Five questions never to ask on a parenting forum

Five questions never to ask on a parenting forum

Now that you’re a parent you’re welcomed into the wonderful world of parenting advice. It’s a jungle(gym) out there!

I’m part of a massive behemoth of a parenting facebook group. At best it’s a fantastic way to make connections and feel incredibly supported which I love being part of. At worst it’s a bitchy, bitchy bitch fest full of narky mean girls who seem to be having their first bout of PMS since they conceived their little cherub. There are some questions that come up often, only to descend down a spiral of snide comments and passive aggressive insults.

Here are five questions on parenting that are not worth the time it takes to type out on your iPhone while breastfeeding.

1. When should I feed my child chocolate? The answer – whenever the heck you want to (once they’re on solids of course). But you will get responses from disciplined mothers who managed to keep the stuff away from their kids until they made it to school and also some sheepish women who found older siblings giving their kids an easter egg before they even had teeth. When it comes to anything nutrition related, if you’re seriously concerned speak to a medical professional.

(For the record – I’m firmly in Camp Chocolate. My kid has been known to eat the stuff for breakfast on days when I just…couldn’t even. There are also days when he’s eaten nothing but cherry tomatoes so I think we’re good.)

2. Should I do controlled crying? What you’ll end up doing here is sparking debate about the pros and cons of controlled crying and why it absolutely must always / must never happen. Some women swear by this, some try and fail and some never bother. Surprise surprise – all babies are different.

3. Which pram / car seat / high chair / hypo-allergenic baby wipes should I buy? You’ll get 100 answers and end up more confused. Either be highly specific with what you’re after or ask a smaller cross section of people.
4. Should I put my child in childcare, family day care or pay for a nanny? Lots of children thrive in child care centres. Other parents see that their kids are more comfortable in a more exclusive environment. Some have tried one form of child care, only for it to be a disaster and turn to another option for ‘salvation’. You’re not going to get a standout answer from the general public. (The same applies to the private vs public school debate.)
5. Should I vaccinate my child? Unless you want to be crushed by an avalanche of strong opinions – just don’t go there on a public forum. Don’t even try saying “No judgement please!” because the people passionate enough to comment on this issue are judging harder than Simon Cowell at an X-Factor audition.

I’m not saying that forums don’t have their place, they are an amazing way to get tips on reducing nappy rash or ideas on preparing vegetables that toddlers will actually eat. But when you’re after specific advice it’s best to stick close to your like minded parenting tribe and not risk being confused or insulted by some Mama Bear with a sore head.

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