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Wednesday
Jun022010

"Parenting mistakes": An international comparison

'Tis the season to tell parents what they're doing wrong, it seems.

This past weekend, Amy from Crunchy Domestic Goddess wrote a post called “The 10 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make” - Seriously? Seriously?!! about a post that appeared on Lifescript (an American women's health website)  listing the following sins of parenting:

Top 10 Mistakes Even Smart Moms Make (United States)



  1. Sharing a bed with baby.

  2. Putting your child to bed with milk or juice.

  3. Buying second-hand toys or baby furniture.

  4. Showing your child “smart baby” DVDs.

  5. Putting kids in the basket of a shopping cart.

  6. Sharing utensils with your child.

  7. Delaying or avoiding vaccines.

  8. Leaving your child alone in the car “just for a minute.”

  9. Skipping helmets on tricycle rides.

  10. Leaving your child alone in the bath or shower.


Amy calls the post fear mongering and goes on to say that she has done most of these at some point in time and does about half of them regularly. She then details her reasons and the reasons of others for proactively choosing some of these so-called "mistakes". I agree, and Amy agrees, that some of the things on this list fall in the category of appropriate advice, but others are just plain wrong or not even on the scale of the worst things you could do.

In Germany, it seems, parents are making very different mistakes. In fact, the German magazine Focus (a news and current affairs magazine), in Focus-Schule, its special edition "magazine for engaged parents", listed 22 popular parenting mistakes (22 populäre Irrtümer in der Erziehung). The mistakes, and a brief summary of the explanation, are:

22 Popular Parenting Mistakes (Germany)




  1. Children need discipline and rules: A military style upbringing will cause children to lose respect for and trust in their parents. More important than specific rules are the 3 Zs (Zuwendung, Zeit und Zärtlichkeit - attention, time and affection). Children who get attention, time and affection from their parents are generally cooperative.  Parents should remember that they are not perfect either and often break their own rules.



  2. Day care ensures the best development for young children: German parents are putting their children into day care at earlier and earlier ages because they are being told the workforce needs women and their children will be better prepared for life if they attend day care. This myth is, of course, not supported by research on the topic.

  3. Boys and girls need to be kept busy in a varied program of activities: More than ever, parents are signing their kids up for all sorts of courses. However, children who are overscheduled forget how to entertain themselves. They need time to be kids.

  4. Growing up bilingual is always advantageous: Obviously if the parents have different mother tongues it makes sense to teach them both to the children. However, they warn that if the extent of your French abilities is a short stint as an au pair in France, you may not have sufficient vocabulary to express emotions and feelings to your children.

  5. Every child needs to play a musical instrument: A lot of parents believe that learning a musical instrument will increase their child's IQ, but this isn't true. Children should be able to choose their own hobbies.

  6. Parents should be their children's facebook friend: Teenagers need a place to be free and just be teenagers. Do parents really want to take over the last adventure playground their children have left?

  7. School-aged children need to go to bed early: In Northern Europe parents believe children need to go to bed early. In Southern Europe, however, people laugh at that type of advice. Children and adults should get enough sleep, but if an afternoon nap fits into your family's routine, there is no reason why the kids can't stay up later.

  8. Toys make kids happy: Toy stores are full of things adults invented to convince parents to spend money. The only thing children need to play is other children.

  9. Kids who start school early are more successful: Some parents fight to get their children to start school earlier than planned (i.e. entering the first grade before they should according to their age and the rules in their district). However, studies show that the older children in the class are generally more successful and that the younger ones often struggle.

  10. Mothers used to be there more for their kids: This is a myth I've addressed on my blog before. Mothers and fathers make more time for their children now than they ever did before.

  11. Children need to be grilled: Most parents ask their kids tons of questions (e.g. "how was school" or "don't you want to invite a friend over") with little success. Rather than asking questions, parents should just learn to listen.

  12. Parenting is particularly difficult during puberty: Not true, but parents do need to change their role and open dialogue with their children.

  13. TV makes kids fat and stupid: Obviously too much TV is not a good idea, but this is a chicken and egg issue. Do kids who watch too much TV become overweight or do overweight children watch more TV because they are denied the opportunity to participate in other activities? Does TV make children stupid or are less intelligent children more susceptible to TV addictions?

