This problem is not really helped by the tendency of parents to latch onto new crazes and fads, hoping that by following the advice offered they can magically transform their child into well-behaved, overachieving, model citizens at a snap.
Naturally, childcare does not work like that, and the results either perform below what is advertised or even pose potential risks to your child’s development. As with all things worth doing, and most especially with children, things will take time, effort, dedication, and patience. So we’ve listed a couple of the more recent new fads in child rearing that are more than likely going to make your pediatrician cringe.
This is really a topic that deserves its own article, so complicated and sensitive is the issue at hand. That said, we shall keep things brief.
There has recently been something of a resurgence in opposition to vaccinations amongst certain parents. Many of the objections raised are linked to a thoroughly debunked study that suggested a link between vaccines and autism, and espoused a flippant perspective on how much of a risk unvaccinated children are to the larger population.
It cannot be stressed enough how essential it is that your children are kept up to date with vaccines, as any pediatrician will tell you. Doing so is not just essential to your own child’s health, helping to protect them from diseases such as measles, mumps, polio and worse, but also the children of other parents. Rest assured that vaccines are safe, and come highly recommended by all practitioners of children’s medicine.
While they won’t make your child immune to disease, they are essential to preventing them from spreading, and for building up resistance to those diseases from an early age.
This trend basically relates around the old stereotype of Asian children being smarter and better achievers than the children of other ethnicities. Not only is this somewhat ignorant (Asians are just as capable of being slackers as the rest of us), but it also encourages parents to take a fairly disruptive approach to their own children’s care.
The success of Asian children academically has been much examined by pediatricians and child-care experts, but is probably rooted in something a little more intrinsic than the “Chinese Tiger Moms” approach popularized by Amy Chua a few years back. The rates of its success are disputable, but what can be certain is that it will more likely cause problems than achievements.
For one thing, too much focus on success will probably cause increased stress and unhappiness in the child. Your child will become convinced that they must succeed to win your approval and affection, and become emotionally strained if they believe they aren't meeting your inflated standards.
This can cause all sorts of health and developmental issues. For example, strict timetables and schedules may damage independent thought, as well as strain your relationship with your child -- causing them to think of you as tyrannical, overbearing and impossible to please.
By all means, you should want your children to succeed. But you must mix discipline and focus with affection and patience.
Pole Dancing for Tots
Admittedly, if your pediatrician cringes because of this, it’s more to do with taste than actual physical health. While pole dancing is certainly good exercise, parents should think twice before subjecting their children to this sort of activity. At the end of the day, pole dancing is a sexually provocative act, and may send the wrong signals at a young age.
For one thing, it may teach young girls that it’s okay to objectify themselves for other people. Likewise, in a day and age where we’re wondering whether kids are becoming sexualized too quickly, it probably isn’t a good idea to teach our daughters skills that are of more interest to lecherous old men than a competitive world economy.
There are far cleaner ways to keep your children healthy than going to pole dancing lessons. Gymnastics, ballet and cheerleading courses, for example, offer all the same benefits without the seedier connotations.
As always, and in particular with younger children, ensure all physical activities take place in a safe and supervised environment. Be involved, yourself, whenever possible and be sure you are familiar local pediatric care facilities like those found at www.nightlitepediatrics.com.
Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who contributes articles and insights into the complex task of raising a family in a difficult and ever-changing world.