing this as “it robs children of the chance to acquire new skills,” according to Muleta. “Children do not learn from the journey to reaching the desired goal.”

It also prevents kids from learning the “struggle” of getting what they want, so, they don’t “develop the persistence needed to tolerate delayed gratification.”

Lastly, Muleta says that “it conveys that the parent doesn’t believe in the child.” This can mean the child doesn’t believe in themselves either. As hard as it is to watch your kid struggle, it’s probably for the best sometimes.

Don’t encourage your child to apologize.

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“There is a trend towards not requiring kids to apologize for offenses,” Dr. Jennifer Thomas, Ph.D., The Apology Expert, tells Woman’s Day. And, sure, your child shouldn’t over-apologize, but they also have to learn that apologies are necessary sometimes.

For example, instead of saying, “Return that toy to your friend and apologize right now,” try teaching them the five languages of apology: expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, revising the plan, and requesting forgiveness.

Never wake a sleeping baby.

The trend of not disturbing a sleeping baby has been around for a very long time, and at first thought, it makes sense: Babies need rest, so why would you wake them up? But according to Dr. Harvey Karp, author of Happiest Toddler on the Block and Happiest Baby on the Block, this is actually a good habit to get into when you’re putting your baby down to sleep. Dr. Karp tells Woman’s Day:

“Slightly jostling a baby when he or she is placed down is called the wake-and-sleep technique. It is the first step in helping babies develop the ability to drift back into sleep when a noise or hiccup accidentally rouses them in the middle of the night. So, it’s actually good to wake sleeping babies when you place them down to sleep.”

Automatically assume your child has anxiety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7.1% of children ages 3-17 have diagnosed anxiety. Awareness of childhood anxiety is increasing, and that’s definitely a positive thing, especially for children who need help.

But Dr. Robin Neuhaus, Ph.D. student and co-founder of Scientific Mommy, tells Woman’s Day that this means some parents are labeling their child as anxious even if they don’t have an anxiety disorder.

“That can be a problem because of how labels shape children’s views of themselves,” says Dr. Neuhaus. “If a child’s shyness is suddenly pathologized, is that going to help them or is it going to act as a constant reminder of their insecurity?” Be sure to clear this with a doctor or child psychologist before diagnosing your child yourself.

Use tracking apps with your kids.

It’s super tempting to use tracking apps or devices to keep an ever-watchful eye on your child or teenager. But Dr. Nicole Beurkens, a holistic child psychologist, warns against going overboard with this.

“Just because something is possible, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate or healthy,” she says. “Aside from specific safety needs, children should be allowed at least some independence and privacy, and those freedoms should increase as they age and demonstrate maturity and responsible decision making.”

She goes on to say that when you constantly watch over your child like this, it shows that you don’t think they can manage themselves and that you don’t trust them. She notes that “these messages are not conducive to raising emotionally healthy independent adults.”

SEE ALSO: 17 Things Star Mom-Of-Twins, Jennifer Lopez Shared About Her Motherhood & Parenting Experience

Allow adult children to live at home without contributing

Gone are the days when young adults graduate college and immediately move out on their own. Research from 2019 shows that more than half of adults who graduate college move back home. While this isn’t necessarily bad, Dr. Beurkens says allowing your children to move back in “without having clear expectations about responsibilities, finances, and contribution to the family” can be less than ideal. She explains:

“This can lead to a sense of irresponsibility, incompetence, and dependency that is not beneficial for adult children or their parents.

At a minimum they should be expected to help with chores and basic household activities, but ideally they should be working and contributing financially to groceries, rent, or whatever else may be appropriate. This paves the way for them to develop the skills needed for independence as they move forward in their lives.”


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