Today I’m sharing some of the worst parenting advice I’ve heard over the years. When you’re a parent, you get used to getting unsolicited advice from relatives, neighbors, and strangers in the grocery store. Some advice is wonderful, but some just isn’t right for your family. It’s up to you to decide. Not only does it not jive with your parenting style, sometimes the unsolicited remarks about your parenting can be outdated and unsafe.
The Worst Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Heard
1.”It’s okay to let them out of your sight for a minute. They can be trusted.”
Yes, they can be trusted. It’s others I don’t trust. The sweetest lady said this to me one day when I was trying to wrangle all four kids through the cereal aisle in the grocery store.
While the boys wanted to go to different aisles in store, there was no way that was going to happen without me right there with them.
Not only would it not be safe for the kids to run around the store, it wouldn’t be safe for everyone else – or the mid-aisle displays that would surely get knocked over.
2. “You should never pay your child for chores.” AND “You should always pay your child for chores.”
I’ve included both sides of this age old debate in the worst parenting advice list, because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does. It’s all about what works for your family.
If paying your kids motivates and teaches them about money, go for it. Do what works for them. Do what works for you.
3. “Don’t be too hard on him.”
I find that this is a fine line. Be hard on them in terms of behavior & respect. Don’t be too hard on them when they have tried their hardest.
Not disciplining a child makes him think that there are no consequences to his actions and that the world is all about him, so I think I’ll chance a little loss of respect if it means that my child knows boundaries.
Despite what some people think, boundaries, saying no, and having consequences are not bad things. They teach kids how to behave and, more importantly, how not to behave.
Please note that I’m not talking about any type of physical discipline here; I mean time outs and being grounded.
4. “Don’t be your child’s best friend.”
I love my children with all my heart and would give my life for them. While I am not their friend that they can just “hang with”, I am better than a best friend- I am the one that they can turn to when they need advice.
I am the one they should run to when they have been hurt. I am the one to guide them. In fact, sometimes my role as parent puts me far away from friend territory and I’m okay with that.
Other times, it has me closer than a best friend, and I’m ok with that, too. As a parent, my role is to guide, nurture, protect, discipline, and love.
5. “Don’t constantly check your child’s phone. They will not feel like you don’t trust them.”
As someone who has watched the digital age explode, but still remembers growing up with the innocence of fireflies and kick-the-can on summer nights, I know that monitoring is key.
For those of us with teens who are sending instant messages that disappear, posting pictures online, and know how to navigate the Internet better than we do, monitoring and setting boundaries is necessary to keep them safe.
These are dangerous digital times. I fully intend to put monitoring devices on our children’s phones so I can see exactly what they see.
Parenting advice is a dime a dozen. There is no shortage of people who are happy to share their opinions with you about how you should raise your children. The most important thing to remember is that, at the end of the day, you have to do what works best for your family. We’re all in this together and we are all just doing the best that we can. Share your best advice (or worst advice!) on our Facebook Page.