Parents – do you ever get tired of being bombarded with advice about how to bring up your children? It seems that no-one ever stops telling you what is best for them, from journalists to ‘experts’ to your inlaws (the older generation are possibly most keen on dispensing their wisdom, because they think they know it all!). Sometimes it’s useful to get an outside perspective, if you want one, but there are many reasons to ignore any advice on how to bring up your family …
Years ago, there wasn’t the same amount of advice on parenting as there is now. Maybe a few books – plus of course the older generation. Now, parents and grandparents can be a good source of help, as their advice tends to be common sense and less affected by trends. Plus they can’t have done too bad a job, as we survived in spite of the lack of experts to tell parents what to do!
As with health issues, advice on parenting seems to change almost on a weekly basis where the government and official agencies are concerned. One minute you’re told that you should bring up your children a certain way. The next, that advice has changed and you’re told to do something different, often the complete opposite. Maybe we should jst learn as we go along, as our parents did?
Official advice can be very confusing, thanks to the changes that I referred to above. Let’s say that you put your baby to sleep in your bed – inevitably, you will read an article the next day saying that this is now considered by health authorities to be dangerous. So you stop. Then later you read another article saying that the same authorities have changed their mind. This leaves you totally confused as to whether it’s safe or not.
No-one knows a child like their own parents. How often have a mother’s instincts been proved correct? None of us automatically know everything about raising a child, but there is a lot to be said for using common sense and your gut feelings.
Ultimately a parent has to take responsibility for their own child, and that’s as it should be. So you have to decide what’s right. While a certain amount of advice from others is undoubtedly useful – even welcome – the parents must make their own decisions about their child’s health and welfare.
As I’ve mentioned, mothers’ instincts are not just a myth. You know your child, you know when something is wrong with them, what they need and how they function best. Parents know their child better than anyone – including professionals and relatives.
Do you ever wonder whether some experts actually know what they’re talking about, especially when they offer a one-size-fits-all approach to raising children? Experts always disagree with each other, so how can you possibly know who’s right? Or if any of them are?
What is the most irritating piece of advice you’ve been given regarding your kids, and do you wish that everyone would just mind their own business?
Top Photo Credit: Robert Tilman
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