Psychologists Debunk 7 Parenting Myths That People Have Believed for Ages

Family & kids
3 years ago

Raising kids is definitely not a thing that comes naturally. For many of us, the first idea of parenting came from what our own parents believe it should look like. But while misconceptions, like getting a cold from the cold, are not common anymore, there are still things we need to reconsider.

We at Bright Side understand that parenting may be really challenging, and we are here with some expert advice to help you to figure it out.

1. Sugar makes kids hyper.

Even though many parents would swear a chocolate bar or an ice cream makes their kids more active, this is basically not true. This misconception comes from the idea that increased blood sugar levels give us additional energy.

However, studies were conducted to prove that sugar intake has nothing to do with children’s behavior. There can be different reasons for hyperactivity, like for example, lack of sleep.

2. Parents shouldn’t fight in front of their children.

It sounds reasonable that having an argument in front of your kids can scare them and cause them trauma. However, if you don’t scream at each other, but try to solve your conflict together, it may become a good learning experience for the children. Seeing parents arguing can help them to better regulate their emotions and have better ideas about how family relations are constructed.

3. If you don’t respond to every misbehavior with a firm hand, you’ll lose control of your kids.

Be realistic — it would be impossible to react to every little thing your children may do. Moreover, as experts say, not responding at all to kids’ negative behaviors may be a better technique. The thing is, children always want their parents’ attention, and ignoring works because it takes attention away from the behaviors you want to decrease.

4. You can’t do anything about the “terrible twos.”

Usually, 2-year-old children have rapid changes in mood and behavior, and parents find it literally impossible to deal with them. These are absolutely normal developmental changes, and you as a parent need to stock up on patience. Try to find ways to cooperate with your child or redirect their attention to a game or other things they may like.

5. Strict parents raise well-behaved kids.

If you are too strict, you can expect that your child will do things not because they understand what is right, but because they are afraid of you. Harsh limits don’t help kids learn to self-regulate and take responsibility for themselves.

6. Praising kids makes them smarter.

In fact, this may discourage them from studying harder. When you praise kids for good grades, it makes them focus on looking good, not on learning, experts claim. They will want to impress you again to hear your praises, and will prefer easier tasks so that they succeed, while avoiding more challenging ones.

7. You can show your emotions, children don’t understand them anyway.

Parents tend to think that only they can understand their child’s mood and tell if they are happy or upset. In reality, the reverse is also true. Your kid not only differentiates your emotions, but can also pick up on them. So even if you feel angry or tired for some reason, try to express only positive feelings with your child.

What are the parenting myths that you used to believe?


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All kids are different. Sugar doesn't affect my daughter much, but it absolutely makes my son so hyper he practically starts bouncing off the walls. I'll take my practical experience as a parent over the experts on this one.


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