I was reading an article yesterday about Controversial Parenting Practices and I thought that I would weigh in on a few of them here. I feel like I am qualified since I have six children of my own and am a Registered Early Childhood Educator so I have a fair amount of knowledge in the subject of Parenting.
The first one talks all about Co-Sleeping. This one is definitely on the controversial list and mommy groups everywhere blow up hard when this topic comes up. I personally used to be of the heck no variety. However, I have changed my tune to this one a little.
After the birth of my last baby, he was a lot more needy for me at nighttime right from the get go. My husband and I have tried (not super hard I admit) to get him to stay in his own bed throughout the night. We can get him to go to sleep there but he, and sometimes others, always end up in our bed. Which is thankfully a King Size.
Knowing especially that he is my last baby who will do this, I have been more lenient with this for sure. I probably enjoy it almost as much as him. Well I did anyways, but now he’s bigger, requires more bed square footage, and sleeps like a bear trying to get a bee off of him. This is the point where he needs to go.
This one I never understood why it was so controversial. I get it, the worry about your baby falling off the bed. Or you squishing them in their sleep. But honestly, if you take precautions, it can be just as safe as their own crib with the added bonus of feeling safe and cuddled. Co-sleeping gets a vote of approval from this Mama for sure.
Now I am going to flip it and go over one that I am very against. Allowing your children to drink soda. I have seen so many things working in childcare that would make your head spin, one of the things that always shocked me, and yes I’ve seen it a few times, was a baby being dropped off at daycare with cola in their bottle.
If you know me personally, you know that I have a difficult time keeping my facial filter in check, and these were instances where my face hurt from trying to keep my shock and disapproval to myself. Because at the end of the day, they aren’t my children and the parent has every right to do what they feel is right for their child. If that’s 8 oz of Pepsi at 8am, then I guess that’s their choice.
There are so many reasons why this is such a bad bad idea though. First of all, it has ZERO nutritional value AT ALL. Nothing but sugar and chemicals that can’t always be pronounced.
It has caffeine! Why would anyone want to caffenate their children? Mine are wired enough all on their own that’s the last thing that they need. The sugar content is ridiculous.
With child obesity rates consistently climbing, we as parents, really need to be aware of such things as sugar content. I will always remember going on a field trips with one of my children and during the lunch break watching a little girl who was extremely obese at 5 years old, unpack her lunch and I was shocked at what she was consuming.
Keep in mind she was FIVE years old. She unpacked a processed Lunchable (which don’t get me wrong I have totally used in a pinch and would never judge any mama who does). A full sized chocolate bar, a package of fruit snacks (but hey it’s made with 100% real fruit juice) were also included. A package of four mini donuts, a fruit leather snack, a bag of chips, and a 500ml bottle of orange pop.
I stared in awe at not only the amount of food this child fully consumed, but how none of it really had any nutritional value at all. This little girl was eating a huge amount of calories for her size, fat, and omg the sugar! And she ate every single bite. I felt a little bit better about the processed package of four cookies that my child had in his lunch. I almost didn’t let him take because in my words they were just garbage.
It is so hard on their little teeth for starters. Aside from the obesity rate climbing, the rate of the number of dentist visits and tooth extractions due to decay is also on a steady rise. It’s so hard to build a healthy relationship with a child’s dentist when every time they visit them, they need yet another filling or even an extraction due to excessive decay.
For my family, pop is a definite no. Even juice that I purchased gets over halved with water before they drink it. Water is so amazing for our bodies and if we teach them at a young age they don’t even care about the higher sugar options.
Spanking is another HUGE topic. Having been a mother for over 17 years (ouch that hurts a little), I have been around both eras of this controversial topic. And I personally have landed on either side of it at one point or another as well.
I was raised with lickin’s as they were called when I was a child. I wasn’t spanked often. Maybe a handful of times that I can count. If there was a grading system, I would’ve definitely “deserved” it by the standards of the time when I got it.
When I had children of my own, that opinion and practise was still pretty highly respected. Here is where I stand now. It doesn’t work. From my own opinion of how I felt in that experience, I didn’t feel like what I did was wrong.
All I felt was anger towards my disciplining parent, and shame.
I never felt like what I previously had done was wrong. Honestly, I never thought of that action at all. So to me, all it was was violence and aggression, just fueling more violence and aggression. And that’s not a win.
Don’t get me wrong I believe in discipline and feel like children have way too free of reigns nowadays. BUT from even when I was a spanker, it wasn’t productive. My child didn’t learn anything, it just upped the ante for their behaviour.
This is controversial especially because there is such a fine line between discipline and abuse. That is a very grey area. What one parent would feel is very much abuse another would not see it at all. And justify it as their parenting style.
I definitely agree that parenting styles have gone very far one way in that children have very little accountability and feel entitled to everything without much effort. I wrote an article about Raising an Entitled Child. You should definitely check it out! It talks about how as parents, we don’t set our children up for success in their future endeavours.
Transitioning from being a spanker to a non spanker can be tricky and controversial on it’s own. I did a lot of research on how to find effective disciplining techniques that didn’t include corporal punishment and then I just created my own discipline plan for my family from there. Yes it was time consuming but definitely worth it, because after all our children are worth so much more! A list of these links used and helpful resources are included below at the end of the article.
So yes there are many controversial parenting practises out there for sure. It’s valuable to go through some of them and weigh in what side you might be on. This was just a small sample of a few that I see come up a lot in my everyday encounters. Keep in mind that pretty much ALL now commonly accepted practises were not acceptable at a previous time. With knowledge, education and discussion can come some new and exciting things for sure!
Comment below with some practises that you may feel very strongly about.