  14. Children need lots of praise: Parents praise their children too much. As a result, they won't try as hard and will also be more disappointed when others are more critical of their accomplishments.

  15. Boys shouldn't be given any toy weapons: Boys need weapons for their role playing games, looking for male heroes like vikings, cowboys and pirates. Playing with toy weapons has not been proven to make children more aggressive.

  16. When naming your child, go for as original as possible: The traditional upper class in Germany tends to give their children traditional names, while the lower classes go for original or modern names. Studies have shown that teachers are more likely to trust children with traditional names than original ones.

  17. Extravagant parties for children's birthdays are a must: The trend towards extravagant birthday parties puts children under pressure. Each year has to be better than the year before and better than all their friends.

  18. You can't tell your children any lies: Sometimes it is necessary to tell children that everything is okay when it isn't and sometimes it is important for a despondent or unhappy parent to pretend to be courageous and confident (another point that I've addressed in part).

  19. Good marks should be rewarded with money: Rewards decrease self-motivation.

  20. The time out chair is a good parenting method: Children who are acting up are often doing so because they need our attention (see mistake #1). Putting them in a corner by themselves doesn't solve that problem. Also, children learn that it is okay to punch their brother as long as they can sit still on the chair after doing so.

  21. Family outings are a wonderful thing: The stress of the weekday routine followed by a hectic Saturday of cleaning and shopping (most stores are closed Sundays in Germany), leaves only one day for rest. Yet many families feel guilted into doing something special as a family, when what the family really needs is just to hang out at home.

  22. Parenthood is a burden: Parents these days make parenting harder than it needs to be. They do too much for their kids, they worry about doing something wrong, they think they have to try harder. However, instead of waiting on them hand and foot and always telling them what to do in every situation, parents should give their children the opportunity to be more independent.


I find it interesting, when comparing the two, that the American one focuses so much on fear mongering about health and safety issues, while the German one focuses more on challenging common behavioural and relationship issues. I think that is partly an issue of differences in journalistic rigour between the American and German publications that I cited, but also partly a cultural issue. Americans do seem much more concerned with putting bubble wrap around their children than Germans do and seem to jump on safety bandwagons much more quickly than Germans do. Climbing trees is still a normal childhood activity in Germany. The German playgrounds would never be allowed in most places in North America (much too dangerous). Children traveling by subway alone is normal, and not something worth calling the police over.

When I picked up the German magazine off the shelf, I was prepared to be enraged (as I usually am when I read this type of article from a North American publisher), but I have to admit that on the whole I was impressed. I think a few of the titles for the mistakes were problematic, but they generally saved themselves in their explanation.

Like Amy, I'd score pretty badly on the American test, but I see the German one as something to strive for.

What do you think?
« I will not give Nestlé my money, but I also won't let Nestlé control my life | Main | My BlogHer Accountability Post »

Reader Comments (46)

Wow - that is SO interesting!!! I also would have some BIG no-no's on the US list. Off to read they post by Crunchy Goddess {I missed that one}

I had to go read the original (US) article to figure out what the heck their rationalizations were for some of the items on the list (don't buy used toys? Seriously??). I had to laugh when I got to the bottom and they pointed to a link to a quiz you can take to figure out if you're a "good mom" or not. Really? AN INTERNET QUIZ is gonna tell me that? *insert exaggerated eye roll here*

I think of those 10 "don'ts" I see maybe 1 or 2 that I think are legitimate. The others are personal parenting choices, and I trust moms and dads to make educated choices about what works best for them and their families.

I like the German list much, much better.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy

I also prefer the German list. The American list just makes no sense. Sure, there are some things on there I wouldn't do, like leave my infant alone to bathe, but like you said there are some much more pressing issues than whether or not you let your kid watch a dvd or wear a helmet when on a trike. I think the issues on the German list are more life affecting.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarfMom

Just from an emotional perspective, the US list makes me feel bad ("I'm a horrible mother," "I'm going to break my baby"), but the Germany list makes me feel good ("I want to be this kind of parent," "I'm going to try that").

