09 October 2012

Top Ten {Tuesday}: Worst Parenting Advice Ever

Linking this up at Many Little Blessings for Top Ten {Tuesday}.

Reminiscent of my post Parenting Myths I Wish Would Go Away, this is my slightly-snarky-but-very-true list of parenting "wisdom" I simply could never understand.

1. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I don't know about you, but I can't fall asleep instantly at random times during the day. Also, this is a moot point once you have more than one kid.

2. Bottle feed at night so dad can help and mom can rest. Terrible idea if you actually want breastfeeding to work out. And believe it or not, other ways exist for dad to bond besides feeding.

Secret sibling meeting
3. Be consistent. If something's not working, change it. That's not wishy-washy. That's common sense.

4. Develop a consistent bedtime routine. See #3. Also, children's sleep needs change. A lot. Flexibility is your friend.

5. Enforce quiet time every day. Usually suggested to moms of non-napping children as a way to pretend they still nap. My take: Your kids don't nap anymore. Get over it.

6. Schedule date nights away from the baby. This might be a good idea for parents of older children. However, as far leaving my tiny, breastfed, newborn baby just to "get out" . . . I would rather gnaw off my own arm.

7. Perfect child spacing is [insert random age difference here]. No matter when siblings arrive, it always works out. And you couldn't imagine it any other way.

Always a fashion statement
8. Do [insert random activity here] before you have kids. One example is see a lot is traveling. Says the mom of three whose kids have been to ten countries on four continents.

9. Don't let the baby sleep in your bed, you'll never get them out. Um, do we need to go over this again?

10. Make sure he/she knows who's the boss from the very beginning. So many things wrong with this one, I'm not sure where to start. 

What would you add to this list?


  1. I appreciate your list of advice that should be eradicated, but I think I would adapt a few of your points. Consistancy is key to parenting, but that does not negate adaptation. We are consistant, but each child is different so that means there is no 'one size fits all' style ;-) Was that what you meant?

    I think the bedtime routine is a family specific issue. Some families need routine for developmental issues and children, while other families thrive more on variety :-)

    And I actually need a quiet time to myself every day, it's just what keeps me happy and peaceful inside. But I don't insist that other people do that in their families, with having five children of my own is never a routine ;-) hahaha Somedays is much more of a pipe dream.

    Great list, fun read, and always a pleasure to meet another military wife. God bless!

    1. The issue I have with "consistent" is that many folks confuse it with "I HAVE to do it this way." If my child does X, I must respond with Y, or I'm not consistent. If bedtime is 8:00 I must enforce that or I'm not consistent. If I do this for one child I must do it for the other child or I'm not consistent. That sort of thing. Really, I believe the real crux of parenting is knowing your child (children) well enough to be able to go with the flow and be a continual work in progress. That doesn't mean that you won't do some things "consistently" or have "consistent" routines, but that overall you are flexible and always learning. I've personally seen huge power struggles erupt in my real life circle of fellow parents because they got into this "can't back down" spiral. That's why I cringe a bit with the idea of "consistent parenting." (I probably didn't explain that well . . . I'm typing in between supervising Agents and flipping pancakes.)

  2. Love this list! I don't know what to add because everything I would say is already on it. :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I thought I responded to this already, but apparently Blogger ate my own comment. Off to check out your blog/FB page.

  3. The worst parenting advice I ever heard about- fortunately it wasn't given to me!- was given to a friend by a doctor when her baby had severe colic. He told her to go home and have a whiskey.


    She ended up with severe alcohol addiction problems.

  4. I hate hearing people say that you need to stop nursing once a baby has teeth. I have nursed three boys well into toddlerhood and have not lost a nipple to a hungry child yet!

    1. I've nursed three children with teeth. Nipples still here. (giggle)

  5. Love this list! The parenting advice I roll my eyes at most is when someone with no kids tells me what they think I am doing wrong. Seriously? Come back to me when you've got a few years under your belt and we'll talk.

    Happy Sharefest.