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The moment you turn into a parent, you are buried under information deluge. Parents, neighbours, friends and the internet will often come up with completely divergent advice and leave you feeling lost. Here’s some help as you try to separate facts from fiction. Read on to find out the truth behind some of the most common parenting myths.
Parenting is a journey full of doubts. It is scary to think that the decisions you take, your thoughts, your behavior and your interactions with your child create an impact on him for life. It is natural that parents look out for reassurance at each step. Should I pick him up when he’s crying? Should I dread the teens? Should I give him sugary foods around bedtime?
Small and big – there are hundreds of decisions you need to make each day. There’s plenty of advice all around too. However, it will serve you well to remember that a lot of age-old wisdom just might not hold true. Here we try to debunk a few popular myths.
Common Parenting Myths
1. Parenting Comes Naturally
This one is the biggest myth of all. It, most certainly, does not. It is absolutely normal for a first-time parent to feel lost, helpless and frustrated with the idea of how to handle the tiny being they’ve brought into the world. Do not hesitate to seek help from moms, friends or dear old Google.
2. Picking up the Baby when he Cries is Bad
When your newborn cries, it’s a call for help. He is looking for security. The first few months of his life are crucial to build a strong parent-baby bond. An answer to his cries comes as an assurance to him that he is loved and cared for. Do pick your baby when he calls out for you.
3. The Twos are Terrible
Each stage of a baby’s life comes with challenges of a different kind and so do the twos. Your baby is walking now, and that’s a big trouble, but he’s also lisping out words, responding to you and starting playschool and those are such absolute delights. So, it’s a mixed bag, just like every other stage.
4. Parents Should be ‘Friends’ with Their Children
Children need parents not friends. It comes naturally to them to push boundaries and look for more freedom as they grow. By treating them as friends too early in life, you might be doing them an injustice. Getting to be treated as an equal should happen slowly over the years as they grow past teenage.
5. Bribing Kids is a Bad Idea
There is hardly a parent who hasn’t offered his child a ‘deal’ during the parenting journey. Bribery has got a bad name. It is better to look upon it as an incentive. Used sparingly, it works well. A system of rewards balanced off with punishment is what works for most children.
6. Do not Fight in Front of The Kids
This one comes with a cautionary note. If you feel the fight will escalate into a shouting match, take it out of the kids’ hearing. However, shielding them from every disagreement is unnatural. As they get older, kids understand that people have differences. However, do ensure you make up when the kids are around too. How you fight and make up will serve as good life lessons for them.
As a last word – take all advice with a pinch of salt. Listen, analyse, try and think if it will work well for you before you start to follow any parenting idea.