I don’t agree with your parenting choices. Now let me explain how you should raise your own children.

There are seven billion people in the world. How many of them are children? I don’t know, let’s ballpark it at around two billion. Just for argument’s sake, can we say there are two billion children in the world?

Good, OK. Alright, what’s the average child-per-parent ratio in America these days? I think it’s less than one (always a sign of a thriving civilization), but I’ll be generous and call it two. So, Average Parent in America, out of all the children in the entire world, what percentage have you personally parented? Consider every unique, individual, distinct child. Consider the infinite multitude of environmental, biological, psychological, spiritual, cultural and educational factors that went into crafting their specific and particular identities. Contemplate the human mind; its mysterious nature, its immeasurable complexity. Now consider the fact that every child has one of these minds all to its own. Think about human personality and how many different sorts of it that you’ve encountered in your own limited experience. Now multiply that by a few billion. Try to wrap your head around the variety and diversity of humanity. Now, go back to my question: what percentage of these have YOU actually parented?

Here, I’ll help. The answer is approximately .000000001. If I’m not mistaken, that’s about a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a tenth of a percent. The sleepless nights, the stressful days, the joys, the pains, the sorrows, the elation, the suffering, the sacrifice, the love; everything that comes with parenting. You’ve gone through all of this — with .000000001 percent of the children on the planet. You have never parented a full 99.99999999 percent of the children in the world.

By no means am I attempting to diminish your experience. How could I? What kind of person would want to do such a thing?

No, your experience is profound and beautiful. Your experience is incredible and unimaginable. Your experience is YOUR experience. It could never be less than that, but it also can’t be more than that.

Stop trying to make it more than that. It’s everything it needs to be. But your experience is not enough to write the Official Guide to Parenting the Right Way. Your sample size is far too small, and so is mine, and so is everybody’s.

So stop it. Just stop it. If you debate parenting techniques as if there’s One Right Answer, and then accuse other parents of causing damage to their children because they don’t subscribe to your techniques: stop it. If there’s two billion children on the planet, there’s two billion answers. TWO BILLION. Are you confident that you have the formula for all two billion of them? If you do, then your own kids better be perfect. I mean, flawless. I mean, you’re raising a little Gandhi/Mother Theresa/Moses/Spiderman hybrid. If you have the secret to parenting EVERY CHILD ON THE PLANET, I better not come to your house and find your kid stuffing crayons up his nose or peeing on the cat or whatever other things that normal (but not perfect) kids do. I better find him in his room, playing a recording of a classical music piece he composed, while inventing a cure for cancer.

See, something happened, and I never wanted it. I became a “Daddy Blogger.” I guess because I have a blog, and I am a daddy, and sometimes those two things collide. Whatever the reason, some folks are now under the impression that my blog is “about parenting.” Little do they know that my blog isn’t actually about anything. Some days it might be about parenting. Others, it might be about religion, or fitness, or psychology, or bad musicals, or politics. I’m not an expert in any of these subjects but I write about them because they’re on my mind. When things are on my mind, I write them down. My therapist recommended that strategy about ten years ago; and now here we are.

In any case, I’m perceived as a “Daddy Blogger,” which means I get a lot of emails dealing with parenting topics. Some of them are interesting and enlightening. Some of them — dozens every week — are, well, like this one from last night:

“…can you write a post about CIO? Parents that do this are abusing their children and creating abandonment issues for the future. I have some friends that practice CIO and I can’t stand what they’re doing to their children…”

I had to look up “CIO.” I thought it stood for Chief Intelligence Officer — in which case, yes, absolutely. I think parents ought to be the CIOs of the household; analyzing data, monitoring phone calls, spying on computer and internet activity, tracking your kids’ comings and goings, etc.

Ah, but apparently CIO actually stands for “cry it out.” This is when your baby is crying in her crib and you let her cry it out, rather than immediately coming and picking her up. I had no idea that this was a “thing.” I thought it was something that people do sometimes, depending on the child, depending on the circumstance, depending on her needs, depending on the parents, depending on a thousand different ifs ands and buts. Silly me. Google informs me that this is a huge controversy. How long OTHER PEOPLE allow THEIR children to cry has become controversial. We must all have an opinion about whether or not any parent should ever do this in any situation, and we must impose that opinion on others.