On a completely unrelated subject, I was at a local festival on Saturday and a woman walked by while breastfeeding. She was just walking down between the displays, talking to a man (her boyfriend/husband?) and looking at what people were selling while her baby was drinking away. It was the most serenely beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. I can't help but think that bloggers like you have made that kind of thing possible. So thanks :)

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSivana

How interesting that in the US it is the moms making all the 'mistakes', while in Germany it is parents.

I love the contrast between 'don't buy used toys' and 'children don't need toys'. also: sharing utensils as a 'top mistake'!!!

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermacondo mama

Very interesting article! I think that I'd like to print off the German version of this article and keep it around - Just to make us think a bit of when we see NA publications on parenting. The US way is not the right way, there is a whole other world out there!

My daughter is not even 18 months yet, and we have done 7/10 of the American "parenting mistakes" - we're crazy! :-)

I'm glad that I see my husband and I subscribing to the German way of parenting and everything we do feels right.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

I've seen the exact same information printed in the German list in US magazines. I don't see that there's that much of a difference between the two lists really. Either way its saying "you're stupid and this fluff piece will set you straight." I think its a parenting mistake to take the advice of a fluff piece where the author spent all of 15 minutes coming up with a dull list of criticisms and then getting your undies in a bundle about it.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKlayre

I think the time out chair can be a valuable tool if used (and not overused) correctly. And I also think my 5 year old (almost 6), getting ready to head into kindergarten, needs to go to bed early because he hasn't napped since he was 2. Having lost a relative to head trauma, I think people who skip bike helmets are foolish (from Amy's list). But the biggest thing? Everyone's different and you have to make the decisions you think are right for YOU, regardless of what some magazine in whatever country says.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

Oh--I also think kids need praise. But the right kind of praise. Superlatives are not helpful (You're the best softball player ever!) but phrasing your praise so it's not heaping over is helpful (I saw how you put your shoes on and waited patiently. I appreciate it when you help me get out the door on time.).

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

I favor the German article. (And nice catch by macondo mama on the mom vs. parent thing). The 3 Z's are my favorite from the list by far...and I have to really ask myself if my son is getting enough of those.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Wow, that is quite the comparison.

I found the American 'mistakes' alarmist and actually almost even ridiculous. But then, I allow my child to buy herself second-hand toys at the thrift store, so I may just be beyond redemption. The German ones, on the other hand, I pretty much agree with. I like how they're not leading with fear. I really dislike how fear-filled North American parenting has become.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

The American list is 50% (or more, depending on how you take it) focused on parents with babies. The German list is, maybe, 10% focused on parents with babies, and that's with a pretty generous reading. For the most part its "mistakes" are with respect to older children or children of any age.

That might be where some of the alarmist stuff is coming from: our infants are more breakable, so a list about mistakes to make with infants seems more fear-mongering. It might be revealing about Americans generally being focused on being parents-of-babies or something, but I'm not sure the lists are exactly apples to apples for comparison purposes.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

Backpacking Dad:

That is certainly true and is a good point. However, if I was going to create a list of parenting mistakes focused on babies it wouldn't be minutiae like sharing utensils. I would focus more on things like scheduling, responding to cries, etc.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Kayris:

I would differentiate between praise and showing appreciation or recognition.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

well that is a much more realistic and useful list than the other one.

Very interesting about the US list being very 'mom-centric'.....

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatepickle

I'm actually relieved by the American list. If these at the top 10 parenting mistakes then I don't have to worry about actually interacting with my kids at all. None of these points have anything to do with relating with one another. Phew! This will be much easier to act as authoritarian judge than loving parent.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZ

I also prefer the German list. Regarding number nine, I recently researched this in order to send my daughter to first grade early (she was born 5 weeks past the deadline). There is plenty of research showing that capable kids do better when placed according to their academic abilities. If they are bored, they are likely to lose interest in school. They may have a hard time at first but catch up by second or third grade. My daughter is doing quite well, especially now that the school year is almost over. Some things, like handwriting, only come with age.

#13: When my son older researched marketing to children for a school project, the consensus seemed to be that advertising on TV encourages eating junk food. TV-watchers are fatter than bookworms.

