12 Parenting Myths Society Needs To Retire

Parenting is a tough gig. After nine months of waiting, a fresh newborn baby is thrust into your arms, and you’re supposed to take it home and care for it for 18 years, nurturing and nourishing it, teaching social conventions, and ensuring it becomes a productive member of society. 

Parenting Myths

Two women standing next to each other wearing white shirts on a pink background. One has grey hair, representing a mother, and the other has dark hair, representng a daughter.
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Throughout the centuries, different cultures and societies developed unique rules for parenting. Some claim the “best” way to do this or that, and although modern experts can prove why these myths are wrong, many parents still swear by them. 

Here are the 12 biggest parenting myths people need to stop believing for their children’s well-being. 

Avoid Allergies

Spoon scooping peanut butter out of a jar sitting on a wooden table.
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Many parents make their kid’s allergies worse by restricting their diets from infancy. We get that you don’t want to give a child something that could be dangerous, but numerous studies show that small amounts early on will reduce the impacts of severe allergies. 

Kids Straighten You Out

Father smiling as his son puts coins in a piggy bank.
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People think burdening an out-of-control adult with a child will help “straighten them out.” While sometimes that happens, more often than not, the parent neglects their child, causing even more suffering. Nobody should have kids if they aren’t ready to parent. 

You’ll Spoil Them

Sleeping infant wrapped in light blue bear blanket on a blue grey background.
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New parents think if they “give in” to their newborn baby’s cries, they’ll spoil them. While you can spoil toddlers and older kids, you can’t spoil a newborn. They’re crying because they need something. 

Avoid Languages

man wearing headphones with different country flags appearing to come out of his mouth to represent that he's learning a new language
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Some folks think exposing young children to foreign languages will confuse them. Learning a new language while you’re young and your brain is still learning language processing is much better. 

Dad’s Babysitting

An overwhelmed father holding his daughter next to a giant pile of laundry.
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One of the most significant cultural myths surrounding parenting is the dad’s role. Though many modern fathers are stepping up and parenting, the cultural stigma against dads as caretakers remains. Men make fantastic parents when given the opportunity. Society needs to get on board. 

Girls are Harder To Raise

mom and daughter wearing matching heart shaped sunglasses and little crowns.
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Kids are hard to raise regardless of gender. A lot of people think girls are more challenging because they do the work to raise the girls while they leave the boys to their own devices. 

There’s a “Right” Way

An overwhelmed mom sits on her couch working on a laptop with her young son sitting next to her.
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There may be a proper way, but no one agrees on what that is. You can read five books by five world-class experts, and they’ll all have different advice. 

Don’t worry about the right way. Worry about making sure your kid is okay however you can. 

Fear = Love

Mad upset man crossing his arms wearing business clothes.
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Far too many men learned toxic attitudes about love, fear, and respect. They think their kids must fear them to respect them, which will somehow equate to love. 

The best respect is that born out of love. 

They Owe You

Two women standing next to each other wearing white shirts on a pink background. One has grey hair, representing a mother, and the other has dark hair, representng a daughter.
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One of the worst reasons to have kids is to “have someone to take care of you.” You chose to have children. They didn’t choose to be born. They owe you nothing: not time, love, care, commitment, money. 

You must develop happy, healthy relationships with your children if you want those things. 

No Regret

stressed mom with two young kids
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Not everyone is happy with their decision to have children. You don’t hear about it because society berates anyone for daring to say it. Having kids isn’t for everyone, and it’s better to regret not having kids than to regret having them. 

Stay Together for the Kids

A table with divorce papers on it. All you can see of the people are their folded hands resting on the table across from one another.
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Far too many parents stay together “for the sake of the kids,” not realizing that them together makes the kids even more miserable. It’s far better for the kids to see two happy people apart living their best lives than to watch two miserable people treat each other horribly. 

Motherly Instincts

Happy mom lifting her infant in a field.
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People love to tell expectant mothers not to worry about a thing, that their motherly instincts will kick in, and they’ll know what to do. Not everyone has maternal instincts; some folks need more help figuring it out. We need to stop shaming people for not knowing. 

Reasons Not To Have Kids

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Despite all the pressure to procreate, it’s perfectly valid not to want kids. Millennials and younger generations are opting out of parenthood at record rates. 

Here are their top reasons for not wanting kids

Will You Change Your Mind About a Baby?

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Everyone tells childfree people they will change their minds. But is that true? Here’s what to consider if you’re on the fence about parenthood

Talking About a Baby

parents doing their own thing ignoring their small child that's sitting between them
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Don’t have kids on a whim. Have these crucial conversations without your partner before deciding you’re ready for a baby

Are You Ready for a Baby?

baby crying with smashed cake all over it at their birthday party.
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Think you’re ready for a baby? Consider these 15 points first. 

People Can’t Afford Kids

A woman making a sad face pulls her pockets inside out to show her lack of money.
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Even people who want children can’t afford to have them. When basic biology gets put off, you know society is on the decline. Here’s the truth about why young folks aren’t having kids: they can’t afford it.