Here’s another email. This one is from Friday:

“Matt, as a well known Dad Blogger I thought you’d like to tackle the issue of spanking. Personally I think the white trash hicks who physically impose themselves ontheir kids should be locked away. How is anyone still doing this in the year 2013? Spanking is just another word for child abuse.”

That’s from a guy named Vince. He’s determined that spanking is always wrong for every child no matter what, and any parent who does it must be an abusive white trash hick. My parents spanked us on rare occasion. They had six kids. Three of us are now married with kids, another entered a religious order, and the youngest is still in college at a small private university. In other words, we’re all having success, living nice lives, and we were all spanked as kids. Would we be failures if we hadn’t been spanked? No, I doubt it. But spanking was part of a parenting strategy that really appears to have worked well for my parents. So that’s it. End of discussion.

Or at least it should be.

And there are hundreds of other emails and messages I could copy and paste here, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Parenting is “controversial” nowadays, so naturally every single dimension of it must be debated, discussed, argued over and even legislated. The Spanish sought the Fountain of Youth. We seek the Perfect Parenting Recipe.

Well, we don’t “seek” it, so much as try to convince all of our friends that we already have it.

What are we doing to ourselves? What are we doing to parents? What are we especially doing to new parents? I can answer that last question, because I am one. We are taking an already difficult time, and an already overwhelming experience, and heaping on top of it a massive helping of paranoia, not to mention feelings of doubt and insufficiency. I’m a pretty confident guy but even I feel the impact after a while. It’s inevitable when everyone is beating me over the head with “advice” that’s always framed like this: “PARENT YOUR CHILDREN MY WAY OR THEY WILL DIE!”

And, since everyone thinks they have the Handbook to Parenting, you end up with a billion different Handbooks that say a billion different things. Imagine getting a job at a nuclear reactor, only to sit down at the control panel and find that every button has a dozen conflicting labels: “push here if you want to turn up the air conditioning, or it might cause a fire, or it might make chocolate gum drops fall from the sky, or it might blow up the city, or it might turn on the coffee maker. Also, if you don’t push this button everyone will die. Or they’ll die if you do push it. Push the button. Don’t push the button. But push it. Don’t push it.” It would have to be a really huge control panel if every button was labeled that way, but you get the point.

And that’s what’s become of modern parenting. Whereas moms and dads used to make every decision based on the needs of their particular child, now we all enter into this thing utterly discombobulated by the busybody blathering of the peanut gallery. I don’t think you should parent your child based on any societal consensus, but if I wanted to determine the consensus, it seems to be something like this: You shouldn’t spank your child because it’s abusive and you’ll destroy his self-esteem and ruin his life. But you also should spank your child because if you don’t he won’t be disciplined and then he’ll turn into a drug addict and his life will be ruined. You shouldn’t let your baby cry it out because you’ll create abandonment issues and you’ll ruin his life. But you also should let him cry it out because otherwise he’ll become needy and demanding and he’ll never be a well-adjusted adult and his life will be ruined. You shouldn’t circumcise because it’s genital mutilation and you’re a horrible person who ruined their son’s life. You also should circumcise because it’s hygienic and it prevents infections and it prevents the ruination of your child’s life. You shouldn’t use formula because it’s lazy and you’re an awful parent and you will ruin the lives of your children. But you also shouldn’t breastfeed for too long because you’re a freak and a weirdo and your child will grow up and still be breastfeeding when she’s in college, which will ruin her life. Oh, don’t forget sleeping. Yes, sleeping is controversial. How you choose to sleep, and the location of your baby while you sleep — this is something that must be hotly debated. You shouldn’t co-sleep because it creates attachment issues and you might smother your child and he’ll die. You also should co-sleep because only a monster would banish their child to a different room, where she will likely get SIDS and die. Wait, but pacifiers. Yes, pacifiers. These are lightning rods for controversy. You shouldn’t use pacifiers because you’ll give your child an oral fixation and he’ll be dependent on them until he’s 40 and his life will be ruined. You also should use pacifiers because otherwise he’ll cry all the time and you’ll feed him just to shut him up and he’ll get fat and his life will be ruined. What about the sort of car seat you buy? Or the diapers you use? Or the clothing you dress them in? Or how you carry them? All controversial. You’re a scoundrel and a lowlife no matter which way you go with any of these decisions. And many of these things are really only “controversial” among moms — dads don’t generally argue about these sorts of topics — but I get thrust into the middle of all of this simply because I wrote a few blog posts about parenting. WHAT IS GOING ON? WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? CALM DOWN, EVERYONE. ME FIRST? Right, me first.

