Family Expert Debunks a Number of Parenting Myths
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Parenting is rarely easy, regardless of how many kids you’ve got and how old they are. Each year presents new challenges to overcome, and no two children are the same, which means you often have to figure things out as you go along.
It can sometimes become exhausting if you have a misbehaving child who seems to relentlessly get themselves into trouble despite all of your best efforts. When this happens, it’s easy to assume that the best course of action is to tell them off.
While this may work to an extent, there are some phrases that you should avoid using at all costs according to parenting expert, Kirsty Ketley. Ketley has worked with hundreds of families over the years and has two children of her own.
According to the mum-of-two, her research shows that parents should avoid calling their children “good” or “bad” regardless of whether their behavior warrants praise or criticism. Explaining why, Ketley says:
“There is no magical unicorn baby. They all behave according to their needs and stages of development. Babies are babies – end of. They are neither good nor bad.”
There are so many old wives’ tales around parenting that Ketley would have to write a book if she wanted to debunk every single one. However, she does offer some fascinating insight, based on her own work and research, into one of the most common parenting myths.
The Terrible Twos
One stage of a child’s life that is often a source of dread for new parents is the so-called “terrible twos.” According to Ketley, though, there isn’t anything to worry about:
“Yes, it can be a tricky time navigating tantrums – which usually start before children turn two – but the good bits far outweigh the bad. It’s a period of time when children are developing at a fast rate and learning how to regulate their emotions, so be aware of that. Keeping your expectations realistic will hugely help.”
Potty Training and Pacifiers
Speaking to the Mirror, the parenting expert also touched on the issue of dummies and potty training. Pacifiers, in particular, have been a point of contention in parenting groups across the world for as long as time itself with some parents choosing to parent without a pacifier and others using them excessively.
For those who do use pacifiers, Ketley believes that there are two optimum times to try and remove them from your baby’s life. She says:
“Dummies (pacifiers) can be a godsend for helping a baby to settle and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. However as babies turn into toddlers, it is best to ditch the dummy to help their oral health and speech development.
My advice is either ditch the dummy around six months or wait until your child is heading towards two years – then you can make full use of the Dummy Fairy, Father Christmas, or the Easter Bunny to help you.”
In terms of potty training, Ketley says that “children are actually ready anywhere from 18 months to around three years old” but warns that “just because physically they may be showing signs, emotionally they may not be ready.”
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