Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Top 5 Things That Still Confuse Me About Parenting

The following subjects are topics that continually cross my mind and make me wonder, am I doing what is best for my child? Is my child developing in a healthy and normal manner? I believe overall it is bet for a child if the parent worries less and just lets their child grow. Still it would be nice to have more scientific answers about some of this stuff. On the flip side, not knowing everything is part of being human. I don't offer any concrete answers, but I do believe that the more opinions gathered on these subjects the better. It has never done anyone good to blindly follow their beliefs without at least listening to the opinions of others.


This is a great topic that is sure divide the masses. It is not one we should shy away from, but it brings so many connotations with it. How much is too much? How little is too little? Everyone knows a kid that seems to never have been disciplined in their life, and really, do you like the results? Do you really think this child will grow up to be a well adjusted adult? I think it is safe to say that some discipline is needed in a child's life. The question is on how much, the severity, and at what times do you discipline your child. Spanking seems to be out of the question for most people, but what if your child does something really, really bad? Say...throw's a glass at your head? Luckily my child has not done anything so horrible to warrant a spanking yet (in my mind at least), but I am still not sure where I draw the line.


Ahh, mommy's little helper. I won't have much to say about this except that I try to limit TV time just because of the commercials. A catchy commercial tune heard one time will be instantly burned into my child's memory as evidenced by her repertoire of product jingles. This is something that I am just uncomfortable with. That being said she seems to have had her numbers and letters reinforced by Sesame Street. Also to take into consideration is the cultural cues she is getting from TV. Hopefully she will not come to some false expectations about what she should be in this country. This one's a toss up. For more information you can visit one of the many sights spouting the dangers of too much TV such as KidsHealth


How much time do you play with your child? Most Americans that had a lot of free time would say "constantly!" But is this much attention really necessary? Does this stimmy the development of independence? Imagination? I wonder about this a lot, but I would also hate to spend too little playtime with my child. Some studies have shown that "The idea that adults should be playing with their kids is a modern invention." Maybe this is a case of everything is better in moderation?


Speaking of playtime, with the plethora of toys out there, which do you get? During the first year of life, we bought our child "developmental toys" and ones that won awards. You know what happened to these toys? They were ignored. Don't know how they are helping her develop if they are not looked at. We still buy her the occasional "smartie" toy, like the LeapFrog Little Leaps Learning System for toddlers, which she loves, but most of the time it is a crap shoot whether she will like it or not when we get it home. Lately we have been letting her pick out her own toys at the Salvation Army. Not only does this save us a ton of money (which we are always in need of), but the toys get played with a whole lot more!


With all this talk of increasing your kids smarts, this brings us to the topic that a ton of parents are worried about. Is my kid smart enough for his/her age? I've checked her progress on charts, read books, ignored them for a while, read them again. Sometimes she follows them, other times she's behind, other times she's ahead. Who knows what's right or wrong, we are all individuals and not automatons. We do not develop the same. Still, one hopes their child is normal at least!