Parenting Studies Make Me Want to Punch Somebody in the Throat

by Mary Katherine
Originally Published: 

Advice is a funny thing.

I learned the hard way that asking for advice is the same as rolling out a red carpet for unsolicited parenting opinions.

“Hey, mother-in-law? How did you get your kids to sleep as toddlers?…”

“…Oh, that’s great info…and while you’re at it please rant about what I’m feeding my kid, teaching my kid, how to discipline my kid, and the fact that he needs a haircut. Got it. Thanks. ”

Which is why I hate advice.

But you know what’s worse than advice? Crappy pseudo-scientific studies masquerading as advice.

You have the Internet, right? Here’s a challenge. Go to the front page of any news website and try NOT to find a study on parenting. Good luck. Because in the past few months I’ve been informed that…

Watching TV can lower your child’s self-esteem.

Unless you are a white boy, then it’s actually good for your self-esteem.

And self-esteem is really important, but you better not encourage it too much or you could raise a narcissist.

Because the percentage of narcissists is rising as quickly as obesity in this country.

Which is impressive since obesity is basically inevitable. Especially if your kid watches TV.

Which I guess is OK for the white, male kid because even if he’s obese (which he probably is) he’s likely got a fantastic sense of self-esteem (if not a hint of narcissism).

Confused yet? Maybe a little frustrated?

No joke, me too! And if I read one more parenting study, I’m gonna punch somebody in the throat.

Who the hell funds these things? A panel of not-parents, that’s who. Because since the world’s first mom squeezed out the world’s first baby, there has been a market for this crap.

I bet the Mother of all Mothers squatted by the fire in her cave, cursing the dirt she slept on because her tiny man cub wouldn’t stop screaming and she couldn’t get the latch situation right. I bet she laid that cave-baby on his stomach, stepped out into the night sky and screamed like a saber-toothed tiger from sleep deprivation.

And I did the exact same thing six months ago.

Regardless of what Mr. Peabody Scientist decided from studying infants in a double blind whatever-the-hell, frustrated parents from every era ever have been birthing, feeding, and raising babies WITHOUT this crazy abundance of “information.”

So, dear tiny (poorly designed) parenting studies funded by oatmeal companies and conducted by starving undergrads trying to make names for themselves: Stop wasting your time.

And media? Stop publishing this crap. You are literally helping nobody.

And this twentieth century cave mama is two seconds from punching somebody in the throat.

Related post: 10 Parenting Tips The Experts Won’t Tell You

This article was originally published on