20 Myths About Raising Kids That Aren’t Actually True

By Sarah M 8 months ago

You Should Rely Entirely on Your Instincts

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There's no doubting the power of parental instincts; there's a reason we have all heard or used the phrase 'a mother always knows'. However, it is completely unsafe to raise a child on instincts alone; you also need to do your research and consult experts.

Babies Should Sleep Through the Night

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Why do we put so much pressure on new mothers to produce the perfect baby that never cries and sleeps through the night? It's just not realistic! A baby's sleep schedule is completely different to an adult, of course they are going to be restless and wake up!

You Spoil Your Baby by Holding it Too Much

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It is absolutely natural for a mother to want to protect and nurture her new baby, it's human nature! You won't raise a spoilt child just by showing love and care, on the contrary, babies need physical closeness and skin-to-skin contact to support healthy development.

Breastfeeding Is Easy

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Just because something comes easy to one person doesn't mean it's that simple for everyone. We are repeatedly told about the importance of breastfeeding but for many of us, it is an extremely challenging and painful experience. If you cannot breastfeed, you are NOT a failure!

Teething Always Causes A Fever

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From day one we are bombarded with the horror stories of what could happen to our baby. You may have heard that all babies get a high fever when teething but in truth, most only experience mild discomfort. If your baby has a temperature, consult your doctor.

You Must Introduce Solids At 4 Months

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As much as we would like to choose how quickly our child develops, babies don't tend to work to our schedules! Just because you have read that the average baby starts eating solids at 4 months, this doesn't mean this will apply to yours. All babies are different and complex.

 All Screen Time Is Harmful

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Just like everything, screen time can be enjoyed in moderation. Why are we still shaming mothers for using screens as a childcare tool when our whole lives are surrounded by them? If they are engaging with the right media, screen time can be educational and aid development.

Children Should Be Potty Trained by Age 2

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It is simply untrue that your toddler needs to abide by this common myth. Potty training is notoriously difficult, both for you and your little one, especially if your child is neurodiverse or has special educational needs. Let your toddler move at their own pace.

Tantrums Are Attention-Seeking

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We need to be careful not to label emotions as 'bad'. Whilst some tantrums may stem from disobedience, often it is our child's way of expressing something they cannot yet find the words for. Maybe it comes from tiredness and it is their bedding that needs sorting before their behaviour!

 An Only-Child Is a Spoilt Child

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Now this is a complete myth! The sibling status of your child doesn't in any way determine their behaviour or their personal growth. Whereas siblings may learn social cues off each other, your 'only' child will be learning the same from other social interactions.

You Should Never Give in To Tears

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If your baby or toddler is crying, they are trying to tell you something. Acting cold towards your child for the sake of an outdated behavioural training method will only teach them that you are not someone they can be emotionally vulnerable with. If your toddler is distressed, find out why!

They Need Big Birthday Parties

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As expensive as you make your child's birthday party, what they will remember is the time they spent with their friends and the special, thoughtful details. Homemade decorations and music from your home speaker will mean just as much to them as an extravagant party.

A Good Parent Never Gets Angry

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How can we expect someone to completely turn off their emotions when they become a parent? It's impossible! It is natural to react out of anger if your child has put themselves or their sibling in danger for example. All emotions are okay as long as you learn how to manage them.

Children Need Structure 24/7

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Of course structure is important for a child to feel secure, however it is not healthy to plan out every minute of their day. Unstructured playtime is essential for your child's emotional development and creativity! Allow them moments of freedom and watch them thrive!

15. No Travelling!

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Preparing your child for a weekend at their grandparents can seem difficult enough without planning a whole vacation abroad! However, with careful planning and communication with your children, travelling at a young age can be hugely beneficial and mentally stimulating.

Boys and Girls Are Always Different

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It is a very dated idea that boys and girls need to be raised according to their gender, a child is so much more than that! It is important to encourage your little one based on their interests, personality and talents rather than whether they are male or female.

Home Schooling Is Always Better

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Whilst homeschooling can be of huge benefit to some children, especially those with special educational needs or chronic health issues, it is not necessarily the best approach for everyone. Education should be considered on a child-by-child basis, one size does NOT fit all!

Kids Need to Be Busy Over Summer

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We were raised to consider any time spent not working as being lazy but this is just not true! Whilst it is good for your child to keep their minds and bodies active with fun activities in their summer break, downtime where they can properly unwind is just as important!

The 'Terrible Twos'

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We were all warned about the 'terrible twos' - the age where your child will undoubtedly become a complete nightmare. In truth, behavioural development can happen at any time, your child might be calm and happy aged two but more anxious and defiant aged 4.

'They Will Grow Out Of It'

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Whilst it is true that some stages in life such as puberty are just a waiting game, other 'phases' may require more guidance. It is all very well telling a mother that her son will grow out of his aggressive behaviour, but in truth, he may need professional intervention to move forwards.

Sugar Is Always Bad

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It's dangerous to label certain food groups as good or bad; this can lead to your child developing an unhealthy relationship to eating. It truth, the key to a healthy balanced diet is 'everything in moderation'. A little sugar will not ruin your child's health.

They Should Never Witness Disagreements

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A lot of us will mask disagreements with our partner so our kids don't worry. It's natural to want to protect your child from adult conflict but in actuality, witnessing healthy conflict resolution between their parents can be a brilliant lesson for them.

You Should Never Let Them Fail

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As contradictory as it may sound, frequent failure is the key to success in yours and your child's lives. Allowing your child to try and fail at new things will help them to discover their talents and abilities. Learning from failure is one of the most important life skills.

They Should Always Share

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Teaching your child the importance of sharing and selflessness is crucial. However, it is just as important to teach them the need for boundaries and their right to their own time and personal possessions. Sharing toys is good, being taken advantage of is not!

25. They Need Expensive Toys

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It's unlikely your child will fully understand how much money has been spent on their toys and will be just as happy and engaged by a much cheaper one. The best toys prompt your child's imagination and creativity - there's no need for expensive electronics.

Talking About Mental Health Makes It Happen

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It is a common misconception that children develop the mental health issues they are 'exposed to'. On the contrary, open and honest chats about mental health from a young age make it more likely they will communicate with you so you can get any issues sorted ASAP.

Spanking Is Effective

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We may think if we were disciplined through spanking, that this is a suitable way to treat our own children. In truth, physical abuse towards our children is never okay and significant research has proved non-violent discipline to be much more effective.

They Should Always Clear Their Plate

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Telling our children that they must always eat everything on their plate may feel like we are teaching manners but we may instead be encouraging unhealthy eating habits. It is important our children know that they can stop eating once they are full.

The Quiet Ones Are the Unhappy Ones

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As someone who was the shy, quiet child at school, this myth really grinds my gears! Not all children are natural extroverts who get their energy through socializing; like many of us, your child may be more introverted which simply means they re-fuel their energy through alone time.

You Need To Push Them Out of their Comfort-Zone

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It is a very dangerous parenting myth, that forcing our children to do things they are uncomfortable with will help them grow, when in fact the opposite is true. Being pushed out of their comfort zone before they are ready can make your child more anxious.