OK, I’m calm. But seriously, this is nuts. Parenting is hard enough as it is. We don’t have to turn every movement, every choice, every strategy, into a battlefield, where the bruised and bloodied bodies of unsuspecting parents are strewn about; beaten and defeated by the barbarian hordes who descended upon hearing news that some stranger was raising their kid in a way that doesn’t align with the beliefs and perspectives of every other person on the globe.

As far as I can tell, from my own .000000001 percent experience, there is only one “strategy” that absolutely every parent in the world ought to adopt: love your children. Love them. Strive to do what is best for them. This, this I will insist is the “right” way for all parents to parent. I’m not saying love is ALL your child needs. She probably needs some food, and water, and shelter, and a ride to field hockey practice, but give her all of these things in love. And whatever direction you go with the “controversial” parenting topics, go that way in love. Love your child. Love YOUR child, specifically. The opinions of the self-appointed jury don’t matter, because those people don’t love your kids. Not like you do. They also don’t know them. Not like you do. They speak in the abstract, based on their experience with their own children. But their own children aren’t your children, and the distinction is absolutely relevant. I don’t know anything. I’m not an expert in anything. I’m certainly not an expert in parenting. But I’m pretty sure about this part. Love your children. Love them, and everything else will fall into place.

Love your child. Then spank him if he needs it. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

But if you do, you’re a white trash hick. So keep that in mind.

**********

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337 Responses to I don’t agree with your parenting choices. Now let me explain how you should raise your own children.

  1. Emma Cutland says:

    Awesome blog and one I will share as I think it’s what every parent needs to hear – you’re ok!!!!

  2. WOW! Loved this post…so, so, so true! And such a wonderful delivery…you’re a great writer!

  3. Danielle says:

    This is SO great! I had never read your blog before, and now I’m hooked. Thank you. Refreshing to see a man’s perspective too! :)
    Ironically, I posted this and it turned into mommy wars. I just sat back and laughed. Really? Really. It’s like they only read the CIO part and had a heyday. Just ignore the whole chunk about us being different people with different beliefs, styles, and children. That makes SO much sense… I guess I’m just another conservative Christian white trash hick. I’M the close-minded one. Ok, I’m calm. Lol. Yeah… You wrapped up into one genius blog everything that I’ve ever felt/thought on this subject. So perfect. Thanks again!

  4. Kasi Viswanath says:

    Well written. I liked the below lines.
    “with .000000001 percent of the children on the planet. You have never parented a full 99.99999999 percent of the children in the world.”
    and
    “I’m not an expert in any of these subjects but I write about them because they’re on my mind.”
    and
    “Love your children. Love them, and everything else will fall into place.”
    and
    “Love your child. Then spank him if he needs it. Or don’t. It’s up to you.”

  5. Thank u for saying what needed to be said

  6. Juliana Ridling says:

    Oh my Lord you are my hero!

  7. Courtney says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha! Thank you for this post!

  8. Stephanie says:

    You made many valid points, but I have to disagree with your final point. Loving your child does not make you a good parent. There are plenty of men and women who genuinely love their child and have no idea how to be a parent. They make life-threatening mistakes only because they do not know any better. Loving your child is only the first step. If you truly love them, seek out solid parenting advice from those that have children that turned out the way you want your children to turn out. That’s what makes a good parent. Accepting your shortcomings and getting help makes you a good parent.

