Expert Parenting Advice
Practical parenting tips and advice from experts around the world

PSA: Twinkies are not a survival food

The difference between intentional and unintentional parenting, and how to become more intentional with your parenting.

I was just reading a list of "common misconceptions" I found this morning - things that people commonly believe are true, but that are actually false.

Before I started reading the list, I was pretty sure that I wouldn't believe many of these, but it turns out that I had quite a few misconceptions.

Here's just a small list of things that I discovered today:

  • Apparently Twinkies only have a shelf life of 45 days, and will not last for decades. So not a good post-apocalyptic food.

  • Turkey meat does not cause drowsiness more than any other food (it is just that you often eat too much of it, causing tiredness)

  • Searing meat does not seal in moisture, in fact it dries it out (this misconception is probably the reason my steaks are always dry, because I always sear them "to keep in the juices").

  • Fortune cookies are not found in Chinese cuisine, and are considered American in China

  • Christopher Columbus was not the first European to visit America (apparently the Vikings were first)

Here's the thing: often we believe things just because we never made the effort to find out the truth.

Including critically important things, like the way we raise our children.

When we interviewed Dr. Beth Trammell, she spoke about how we often parent "unintentionally" - doing things similar to how our parents did them, without really thinking about whether it is really how we want to parent.

Here's what Dr. Beth said:

"We get stuck in these patterns of “I’m just going to threaten, or I’m going to do what my parents did to me. I’m going to say what my parents said.” And really, we just have to pause to think about what it is that we really want to build in the relationship right now, or what skill do we want to build in our child right now? And then say those words."

Dr. Beth Trammell

When we are not intentional, we often fall back to yelling or nagging or threatening, because we place all our focus on getting our kids to comply in the short term.

We parent reactively, trying the same things that our parents used on us, without even thinking about what we are doing.

But, when we are intentional, we have a clear idea of what we want to teach our children, and how we want to act.

We proactively decide how we are going to behave, because we know that our children will model our behavior.

We use discipline to teach our kids, instead of punishing them.

In the interview, Dr. Beth explains how we can be more intentional with our parenting. She also explains how to teach your children to better manage their emotions. And she shares the essential skills that you need to get your kids to listen and cooperate.

You can find the full interview with Dr. Beth Trammell - How to use “Pairing” to intentionally reconnect with your child - here.