Whether you work or stay home, have one kid or five, being a parent is rarely what anyone would consider an easy job. The hours are long, the work is unpaid, and there’s no HR department to report to when the boss inevitably gets out of line at one point or another.
And unfortunately, one of the things that makes parenting even more difficult is sifting through the abundance of misinformation you’ll get from otherwise well-intentioned folks. From what to feed your kids to how to get the them to sleep to handling bullies, Here are some parenting tips you’d be better off ignoring.
“Treat each kid the same.”
Although it might seem “fair,” treating your kids exactly the same rarely works. It’s more important to treat children as individuals and attend to them accordingly. And yes, that may mean spending tons of time with one kid while giving another more space. “Don’t be afraid to see each child for who they really are and what they really need.
2. “Only give kids snacks if they’ve finished their dinner first.”
Sure, you may not want your kid to live off of ice cream, but telling them they need to finish a whole meal to get snacks can lead to unhealthy eating habits over time. The parent’s job might be to decide what is served, but the child gets to decide if they eat it and how much so don’t pin your child down to your rules.
3. “Only keep healthy food in the house.”
Of course, every parent wants their kids to be healthy eaters. However, if you make it seem like less-healthy foods can never be enjoyed, that can give them unintended illicit appeal. In exposing your children to treats every now and then, you’ll “remove the ‘forbidden fruit’ and make them less likely to sneak stuff.
4. “Always make your kids clean their plates.”
Though it may be frustrating to have a kid who routinely wastes food, forcing them to eat everything on their plate is no better for them in the long run. Do not rob them the joy of leaving enough space for water and breathing with instructions to clear their plates even after they are full.
5. “If your kid has a tantrum, just ignore it.”
Kids aren’t great at emotional regulation—hence the crying, screaming, and kicking they tend to do when they’re tired, hungry, or upset. However, it’s not intentional manipulation. A child having a tantrum is suffering and out of control and so parents should not abandon a child who is still developing logic and reasoning skills.