5 Pieces Of Cliche Parenting Advice That Don’t Work (& 5 That Actually Do)

There doesn't seem to be a subject that brings up more unsolicited advice than parenting. It would be strange if you bumped into strangers at the grocery store and they told you that you weren't doing your job well... but for some reason, when people see a mom, they tend to give advice without even being asked.

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There are many pieces of cliche parenting advice that don't make any sense, just like there are many pieces of advice that have been passed down for generations for a good reason. We compare the two types of advice.

10 Doesn't Work: Saying They'll Grow Out Of A Phase

Sometimes people say that if your toddler is always in a bad mood or refusing to be polite to their sibling, it's just a phase and something that they'll grow out of it.

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This is a piece of cliche parenting advice that doesn't work because there's no reason why moms need to sit back and wait for their little ones to magically change their behavior. That doesn't work with adults so it wouldn't work with kids, right?! It's totally fine to talk to your kids about how they're acting and remind them about manners (in fact, as the mom, that's definitely what you want to do).

9 Works: Read To Your Kids

By now, it's clear that reading to your kids is a great thing, and it might feel like a total cliche to be told this. But this is another piece of cliche parenting advice that actually works.

Reading to your kids helps them with so many things. It teaches them new words and helps with their developing and growing vocabulary, it teaches them about using their imagination, and it turns them into lifelong readers.

8 Doesn't Work: Tell Your Children "Because I Said So"

Chances are, back when we were kids, we heard our moms say "Becuase I said so" even once or twice. We didn't like it and it didn't really change the way that we felt about the situation.

If your own mom or a friend tells you that this is a great phrase to pull out when your kids are upset about something, you'll want to find another way to deal with things. It's a harsh statement that doesn't work.

7 Works: Limit Screen Time

Being a mom in 2019 is all about screen time. (Okay, maybe not, but it definitely feels that way.) When you hear the popular advice to limit screen time, it feels so cliche by now since people can't stop talking about how much time kids spend on iPads. But this is so important to do.

We feel much better when we don't spend eight hours a day staring at the TV screen, so we can't expect our kids to thrive on iPads or screens, either.

6 Doesn't Work: Counting To Three

Another parenting tactic is telling your kids that you're going to count to three and when you're done, they have to stop playing or doing whatever they're doing.

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This doesn't work, though, because if you employ this strategy enough, kids will get used to it and won't even listen anymore. It's a better idea to talk to them about why it's time to put the toys down and why they have to do something else now.

5 Works: Follow A Routine

Mother and Daughter Making a Salad

Some people thrive on flying by the seat of their pants and not following a routine... but most people feel much better when they establish a routine for themselves. Moms love following routines because you can get so much more accomplished when you make a game plan for the day and for the whole week.

If someone tells you that kids love routines and doing the same things day after day, you might think it sounds like yet another piece of cliche parenting advice, but it really works. Your kids will be so happy.

4 Doesn't Work: Saying "One More Bite" At Meal Times

It seems like sitting at the table and sharing a meal together is never simple. It's tempting to say to your little ones "Just one more bite" because you've seen other moms use this tactic, and you figure that this will work great.

The problem is that this doesn't allow kids to listen to hunger signals or cues, and it makes food seem like something that should be forced. You want your kids to have a healthy relationship with food so this doesn't seem like the best way to go here.

3 Works: Always Give Kids An Explanation

It might seem cliche to be told that you should always give your children an explanation about whatever's going on. The truth about this piece of parenting advice? It sounds obvious... and that's why it works so well.

Kids love knowing why they have to do something a certain way since they're naturally full of curiosity. If you tell them exactly why they have to see a friend tomorrow instead of today, for instance, they'll understand and will be able to move on.

2 Doesn't Work: Be Your Child's Friend

It's easy to wonder if you should be your child's friend. This is an often quoted piece of parenting advice, and on a TV show like Gilmore Girls, you see a mother, Lorelai, who is besties with her daughter Rory.

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While it works well on that series and Rory is mature and does her homework and behaves herself, this doesn't always translate to real life. Sometimes, when you try to be friends with your children, they take advantage of you and think that you can't tell them anything anymore.

1 Works: Talk To Your Kids

On the other hand, when it comes to pieces of cliche parenting advice that does work, talking to your kids like they're older than their age is actually a really good idea. When you respect your children and make sure they know what to expect from the upcoming day, they really respond positively.

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While being best friends with your kids doesn't always work, since there can be a problem with boundaries and they might stop listening to your authority, talking to them like they're mature and grown up will definitely be a good idea.

NEXT: 10 Baby Items You Can Still Use Once They’ve Grown

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