In teresting suggestion about Americans and their fear mongering.
On the whole, I think the German list is rather solid. I get the shivers from the 'original name' suggestion, though. Who fucking cares what teachers think? Maybe THEY should change their attitudes. (Anyway, my dd won't have teachers any time soon, so not really my problem)
In Belgium, it is true a lot of people ry to give their kids an original name. It happens in lowwer classes, where you see a lot of Anglophone names coming up and celebrity names. But the 'intelligentsia' do it to (but then more mythological/scientific, names from litterature etc) The middle sticks to traditional names.
I can tell you it very silly to be in class with 3 Nathalies and 4 Jans etc...

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermamapoekie

I really appreciate the list in the Focus article. I get the impression that there are ever more publications around in Germany which are going in this direction (less discipline, less wanting to produce children who obey rather than can think for themselves, more listening, treating children with respect and giving them more freedom) - we got one the other day from the Arbeitskreis Neue Erziehung, an organisation which is financed by the government and which sends "letters" to parents each month or so, each letter discussing issues of interest to parents with children around that age. It seems finally to be becoming a major mainstream trend to be less disciplinarian and allow your children more space to develop themselves - at the bottom line a much more considered approach as to how to allow children to grow up self confident and able to deal with life than the approach of my parents' generation. But still, it seems to be around only among (some) groups of parents of young children. The population as a whole (in Berlin at least) still seems to expect children to be seen and not heard and actually basically to dislike children. I hope this Focus article might help to communicate some of the values to a wider readership.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

The German list is certainly more sensible overall. I also noticed how the American one focused only on mother (or rather "moms", it's a pet peeve of mine that the media tends to talk about "moms" instead of mothers. My children can call me Mom (proper noun), but I am a mother to everyone else.)

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

I especially love the one about children needing other children to play with instead of toys. I have been criticized by a couple upper class families who've looked at my daycare that I don't have enough toys (and believe me, I have a lot!). I tell them that it is more important to me to have kids playing together and making up their own games than have all the latest best toys. And the ones I do tend to by are more open ended. Anyway, this list is great!!

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelodie

Wow, on the American list, I've only not done #2. And that's because I hate the dentist. And if I can avoid my children getting there as often as I have to go there, then I do whatever I need to. The kids cups always have water after nighttime teeth brushing.

That being said, I nursed both kids through the night until age two. So...

Fine then, add me to the list of smart moms who continually make "mistakes" (if sleeping with your baby is a mistake, then WHOOPS!).

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly (@kblogger)

I'm also not sure about the Facebook one. I mean, I don't think parents NEED to be friends with their kids on FB, but I do think parents need to have an idea of what their children are up to online. (And in our group of friends and family, it's usually the kids adding their parents as friends.) The Internet is such a vast place, I'm not sure how I feel about it being a "playground" for teens. There has been enough in the news about "sexting" and cyber-bullying (and in the cases of Phoebe Prince and Megan Meier, those cases ended with dead teens) that I don't think kids should be given free reign online. Safety issues aside, teens don't always grasp that what they post could have an effect on their future. How many people have been denied jobs or scholarships or entrance into college because of posting incriminating info online?

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKayris

Wow, what a difference. The American list is ridiculous, though I did learn something new from it - I don't think I'd ever even heard of wearing a helmet on a tricycle. Gave me something to think about. The German magazine sounds lovely, though.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChanna

Catherine:

I agree that there is a trend in that direction. Unfortunately, what I have seen to some extent is parents translating less authoritarianism as meaning laissez faire is okay. As a result, parents will sit by and watch their children act horribly and just ignore it. This has been difficult for my children whose German is not good enough to stick up for themselves at the playground and who end up being victims of bullies whose parents are sitting there watching them. We've been practicing saying "Hör auf damit" (Stop that) and other useful phrases. I think there has to be a happy medium of teaching and modelling good behaviour, without being authoritarian about it.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Very interesting indeed! Something drastic needs to happen in our country's (US) media practices. The fear tactic is not only unethical it is totally loosing its affect on the public. We need to put our collective feet down and let them know it is not ok.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHarmony

I wonder what's so wrong with buying second hand toys or sharing utensils?