    • Daphne says:

      That’s a good caveat. Advice IS a good thing… as long as you know how to take it. (I think the problem is that we feel like we need to take EVERYBODY’S advice, or we’re failures.) I like to listen to more experienced parents and get ideas from them. But in the end, I need to use that advice in a way that fits my child.

      • Stephanie says:

        Definitely, you need to find the advice that fits your child. Parenting is an always changing aspect of my life with three children since none of them are alike. What worked for one child doesn’t work for the others; so, I’m constantly seeking advice because I love my children and want to do what’s best for them.

    • Lauren says:

      I think what is implied in Matt’s statement about loving your child, is the definition of love. By loving your child you’re inherently going to be rational, logical, and seek advice in areas you’re unsure about. You’re going to be self sacrificing and firm, you’re going to strive to be all the things love is. To love isn’t just an emotional response. It’s a pattern of behavior and words that are spawned from feelings of affection and loyalty. So I agree with Matt – the most important thing to do as a parent is to love your child.

  9. QJet says:

    Thank you for writing this!! I certainly have my opinions, but you make very good points about how judgemental we get about EVERYTHING. I find myself talking with other mom’s about our fears of having our children taken away because someone doesn’t agree with how our children are disciplined or fed or….

    It seems like many people appoint themselves as spies, not just looking for real child abuse, but really going over board over differences in style

    Anyhow, it is nice to know there are voices of reason out there.
    Q

  10. Holy COW! Best Blog post ever & this is how I have been feeling lately. I’m sharing this!
    Thanks a bunch!

  11. Spencer says:

    I am not saying I disagree but lets say there are 600,000,000 cars on the planet today….. I have only driven 7 of those. I bet you I have the experience and brain power to drive 95% of them. I am not saying they would all need a jiggling ease into reverse like my 69 IH Scout but I could be successful at driving them. So I must be able to offer advice on driving right…..??? Just sayin’.

    • Tina says:

      Exactly

    • Mom n Pop says:

      So a child is comparable to a car in complexity, care and handling, needs for discipline, love and guidance. I have never met a car that would throw a temper tantrum in public. if a car messes up you take it to the shop or replace it. Not so easy with kids.

      • Spencer says:

        We’ll the other day my starter acted up in front of Wendy’s and everybody got to stare at me while I gave it a little to back where it needs to be. So yeah.

    • Marie says:

      Sounds like you’re proving Matt’s point. Just because you’ve successful driven 7 of the countless vehicles on the planet doesn’t mean you’re qualified to offer advice about driving. Even more so for raising children. Just because you have “successfully” raised 1.5 children doesn’t mean you’re qualified to tell others how to raise theirs.

    • Cynthia says:

      Are you really comparing a child to a vehicle???????

  12. Bella says:

    I am now a big fan of themattwalshblog. you wrote what has been on my mind in the past 13 years i have been a parent. my mother and grandmother drive me nuts when they tell me how to raise my kids, they make a big deal when I dont do things the way they did, they tell me that they feel sorry for my children and worry about their future because of what I’m doing and what i’m NOT doing… geez! my children eat 5 times a day and have computers and books, and I stay at home with them 4 days a week. you said it matt as long as I know I love my children everything else will fall into place

