Are you tired of listening to endless tips and advice from loved ones and even, sometimes, from strangers? We are here to explain and debunk first-time parenting myths and spare you the unnecessary stress and agony!
Every week a new trend appears out of nowhere, warning you about the worst things you could do as parents or advising you about the best ways to raise your children. With an abundance of prescriptions for great parenting, naturally, things can quickly get quite frustrating and confusing.
As first-time parents, you are likely to be assailed with endless advice and stories about child rearing. The main challenge is distinguishing between the truths and the myths. While it is a fact that no two babies, births or pregnancies are entirely alike, it is easy for first-time parents to fall victim to misconceptions related to parenting somewhere down the road. As if being new parents and the stress that comes with that wasn’t enough!
We are here to set the record straight on several parenting myths that will help you and your spouse relax during those initial days with your newborn munchkin.
Myth #1: To Be a Good Parent, You Need to Sacrifice Your Needs for Your Child’s
Children need to see their parents maintaining a balance of caring for themselves as well as others. We spend a lot of our energy and time teaching our kids to do simple day-to-day things for themselves and to be independent.
It is important to start integrating self-care skills in your child’s life at a young age. And what better way to teach them to care for themselves than by example? Be a whole person for your child—a person with wisdom, hobbies, love, adventure, friends and interests! They should be your joy; your joy shouldn’t completely depend on them!
Myth #2: Parenting Will Come Naturally to You
Parenting doesn’t come naturally. On the contrary, it is natural to be overwhelmed by the entire process. Babies arrive in their parents’ home so dependent and helpless. They cry when you want them to sleep, they sleep when you want to show them off. All this unpredictability can make any parent feel irritable, exhausted and doubt their ability to raise a child. Don’t lose hope!
Adjusting to a whole new life and an actual living person can be challenging. It’s important to keep your expectations in check. Remember that your relationship with your little one will certainly deepen with time—in the meantime, you just need to be extremely patient!
Myth #3: Your Baby Is Too Young to Understand Your Emotions
Your actions and reactions can have a great impact on your baby. Infants notice facial expressions and react to them in a very basic manner. They start looking for cues from their caregivers on how to react to the things happening around them. This behavior is known as social referencing.
For instance, when a one-year-old falls down on the floor, they almost always look at their caretaker to see their reaction before they start crying. If you gasp or look worried when your toddler falls, they are likely to cry regardless of whether they are in pain or not. Therefore, it’s best to try to remain calm in front of your little one at all times. Having said that, remember that you are a human being too and, therefore, it’s perfectly natural to lose it sometimes!
Myth #4: Holding Your Baby Too Often Will Spoil Them
Do you constantly hear people telling you that snuggling with and holding your adorable newborn too much will make them a spoiled and difficult child? Well, as we said earlier, don’t believe everything you hear! There is no such thing as being held or hugged too much.
Your newborn just spent nine long months being cozy inside their mother. Hence, they need their snuggle time! Contrary to popular belief, it is almost impossible for parents to spoil their baby by holding them too much. Giving a child constant attention helps them grow intellectually and physically, as well as emotionally.
Myth #5: Every Act of Bad Behavior Should Be Followed By Harsh Consequences
The idea that you need to rescind privileges or dole out harsh punishments to avoid your child’s misbehavior becoming permanent is misguided. Even the most disciplined kids are prone to being naughty and misbehaving from time to time.
If you don’t establish any ground rules in the first place, your child won’t really know the difference between right and wrong. There’s no learning in holding a child to the standards that only exist in your mind and haven’t actually been established. It’s best to give your child gentle guidance and help them understand why a particular behavior isn’t good for them.
Myth #6: Babies Only Cry When They are Hungry, Sick, Injured or Tired
This is one of the most popular parenting myths; that there is a magical checklist of things that make a baby cry. It is normal for infants to cry for one to three hours a day. Babies tend to cry randomly over various different things and sometimes you simply can’t understand why. Oftentimes they even cry for no explainable reason!
Myth #7: Your Parental Instincts Are Always Reliable
A lot of “parenting experts” claim that when it comes to babies, parental instincts are always reliable. However, this is far from the truth. While you may know your kid better than the doctor that they rarely visit, this doesn’t mean that your gut feeling is always accurate, especially in terms of medical issues.
When something seems a little off, precaution is always better than cure! It’s best to leave your kid’s health in the hands of a professional healthcare provider rather than going with your parental instincts that involve a lot of emotions.
Maintaining your own wellbeing and practicing good parenting goes hand-in-hand. You need to balance your priorities and make sure your child sees that they are loved, respected and nurtured—not obsessed over. We hope that with all the aforementioned information on parenting myths, your experience as a parent will become more relaxing and fun!