Five Common Parenting Myths

When it comes to parenting, everyone has some advice to give. Make sure your daughter wears a hat or she’ll catch cold. Make your son cleans his plate – it’s good for him. There are an abundance of old wives tails and an endless number of well-intentioned friends and family members who are all too happy to recite them as fact. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Worry no more. Five of the most common parenting myths are debunked here.

1. You Should Make Your Child Eat Everything on Her Plate. Once upon a time it was common practice to make a child eat everything that was put on his or her plate. Unfortunately, it’s really not a healthy habit. Because of the growing incidence of overweight children and adults, it’s important to instill proper eating habits at a young age. That means teaching your child to stop eating once they feel full – not forcing them to eat everything in front of them.

2. A Runny Nose with Green Mucus Means a Bacterial Infection. If your child has a runny nose with green mucus, it doesn’t necessarily mean an antibiotic is needed. If the green mucus is present for 5 days or more, a trip to the doctor may be warranted as an antibiotic is probably necessary. However, many viral infections can cause green or yellow mucus and these illnesses just need to go away on their own. An antibiotic won’t help a viral infection.

3. A Fever Should Break on Its Own. Some people think that a fever should be allowed to break on its own because giving a child a fever-reducing pill will cause the fever to last longer. Fevers can make a child feel miserable and a fever-reducing pill won’t make the fever last longer, it will just make your child feel better. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about giving over-the-counter medication to your child.

4. Children Should Take Daily Vitamins. Many people believe children should take multivitamins. Before giving your child a multivitamin, check in with your doctor as many of the foods your child eats are already fortified with vitamins. If your child is already eating a balanced diet, a daily vitamin may not be necessary.

5. Babies Should Be Fed Cereal So They Will Sleep Through the Night. Whether or not your baby sleeps through the night may have very little to do with how full they are. Unfamiliar sounds, discomfort and a wet diaper are just as likely to wake a baby up in the wee hours of the morning. The best way to get a baby to sleep through the night is to establish a sleep schedule. Then your baby can grow into the schedule and sleeping through the night will eventually become second nature.