  13. Your message should not only reach your followers, but the world. This is probably the single-most frustrating thing I go through as a parent. And I come from a country where everyone is smarter than you and knows more than you do, and where people just need to teach you about everything they know nothing about! And if I told you which country that was you’d laugh, because unlike what one would think should be of a country filled with such geniuses, it is one of the most backwards, saddest countries in the world, and my family and I relocated to Singapore for that very reason. The people who really get under my skin are the singles who have no kids. I would love to know what it is that makes them feel like they can offer parenting advice. I have a wonderful little boy who is highly sensitive, and before we moved to Singapore, I got so much advice on how to deal with him, and my husband and I were literally blamed for having “ruined” him. People like that can cause serious damage when they think they’re doing us a favor. And because the subject of “high sensitivity” is relatively new and still unclear to many, we had a really hard time fighting these jerks who just seemed to know that our son wasn’t “normal”. Just a few months later, in a more forward thinking country, my little boy is thriving, and I have never heard a single complaint from his teachers! I actually started a blog a few weeks ago (after having been inspired by you Matt), not to offer advice because I certainly am not a reference, but to bring up the difficulties we face with our highly sensitive kids who sadly have to grow up in an increasingly insensitive world (www.sensitiveandextraordinary.com). Thank you Matt for saying what needs to be said! Always!

    • Nancy Barrett says:

      Hi Leila – If you haven’t already, you might want to check out a book called “Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic” by Mary Sheedy Kurchinka. Despite it’s name, its not really a “parenting advice” book so much as encouragement and possibilities to explore for those of us who have children who don’t quite fit the mold. Glad that you are being such a great advocate for your son!

      • Thank you so much Nancy! I’ll be sure and buy it over the weekend. I’m just trying to find out as much as I possibly can about this. Up to this point my husband and I really didn’t think there was anyone else out there going through the same thing! And I’m ashamed to say that I was starting to think those people were right, that maybe there was something wrong with him. Like I said I come from a place where everyone is “perfect”. God help their children. Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

  14. Christen says:

    Thank you so much for writing this blog! I’ve had issues with everyone and their advice since I first got pregnant April 2012. The very first issue? Whether or not I wanted to get the epi. Oh my gosh, my mom thought my husband was horrible and Satan sent for supporting me in wanting to endure all that pain! What? It’s my pain, you don’t have to feel it so what do you care? lol. & Every since she’s been screaming, “You’re not doing it my way! She’s gonna die!” at me. The first thing on actual parenting was me choosing not to heat bottles in the microwave at first, then not putting rice in her bedtime bottle, or feeding her at 1 month. . . It’s like, for pete sake, just let me raise my own kid & if you’d like to raise another, by all means go adopt one or have yourself another! AH, okay, I’m calm. But seriously, you said some much needed stuff. Props.

  15. Jonathan says:

    I think you make a lot of good arguments here for people being more flexible and open-minded when it comes to parenting methods.

  16. Nancy Ann says:

    Thank You, I really needed to hear this today.

  17. Gram says:

    If you need advice ask for it. I am a bit leery of unsolicited advice.

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  21. lisawoody says:

    Reblogged this on Sibling Sanity and commented:
    Whenever you’re feeling like a failure, remember, you’re the one that God gave these children to. You’re the one He chose. We’re all amateurs when we start families. Go forth. Be brave. And give yourself a break.

  22. Jay says:

    This is an awesome message, but you missed the mark a bit with your examples so I can’t say I agree with you 100%. I would say we definitely need to get to a place where we respond to others with kindness.
    But I also can’t believe that hitting anyone is ever ok. So I can’t say that spanking is a valid parenting choice. That’s not me judging other parents, that’s my worldview for all people, adults and children alike. Husbands should not be hitting their wives. Teachers should not hit students. Parents should not hit their children.
    These people, like you, who are asking the world’s parents to calm down and sing kum-by-ya somehow forget that some of these issues are NOT meaningless parenting decisions. There are moral implications to condoning violence against children that I will not be silent about to save feelings.

    • Tony says:

      Police officers hit people in the quads to get them on the ground when they are “throwing a temper tantrum” in public. It’s actually written into their operating procedures. They specifically target the quad because it is less likely to break a bone, but will help with getting the person on the ground. Are you also against police officers using this method of getting dangerous people under control and out of the public before they hurt someone?

      How about coaches that hit certain parts of their athletes bodies while they are doing complicated maneuvers when a limb is not in the right place as a physical reminder of what not to do in order to establish muscle memory? Obviously the coaches aren’t intending to cause harm, they are trying to make their athletes more competitive. Are these people also on the the list of terrible people?

