Parenting is hard, there is no way around it. We all parent in different ways, so how can we say that there is only one way of parenting? In society today, there are a lot of opinions going around on what the best method of parenting is. There are also a lot of controversial ones that seem to get a lot of attention.
Everyone has an opinion and it can make it hard to be a parent when all parents really want is to do what they think is best for their children. There are certainly pros and cons to most every parenting decision and for the most part, we have to go with our gut.
We have discovered some of the most unpopular parenting tactics being used today and it’s time to weigh in on which ones are worth using, if any. Some may sound familiar because we all have used some of these from time to time. There’s no shame in it. At the end of the day, it’s an individual parent’s choice how they will raise their children. Here are 20 unpopular parenting tactics that are actually really smart.
20 The “Cry It Out” Method
The “cry it out” method isn’t a popular one, but a lot of people still believe in it. It’s not a new method, but it is a controversial one. It’s considered to be a sleep method that involves leaving your baby to cry instead of picking him up and immediately feeding him. Filmmaker Jacqui Blue is a producer best known for the documentary Beautiful Births and she says, “The mainstream idea here is that the baby learns to self-soothe,” she says. “Some parents will let their infant scream for hours until the child just passes out from exhaustion … and call it ‘self-soothing’ or ‘learning who’s boss and they won’t manipulate me!'”
19 Conceding That Teen Dating Is Inevitable
Some parents won’t let their children date when they are in their teens. Forbidding your children to date can be dangerous because you run the risk of them rebelling and doing it anyway, but behind your back. It’s perfectly natural for your teen to develop a crush. It can be hard to want to allow them to date because you are afraid of the consequences. You don’t want to deal with what might happen like teen pregnancies or sad breakups. The truth is, they are going to do it anyway, so why not leave the door open for honest communication. It’s when they hide things, that things can get dangerous.
18 Attachment Parenting Is For Real
Mayim Bialik is one celebrity that had made headlines for some of the parenting choices she has made. She loves attachment parenting and she discusses it often. The goal with attachment parenting is that it’s supposed to deepen the bond between mother and child. Laura Paret, PhD, is a child and adolescent psychologist says “Essentially both theories highlight the need for children to have warm, empathic connection — i.e. a ‘safe haven’ of comfort and security, from an attachment perspective — and encouragement to take on challenges and explore the world within firm limits set by the parents — i.e. a ‘secure base’ from which children can explore their worlds but also understanding behavioral expectations and boundaries the parents hold."
17 Raising Children As Vegans
The last thing you probably want to think about is making your child a vegan, especially if it’s not your own lifestyle choice. It’s not something that anyone has to do. It’s not like you are a poor parent for allowing your child to eat meat. There is typically a freak out about veganism that we see a lot of. But there is something to be said about the health benefits that you could be giving your child by trying out a vegan menu. It’s something to think about. A lot of people believe that it’s even good for the environment to decrease your meat consumption.
16 Putting Your Offspring on Birth Control
This is another controversial subject because a lot of parents worry that if they put their teen on birth control, then they must be encouraging them to be active, and that’s just not the case. There are other benefits to having your teen on birth control that has nothing to do with getting busy. Birth control can help make your daughter’s menstrual cycle more regular and less painful. It can even cure a teen’s acne. If your teen is asking for it, it may not be what you think. But even if it is, don’t you want her to be protected?
15 Zero Punishment In The Household
Imagine having a household in which you never punish your child? How well do you think that would go over? The baby boomer generation would consider this to be too soft. These parents grew up being disciplined quite differently because they believe that’s how they behave. But there are others who wouldn’t even dare. They believe that the now, usually considered, unacceptable form of punishment is a way to have kids be scared of you and they won’t respect you that way. According to Psychology Today, that outdated form of punishment can actually have negative effects on a child. There are many ways of disciplining your child.
14 Free-Range Parenting
Lenore Skenazy wrote the book Free Range Kids and took a lot of criticism when she admitted that she allows her 9-year-old to ride the subway alone. Many couldn’t believe why she would put her son in harm’s way. She even got called “America’s [Opposite of Best] Mom” at one point. One reader completely disagreed, however, stating, “I read the book last summer and loved it. So, did my husband. I definitely identify with the concept of free-range.” Skenazy stated in her book that risks to children are actually really rare. She doesn’t believe that unsafe things are hovering over children at all times.
13 Swaddling Babies
People have been swaddling babies for centuries, and it’s a parenting method that is still going strong. But there are others who feel that swaddling is not good for the baby. They go so far as to suggest that it could cause health issues and the inability to wake when needed. But lots of people love the fact that it helps babies sleep longer. One The Bump user stated, “With my first daughter, swaddling made a huge difference,” says Kim E. “She’d sleep for three hours at a time while swaddled and no more than 30 minutes at a time without the swaddle."
12 Nursing For A Long Time
A lot of people have a hard time understanding breastfeeding a child for longer than 12 months. The World Health Organization, however, recommends breastfeeding to at least two and even longer than that. At the end of the day, it should be your choice how long you want to breastfeed your child. “I breastfed past age two, and I really think it’s the best thing I ever did!” says Renee S. “I think my son has a great immune system and we have a fantastic relationship. I never thought I would go that long, but I did and it didn’t feel strange or unnatural. In fact, it was quite the opposite.”