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColin Wee

Colin:

There is a link to the article if you want to read their reasoning. Briefly, their argument re: second hand toys was with regards to recalls (i.e. you could be buying stuff that will hurt your kids) and the utensils argument was with regards to cavities (passing your spit to your kids can give them cavities - same is true if you, for example, put their pacifier in your mouth or even from kissing your kids on the mouth).

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I am curious to know whether or not the writer of the US article has children. Before I had my children, I probably would have agreed 100% (maybe), but things are a little different when you are on the other side. This list is not practical. cleverlychanging.com We can strive for perfection as a parent, but we will always miss something if we are being honest with ourselves.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElle

That's really true. It's a fine line to tread and we have also ended up not being able to meet up with friends because the children bully our children. I also find it really hard to find the right happy medium. I think you are really right about modelling good behaviour too.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Oh I see. That makes sense. So they're not talking about good quality second hand toys that we 'inherit' from older siblings.

As for cavities. Hmm. I'll have to think about not kissing my kids or sharing food with them.

Colin

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColin Wee

This is very interesting and demonstrates well some of the underlying differences in approach between the North American standard and German. Since I spend time every year in both Canada and Germany I am all too aware of these differences and one of the main differences as Amber pointed out is how fear based the north american approach is. When I'm in Canada everything is safety first and my friend in B.C. tells me that even her daycare provider had to remove her outdoor play equipment because of safety regulations so instead they stay inside and watch t.v.....much safer! Another difference I notice when I'm in Canada is the constant chorus of "good job" applied to everything from swinging to eating.

I'm surprised about the t.v. comment on the German list though, are they saying it's a mistake not to let children watch t.v.? One of the things I've really enjoyed about living in Germany is how easy it is to avoid the whole t.v. issue. My 4 year old daughter has never watched t.v. here nor does her 5 year old best friend next door. When we go to Canada and visit friends with children she doesn't understand why they just sit there and stare at the t.v. and don't want to play with her.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfrauflan

You are right about it being the season to criticize parents (or, more commonly, moms!) I just wrote a blog post about a similar (and similarly ridiculous) "parenting mistakes" list I saw online (they ended with "breastfeeding after the child can ask for a snack"). I certainly judge, and have always said judgment isn't always bad (it's how I decide what it wrong and what is right for us), but I'm getting increasingly annoyed by all the media attention on what makes a "bad parent", especially when it focuses on stuff like "don't buy second hand toys and furniture"!? What? I "get" the idea about not knowing about recalls -- but use some common sense people! Buying all new toys doesn't mean you can avoid supervising your infants and young children. Personally, I am grateful for all the toys and furniture we received secondhand.

The US list is just stupid -- I echo the "seriously"? These are the WORST things parents can do? The last three do have potential to be dangerous, but again, common sense! Are we talking leaving an *infant* in the bath? OK, not a good idea. Are we talking leaving kids in the car while you pay at the pump or unlock the front door? Well, guilty. My kids do wear helmets on tricycles, mostly to get them used to the idea. Would I call the authorities over someone else's child helmetless on a trike? Um, no.

Of course, I sleep with my babies, so I guess I'm an example of poor parenting ;)

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

i have to agree with the school. my oldest son was born 4 weeks after the cut-off and while i was concerned for some maturity issues (plus personality that might mellow with age, but then again maybe not) he was skills- and knowledge-wise ready. it was the choice between big fish/little pond or little fish/big pond. or a slightly immature active/talkative child being challenged and involved or a more mature active/talkative child being bored out of his mind! i could only see the last instance causing nothing but trouble.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillian

on the german list i only disagree with the boys and violent toys. that's not to say we dont have a few guns/swords or that they wont just make them out of anything longer than it is wide or with legos, but experience has told me often nothing good comes from having lots ready-madeguns and swords around. eventually someone is going to get hurt physically or emotionally.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillian

many resale or consignment shops will check with recall lists before putting toys out, keep a posting of recent recalls on a prominent bulletin board or there's always, gourd forbid, parent's checking with citizen protection (i hate the word consumer when talking about the general public) departments for themselves to see if a toy they purchased is safe.

