How to Raise Kids The RIGHT Way

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how-to-be-a-good-mother

So, you want to raise kids the right way? Easy!

1. Breastfeed them. Or don’t. If you want to give the natural way a shot and you have the determination, support, and drive, go for it!  The medical community says it’s best for babies. If cracked, bleeding nipples and latching battles don’t sound like your cup of tea, or if you just don’t really have it in you after 9 months of miserable, painful pregnancy, don’t breastfeed. You see, there’s this amazing thing called scientific advancement that made the creation of a substitute — called formula — a nutritionally acceptable alternative to breast milk, and no one has yet to cite their mother’s choice to use it as the factor that turned them to a life of crime. Whatever you decide is best for your baby and you is the right choice. Period.

2. Co-sleep. Or don’t. Some parents who do it responsibly swear it helps with bonding and makes nighttime feedings easier.  Other parents don’t trust themselves not to roll over on the baby in the night or worry too much about suffocation from bed sheets, among other things. As long as you’ve done your homework, I say either option is the right one, Homes.

3. Sleep train/Let them cry it out. Or don’t. Some babies do really well with this method, learning how to self soothe relatively easily and enjoying hours of peaceful, uninterrupted slumber as a result. Other babies simply aren’t having it, requiring a more hands-on comfort approach until, gradually, they’re ready to doze off solo. If you’re listening, mamas and papas (and unless you’re a cave-dwelling imbecile, chances are good you are), your baby will tell you what’s right for him.

4. Wear your baby. Or don’t. For some, baby wearing is where it’s at, maximizing bonding potential and fostering mad love between parent and child. For others, achy joints from toting around additional baby poundage and an overwhelming desire to have a fucking second to oneself make baby wearing sound more like an exercise in self punishment than one in relationship building. If 6-20 pounds of baby on your person increases the parent-child love factor for you, I say wearing the hell out of that baby is right for you. If back problems and emotional stress at the mere thought of baby wearing plague you, I say scrapping the idea altogether is your best bet.

5. Feed them organic food. Or don’t. Some parents have the luxury of growing their own food or of being able both to tell the difference between true organic labeling and loophole labeling at the grocery store and to afford high-priced organic fare. Others aren’t capable of gardening or farming and/or don’t have the cash flow to purchase overpriced organic foodstuffs. Ask yourself: Am I feeding my child?  If the answer is yes, you’re doing it right.

6. Ban TV until they’re in kindergarten. Or don’t. There are people out there who believe strongly in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines when it comes to screen time for children, opting to occupy kids’ time by unplugging and engaging them in developmentally appropriate activities. There are others who have a hard time believing a few hours of educationally sound programming a week will turn their children’s brains into mush. Whichever ideology rocks your socks is the right one.

7. Circumcise your sons. Or don’t. Some parents follow thousands of years of circumcision tradition, believing that circumcision wards off infection and offers their gents cosmetically appealing genitalia with little or no pain at procedure time thanks to the advent of a little something called anesthesia. Others can’t stand the thought of mutilating their little prince’s privates and opt to leave the decision whether or not to slice in his hands when he’s grown. Cut or don’t cut, peeps — your penis preferences don’t define you as a parent.

8. Stay home with them. Or don’t. Some parents strongly believe in being the sole caretakers for their children and are either lucky enough to have a reliable single income that makes staying home an option or have worked hard to make staying home a reality.  Other parents either can’t afford to stay home or enjoy having a career in addition to being a parent and find the social interaction kids get from daycare beneficial to their children’s development. SAHMs, WAHMs, WOHMs, and even SAHDs rejoice! Whether you stay home or work has little to no bearing on your child’s risk of becoming a homicidal maniac.

9. Ditch the sweets. Or don’t. Many parents and healthcare professionals believe a balanced, nutritious diet is the only way to go when it comes to nourishing children. Other parents and healthcare professionals are certain a piece of candy here or a cookie there aren’t going to thrust children into lifelong, sugar-induced comas. Doesn’t matter if you nix treats altogether or allow the occasional ho ho — you’re kicking some parenting ass, you.

10. Love them. Sorry, friends, but there’s no “or don’t” with this one. Whether you show love by playing a round of H-O-R-S-E in the driveway or by snuggling them before bed each night, rest assured that there’s no such thing as too much.

It all comes down to this, parents: If you’re trying your best, congrats! You’re doing it right!

Now, pat yourselves on the back and then go get a big ole glass of wine or a heaping bowl full of ice cream. Lord knows you deserve it — it’s hard work not fucking these little monsters up.

Related Post: To The Parents Who Make Me Feel Better About My Own Parenting

Comments

The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 6

    says

    Very negative view of breastfeeding. I have been doing it for 9 months with few problems of latching, cracking or damage. The latter two were related to expressing via pump in the early days (baby had to stay in hospital for a few weeks) and certainly weren’t severe!

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    • 7

      says

      Karen , it’s great that you have had such a positive breast feeding experience. Unfortunately some of us didn’t. Latching,cracking,
      engorgement, mastitis, when I finally decided to pump and not breastfeed it was a pure blessing!!!!
      I didn’t find her comments negative just indifferent .

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      • 8

        Hillary Terramagra says

        See here’s the thing, cracked bleeding nipples and mastitis obviously aren’t anyones “thing”, but moms who choose to continue to BF, do so for their baby’s benefit. No my statement does not imply that FF moms are “lesser” moms, I’m simply pointing out that women don’t choose to breastfeed because they enjoy tolerating the 1st 3 months of associated issues. (after 3 months most women do not experience these issues and BF is smooth sailing)

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        • 9

          Kate says

          I didn’t have any of those issues. I breastfed four kids and honestly there was no cracking, no bleeding, no mastitis, no nothing. If there had been, it might have made breastfeeding unattainable for me even though I love my kids just as much either way. Just because one person can do it doesn’t mean another can or that it’s even worth it.