11 Co-Parenting With A Friend
We’re not talking about co-parenting with your ex, this is something completely different. This is a relationship that’s different from the standard marriage. Co-parenting can be between two people who used to be married or it could also be between two people in a polyamorous relationship. Not everyone is in favor of this sort of thing because they believe it to be negative. There isn’t any evidence, however, that there are negative side effects as long as the “parents” are stable individuals. It may be unconventional, but there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it.
10 Allowing Children to Be Unschooled
Unschooling is homeschooling on a whole new level. Unschooling means allowing your child to decide what to learn and how to learn it. People who love it, love the fact that their kids are learning from their experiences. They prefer to bake a cake in order to explain fractions rather than teaching them the same thing out of a textbook. But others believe that there are too many important gaps in essential knowledge that is missed. Plus, some kids like to procrastinate and do other things rather than learn that day.
9 Putting A Child On A Leash
Child leashes have been around forever and many people consider it to be controversial. The reason for that is because they are really meant for animals. But leashes can be helpful for the wandering child. If your child has a habit of going near busy roads than a leash can be helpful. They are also good for busy events where you don’t want to have to chase after your child all night. It’s only appropriate for a very young child, however. Don’t think that you can prevent your kid from going off to college by putting him on a leash.
8 Deciding To Homeschool
Homeschooling is another form of schooling that had been stigmatized as weird. If your child is being homeschooled people tend to look at you differently. But these days, it is becoming a lot more normalized because people are getting sick of that national problem schools are in the media for and bullying. Homeschooling isn’t meant to be a means of isolating your child. There are actually communities for homeschooled kids that allow them to develop social skills as well so that you don’t have to worry about your child not being socialized enough. That makes the situation a whole less weird when you think about it.
7 Making Sure A Child Is Vaccinated
Not vaccinating your child has a lot of controversy surrounding it and there is some strong debate for both sides. There are a lot of people that believe there is a connection between vaccines and future problems. But other people believe that this is just a myth. The History of Vaccines has shown that scientists believe that there is no link between vaccines and future problems. Vaccinating your child is important because it protects your child as well as others from diseases. It’s a controversial subject.
6 Letting Children Sleep With Parents
It has been highly recommended by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission that you don’t sleep with your baby during the first year of his life as it increases his risk of SIDS. But co-sleeping has also been proven to increase breastfeeding rates and you can do that without sharing a bed. “We put baby in the bassinet in our room until he was sleeping for most of the night,” says Jane Y, a The Bump user. “That was more for our sanity and not having to travel to his room. This worked out very well for us.”
5 Allowing Kids to have Electronics
Another debate that parents are going through is whether kids should have access to electronic devices and if so, how much is too much screen time? No parent wants their child to become dependent on technology. We want them outside to play like we used to do while growing up. The truth is that if you monitor their screen time, then technology use can be great for them. Obviously, you shouldn't allow a young child to have a social media account but there are a lot of educational games available for tablets. It’s not all bad and if you keep an eye on your kids, using technology can be an awesome learning tool.
4 Allowing Children To Have Independence
The idea of giving your child independence can be a daunting thing. We don’t want anything to happen to our child so we like to have control of their lives. But there are also parents that believe in giving their children as much independence as possible. They believe that a little independence will actually teach them a lot about life. What parents worry the most about is children's safety in public, but the Washington Post found that the rates for that risk have actually never been lower. It does depend on where you live, so check your own stats, but a little independence won’t hurt your kids.
3 Feeding Children From A Bottle
Breastfeeding has never been more popular, so much so that women are demanding to be allowed to breastfeed uncovered anywhere that they please. Bottle feeding used to be the norm, but it’s almost sacrilegious if you feed your baby from the bottle. At the end of the day, you do what is most comfortable for you because there is no evidence that bottle feeding is going to harm your child. Many people believe that there are more benefits to breastfeeding but it’s not always possible for everyone to breastfeed or they simply don’t want to. Don’t be shamed into anything regardless of where you lean.
2 Allowing A Child To Have A Pacifier
Pacifiers are another baby product that has been around for a long time and not everyone agrees on their use. Pacifiers are used because it allows you to soothe your child. Some parents don’t like using them because they worry that it will be too hard to break their child of the habit. There isn’t anything wrong with using a pacifier is you draw boundaries. At the end of the day, a pacifier can help your baby feel better and if you think about it, really, that’s all we want. Whether you love pacifiers or not, don’t judge other parents who do it.
1 Sharing Photos Of Your Child Online
This is another parenting tactic that a lot of people are on the fence about. There are a ton of parents out there that overshare their kids online and then there are the parents who won’t post any pictures of their children. The ones that don’t do it, don’t because they feel like it puts their children at risk. They don’t feel like it’s safe or secure to have pictures of their kids online. The truth is, it’s okay to share pictures online as long as you have your privacy settings in place. After all, not everyone has their family in the same city as them.