Expert Parenting Advice
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My top 3 parenting myths

Three important myths about parenting that are simply not true (and what to do instead).

Recently a friend was telling me an interesting story about the Phil Collins song In the Air Tonight.

"Did you know Phil Collins wrote the song In the Air Tonight after seeing someone watch someone else drown without doing anything about it?" my friend started.

"That's not all," my friend added excitedly, "Phil Collins then invited the guy to his concert, and then in the middle of the show, after singing the song, exposed him to everybody. The police came and arrested him and everything!"

I told my friend that the story sounded a bit too good to be true (I'm known as a bit of a buzzkill).

"I'm 100% sure it is true," she replied.

So, I pulled out my trusty phone and, lo and behold, the whole story turned out to be an urban myth.

Unfortunately my friend wasn't as impressed with my myth-busting skills as I thought she would be (apparently no-one likes a know-it-all).

But the whole incident made me think about the parenting myths that speaking to the parenting experts for our book How To Get Your Kids To Listen busted for me. Here are my top 3 busted parenting myths:

Myth #1 - Self-care is selfish

My mom always taught me that we children came first. And I could see the toll this mindset took on her. So realizing the importance of taking care of myself first was life-changing for me.

We’ve got to get rid of this notion that self-care is selfish. Because in fact, when I take care of myself, I am the best version of myself, for me, for my family, for my community, for my partner, if I have one, for my workplace.

Dr. Rosina McAlpine

Myth #2 - Hugging a misbehaving child rewards their bad behavior

Kids often misbehave when they have strong emotions that they can't control, and giving them a hug or connecting with them calms them down and makes them open to learning.

Most misbehaving children do it because they’re expressing strong emotions. They’re not calculating that they should misbehave. So, what you’re doing in giving them a hug is calming them down. When you’re both in a space where you’re really calm, then you can talk to them, and problem solve what to do instead.

Judy Arnall

Myth #3 - We need to stop our kids from being mad or feeling sad

When my kids feel sad, my first reaction is to comfort them. Instead, I have learned that it is important for them to experience those "negative" emotions to learn how to deal with them.

The single most important thing we can do for our kids to help them develop emotional regulation and learn to do the right things with their feelings is to let them feel and then to keep them safe while they’re feeling.

Dr. Hilary Mandzik