From before I even gave birth, people began to offer their free advice on what I should and should not do with my child (we had not found out the gender). At first it was cute and aided in my anticipation for meeting this precious blessing. Then as the advice continued to pour in at a rate of ¾ conversations, it began to get a bit overwhelming. “Don’t hold your child a lot.” “Don’t wait until 6 months to introduce solids.” “Letting your infant watch TV is fine.” “We never had all these things (safety devises) and everyone turned out fine.” “Don’t pick him/her up when he/she cries.” “Pick him/her up when he/she cries.” “Breastfeeding is easier.” “Bottle-feeding is easier.” The list went on and on. Eventually, I found myself avoiding discussions where advice might be offered. I also quickly learned to not state our (I thought that was a key word there) parenting decisions because there’s always someone who wants to go on a rant about your decision being wrong. This brought about some sadness because it was my first experience with how mean some people can be when you have a different parenting style. I always viewed becoming a new parent as a joyous and exciting time (and it is), but hearing the negative feedback sure did get overwhelming at times (I cannot imagine what it feels like to be one of the many parents who are attacked on social media due to unpredictable scenarios! That’s shameful. We should not be judging other parents.) Nevertheless, here we are, months later and I am thankful for the decisions my husband and I have made as parents – after all, WE are the ones responsible for the upbringing of our children (Though I do believe the village mentality is the best.).
All this to be said because this past week a family member sent me an article from the Good Old Days Magazine entitled Bacon Grease, Mercury and the Merkles by April Knight. This article made me laugh because there are numerous examples of things that are now highly frowned upon in the arena of parenting. Yet, as this author points out, everyone turned out just fine. Sometimes I wonder if we have legitimate concerns, or if we are creating unnecessary fears? I think it’s a mixture of both. I think April did a great job of highlighting the real lessons we take from childhood, no matter what parenting style is present. Here are images of the story for you to read and enjoy:
(Article copyrights are with Good Old Days Magazine and author April Knight.)
Ahmeli…that we encourage one another to parent as they see fit for their individual children.
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