          If this doesn’t make sense to you, try reading about Spoon Theory. http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/wpress/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ It’s for disabilities but the general concept of spoons is a great way to think about the differences between all of us and how we ration out our respective pools of resources. We don’t all get the same amount to use and we all have to choose what to prioritize.

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      • 10

        Chelsea says

        I wanted to breast feed so bad, but after 45 hours of labor, and a c section with complications, my body was too stressed to produce, we tried everything and nothing worked. I cracked, I bled, I barely made colostrum! So we decided to stop trying and started formula feeding our daughter. She is healthy as can be!! :-D

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    • 12

      says

      I think what she is trying to do with the entire article is just to reassure or remind parents that as long as they are loved, whatever way you raise them is right, i am sure she didnt want to portray a negative towards any parenting choice and she has a great sense of humour to go along with it :)

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    • 14

      says

      I also don’t view her view of breastfeeding as negative, some of us weren’t as fortunate to be able to breast feed, and trust me, my daughter grew up just perfectly healthy and fine on formula, thank you.

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    • 15

      Ashley says

      Yeah it could have been worded better. It makes the assumption that every mother who breastfeeds goes through a crazy amount of pain. It doesn’t have to be like that especially with the right support and it’s totally worth it for the long term health of both mother and child. No offence to ff!

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      • 16

        Janet says

        The reason why I LOVE this writer, is because she uses sarcasm and exaggeration. She possibly is exaggerating the breastfeeding bit…but I wouldn’t know. I tried for 3 weeks and it was most definitely a major cause of my severe (hospitalised in a psych ward type severe) PND. Quite honestly, I LOVE the fact that there are people on public forums who are starting to blow our generation of mothers who claim you are a bad mother if you bottle feed, go back to work etc. etc. etc. When I had my first son in 2007, no one would dare point out the difficulties of breastfeeding for fear of lynched by a bunch of hippies. I was made to feel incredibly guilty by all kinds of people. When I was pregnant with my second child, I actually went to my paediatrician to find out what the scientific difference is between breastmilk and formula and he (a well renowned paed) said the only difference is a bit of protection against some tummy bugs. Given that I am in Johannesburg, South Africa, our babies get immunised at 6 weeks against the rotavirius bug (nasty nasty), his answer was really all I needed. I will never forget his words…remember this is a well known, been around the block, paed, “What I need from you, what your babies need from you and what your husband needs from you is a healthy you. If trying to breastfeed is going to increase your anxiety, you don’t breastfeed. If you crash, your family crash.” If people want to breastfeed, awesome. If they don’t, don’t judge.

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  2. 19

    says

    Half of these things weren’t a thing when I had my oldest 9 years ago .. I breastfed, baby wore, blw, Co slept, banned cartoons the works but with my 2 year old ive done almost the opposite bar blw .. They are *both* happy healthy clever content children so do what’s right for you mamas it’ll work out!! Xxxx

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  3. 22

    says

    Not everyone has cracked, bleeding nipples and latch problems. My firstborn, my son, was a dream to nurse. No pain, cracks, he latched rough on. I never had latch issues with my daughter either. I did get a cracked nipple at one time because she is like a pirhana. And out nursing experience has been great as well. I”m still nursing her and she just turned 2. You shouldn’t shed that light on breastfeeding like it’s a miserable experience. Some people have issues, some dont. It’s the best job you’ll ever have and you can’t get that same skin to skin bond with bottle feeding. It’s a very special experience.

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      • 24

        Brook says

        You definitely can do skin-to-skin bonding without breast feeding….you can even *gasp* bond without taking your clothes off, if naked baby cuddling isn’t really your thing.

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      • 25

        Janet says

        Ahhh… my other personal best. You can’t bond when bottle feeding…of course you can! Yes, you can either take your top off OR how about just let baby lie on you skin to skin whenever…although maybe not in public…or even there. Who cares? Seriously though…in the bath or whatever. When my boys drank from their bottles, they were right there on me, looking in my eyes and playing with my fingers. If that’s not bonding….then I don’t know. It wasn’t like I put them on the other side of the room and dispensed the milk through a giant straw.

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    • 27

      says

      I think it’s not a slam on Breastfeeding. I think the article highlighted that it isn’t a joyful bonding experience for some.
      Breastfeeding brigade needs to get off its high horse and just support women’s choices.
      Everyone has their own reasons for what they do. I for one was in no way prepared for the difficulties of Breastfeeding and I personally think there needs to be more awareness that it isn’t easy to everyone and some people may struggle. And not just with the cracked nipples. So although your feeding experience was good, which is lovely for you, there are others who haven’t been as lucky. I thought the article was a really good take on both sides of the article.

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    • 29

      T.B.C.. says

      I don’t know why a few people saw what this article said about breastfeeding in a negative light. As new moms most of us have actually had breastfeeding shoved down our throats a lot, almost too the point of making us feel like failures if we don’t. This mother is simply pointing out that all choices don’t work for everyone the same. I despised breastfeeding. I FORCED myself each time with all three of my kids, who are all great kids, One in college, one about to graduate from high school and one who is 12 now. I made it to about two or thee months with all of them. It is not a positive experience for everyone. I myself have extremely erogenous nipples and not only was it uncomfortable as all hell for me, the stimulation made it unbearable. To each their own and it’s OKAY if it doesn’t work for you.

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