June 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjillian

BTW - I was walking through the $2 shop today thinking about this post, and looking at which of the toys would have been recalled or which were guilty of leaching some artificial hormones or toxic chemicals.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColin Wee

A response to the Top 10 Mistakes has been posted at http://goodgoog.com/parenting-choices-are-not-mistakes/

Cheers,

Colin

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColin Wee

I think you have the right idea. It is def. up to parental choices for some of them.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

This is rather interesting. I think my parents made most of those mistakes with me and most people seem to think I turned out just fine.

June 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Interesting. The German model certainly does show mostly ideas to strive for! I liked the, "kids just need other kids to play with"!

June 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl_Pal

Interesting. I've got a close friend who is a renowned Child Psychologist (Doctorate from Harvard, 32 years experience working with children, focus on child development) and she is one of top rated Doctor's of her specialty in the New England area, mother of 3 and grandmother os 1 thus far. She has shared interesting facts that people don't realize....much cue to fact the American cultrue has mistaken boys to be "more aggressive" than girls which is simply not true, more "physical than boys or even physically stronger" not true in many cases......actually today young girs physcially stronger than boys due to environmental endocrine distruptors in plastics effecting boys more making their bones more brittel and breaking more, and anothe false ideology that "tooy weapons including army tanks, solders, Star Wars etc more appropriate for boys than girls". None of this is true. Boys are CONDITIONED to believe they need to hold feelings in "big boys don't cry" bullshit, these toys are wrongly MARKETED toward boys rather than girls. the fact is, girls overall are emotionally stronger than boys, many of them even physically stronger, they are as horny (if not MORE) as teenagers, and their are MORE female aggressive cat fights than boys fighting. She explained the sad phenonomen of high statistic of young men committing sucicides (still) due mainly to these false ideologies of expecting boys to be "tougher" than girls. #15 under parent mistakes for Germany "Boys should not have toy weapons" hold lots of validity. I remember a parent at the park looking upon my son and his friend whom brought a nerf with complete horror on her face. (a nerf! Kind of a "softer version" of a gun, shots spongy pellets) But we must remember....Germany, once engaged in this cowards dance called war, no longer succumbing to the terrorism war is, and hence not maintaining the emotional pollution instilled upon American children with its war toys and attutude. Not right for boys any more than girls, since the act of fighting a war itself no more a boy thing than girl thing. Takes no physical strnetgh with high tech used (redenered mute anyhow since boys not strongter) takes emotional strenth, which girls score higher on. Oh, and the vaccines? Good idea to hold off of those flu shots ore al least request no mercury. Alarmnist? NOT the alarmist are th parents that believed in big pharmas money generating scheme of a pig to man flu and flocked to lines pushing parents out of way for this chemical coctail (which is not causing health problems for many kids that were lucky neough to have the alarmnist parents insist they get this shot) American sesationalism!

June 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Lynn

[...] on own driver’s seat? Not a choice I even bothered to dwell on. Have you seen this ‘bad parenting’ list? I have done everything on it except number four. Which makes me a queen of the genre…) and [...]

Hmmm to be honest if someone out there has decided to tell parents what they are doing wrong can they please publish a manual for parenting that takes into account the fact that every child is unique and different as well as each family situation being different and thier advice does not work for everyone.

Suprisingly the most children I come across that are rude and misbehaved generally come from backgrounds where thier parents would be in a position to publish this type of article with a better than thou attitude.

I am glad though that in this case they are aware that this type of article is fearmongering and relates to her own experience of breaking these rules and turning out fine.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterian

I hit #1 on the US list and I'm already a screw up. And I'm proud of it!

June 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Cartwright

I would like to know how exactly they expect me to get the groceries INTO the house without leaving my son in the car for a minute? Do they think it would be safer to let my toddler careen unsupervised through the living room and dining room? That might work for some children, but not my child who is vying for the next open Green Lantern posting and has NO FEAR. I think I will be leaving him buckled into his car seat, unless Mary Poppins is gonna come and unload for me.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercelia

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