Nurturing 360 Confident Kids
10 Pieces of Outdated Advice Parents Should Stop Giving Kids
For starters, quit it with the “just ignore the bullies, and they will stop” shtick.
As a parent, you hope that everything you say and do for your child will help him/her grow into the best version of him or herself. But there are some cliche parenting rules and pieces of “time-tested” advice that are not-so-effective anymore. Even if your grandmother still swears by them, those supposedly golden rules need updating.
A recent Reddit post asked users what they thought parents should stop telling their kids. Here are some of the best responses from the commenters on the thread:
- Lying about death. “Stop saying that people are sleeping when they’ve died. A) the kid will expect the person to eventually wake up; there’s no closure [and] B) there’s a chance that the kid will become very scared of going to sleep.”
- “Just ignore them, and they will stop.” “If people don’t learn how to deal with bullies as children, then they still have just as much trouble when the bullies grow up.” (Plus, as we’ve seen, trying to ignore those bullies doesn’t always work in the age of social media.)
- Giving cutesy nicknames to private parts. “I worked at a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)-accredited preschool associated with a state university. The parents of a girl in our toddler room insisted that we refer her her vagina and her bottom as her “front door” and her “back door,” respectively. Never saw my director shoot down a parent so fast.”
- “They’re just mean to you because they’re jealous.” “That is rarely the case, but going through life thinking people don’t like you because of jealousy is a recipe to never have to figure out if you are doing something that makes people not like you.”
- “They’re just mean because they have a crush on you.” “Even if it were true, kids shouldn’t be encouraged to believe that jerk behavior is what affection feels like.”
- “You’re a genius!” “Instead compliment the effort they put in, their curiosity or their ability to think things through. Foster their interest in subjects…by encouraging them to learn more.”
- “It’s rude to leave food on the plate.” “I understand at a very young age, you will serve your child an appropriate portion. However, restaurant meals for the rest of their lives will NOT be. They don’t have to finish their Happy Meal, or the entire plate of pasta at Olive Garden. Teach your kids about healthy life choices, exercise, and train their palate to enjoy healthy food.”
- “Go hug your aunt goodbye.” “We really need to stop telling kids it’s disrespectful not to hug or kiss people—even relatives—when they don’t want to do it. It sets a really dangerous precedent where if a stranger (or more likely, a friend or family member) begins making inappropriate advances, they will think they cannot refuse them and run to tell someone or they can get in trouble. I’ve seen more of this through friends working in child welfare than I can even articulate, and it makes my blood boil that we’re doing this knowing what we know about who victimizes them.”
- Stranger Danger. “The Stranger Danger lesson should be taught, but the main message should be ‘if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable or does something you do not like to you—tell.'” That goes for people you know, too.
- The birds and the bees. “My parents were both doctors so my ‘talk’ happened when I was about 5 over an anatomy book. It was very clinical and on the same level as listening to myself breathe through their stethoscopes…Knowing the actual mechanics of puberty, sex and reproduction made the other ‘talks’ about personal choices, body changes and protection so much easier and less awkward. It also made it easier for me to spot the really strange misinformation that starts to circulate in middle school when kids start making crap up on the spot to prove how ‘adult’ they are.”
By Marlisse Cepeda – Web Editor, WomansDay.com and CountryLiving.com