Is too much advice undermining parents?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Just For Dads, Media, That's Entertainment

If you Google "parenting advice", you will get almost 6 million hits. There are a lot of 'experts' out there who would happily tell you what you need to do in order to be a better parent and raise better kids. We all want to be the best parents we can, and sometimes we do need advice. But all that advice may ultimately be undermining our confidence in our own abilities as parents.

Daniel Donahoo is the author of Idolising Children, the "anti"-parenting manual. He thinks that all those parenting books, websites and videos are not empowering parents and don't instill in them the confidence to work things out for themselves. "They make them reliant on very specific advice by promoting an idealized form of parenthood," he says. His book details what he feels is not working for our children and how we can change it. What he says may make some sense, but ultimately isn't that just more parenting advice?

Sociologist Frank Furedi, a Kent University professor, feels that today's parents see child-rearing as a problem that requires intervention. Of course, he has written a parenting book as well: Paranoid Parenting and the Culture of Fear.

I don't read parenting advice books. Not because I think I have all the answers, but because I know that nobody has all the answers. Every child is different and every parent is different. What do you think about all this expert advice? Do you take it seriously? Or do you trust yourself to know what is best for your child?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.