Raising children in modern times has become increasingly complex in a complex world with multiple, often conflicting messages and influences. Children do not come with an instruction manual, and parents are often left to rely on the methods used by their own parents or “common sense” parenting strategies. While some old-fashioned parenting methods have withstood the test of time, we now know much more than previous generations about the developmental needs of children and how best to promote their physical, intellectual, and emotional growth and development.
Some common parenting myths include:
- Myth: “Children need to be punished to learn.” Fact: Punishment has been shown to be ineffective in helping children learn new behaviors. It can be effective in supressing unwanted behaviors, but may risk harming the parent-child relationship.
- Myth: “Children should not talk back to their parents.” Fact: Children need to feel that they have a voice that is heard and respected. Chidren should be encouraged to express their feeling, positive and negative, and to do so directly, honestly, and respectfully.
- Myth: “Hovering parents produce dependent children.” Fact: While it is true that children benefit from responsibility for themselves, their most fundamental need is to have a secure attachment figure, typically a parent, whom they can count on for nurturance, support, and encouragement.