      And we also have the streets of New York where everyone is constantly physically assaulted by the shoulders of others. Should we also be running around trying to insure there is a full 3 inches of personal space between all pedestrians just to insure we don’t hurt someone’s feelings?

      Some kids may need a slap on the backside in order for them to learn. If you love your kids, you will know the difference between a slap and physical abuse. But way to cater right to Matt’s blog about how not to behave when it comes to offering advice to other people’s raising methods.

  23. KOHNAN says:

    This is a parenting blog? I thought this was a blog about the historical falacy of the ediocentric bipartisan formulation of economics through the tidal rotation familiar in the middle class structure?

    Man, I think I’m in the wrong place…

  24. Raul Lopez says:

    Yeah, Matt, calm down… I’ll add one bit of comment and… Oh boy… I might be asking for it… There is one place you can go to get the right type of advice… I’m pretty sure you already know where to go with it (by reading some of your other posts) so I won’t bother getting into that. To sum up? Only go to one place and you’ll figure out everything else. Btw… That ‘one place’ is not the lady/man next door or Doctor so and so with a Phd. in Child Psychology that was so busy getting his diploma that he/she isn’t even married or had a kid yet.

  25. Kara says:

    In think you can contribute alot of this to social change. It’s not necessarily all bad. I’m sure when mom was the only one staying home with 6-8 mouths to feed, entertain and keep alive a few feathers were ruffled. Generally households are smaller now so you don’t need to spoil the rod and beat child so much. Just my 2 cents.
    We have also made it through women’s liberation and the civil rights movement. Quality of life is better.

    To add to that there are alot of damaged adults walking around with the responsibility of parenting who are ill prepared, emotionally broken and struggling. That doesn’t mean they don’t have children.
    I’m a Waldorf parent so for me loving my children and meeting their needs is paramount. But Im also trying to raise well rounded compassionate children.

    With the very young what is most important is to help them to
    free themselves from psychological pressures and problems.
    Now the very young are being taught complicated intellectual
    problems; their studies are becoming more and more technical;
    they are given more and more abstract information; various
    forms of knowledge are being imposed on their brains,
    thus conditioning them right from childhood. Whereas what
    we are concerned with is to help the very young to have no
    psychological problems, to be free of fear, anxiety, cruelty, to
    have care, generosity and affection. This is far more important
    than the imposition of knowledge on their young minds. This does not mean that the child should not learn to read, write and so on, but the emphasis is on psychological freedom
    instead of the acquisition of knowledge, though that is necessary.
    Don’t know where I found this but I saved it and it is the most profound thing I have ever read on parenting or pretty close.
    If you have time you should read Magical Child by Joseph Chilton Pierce, I’m curious after reading this post what your opinions would be.
    I agree that parenting is extremely personal but I also have concern for what kind of children we are preparing to send fourth out into the world.

  26. Its really excellent blog nicely written!

  27. Shelly says:

    I just read this post this week and I have gone back and re-read it. You have helped me so very much. I needed to read this. My experience with my sweet Rose is so very unique. As a new mom, I have been given a ton of advice and I have sought out a lot of it. What gets me is when a fellow parent says “you have to…blah blah blah or blah blah blah will happen.” Really? So you can guarantee me that if I don’t do “such and such” my child will become “such and such?” There are few absolutes in well-meaning parenting. Yes, if you don’t feed your child, they WILL die, but if you don’t spank them will they turn into a spoiled brat? Maybe spanking won’t work for Rose, maybe she’ll be like me and taking toys away or time out will be a better lesson for her. Or maybe she will need to be spanked. Who knows? All I know is I will raise her with love and I will seek out Christ while doing so. God is the only one who can tell me exactly what I should do. His advice is the best…and you know what the number one thing He says to do over and over in the Bible?…LOVE.

  28. Jennie says:

    May I say bravo!! This is truth and will be true again once your kids are teens especially if they are teens who seem to need to make a few mistakes before they figure things out. After many years of parenting I have learned the only thing I can do perfectly is love them! I also had to learn to politely ignore all the judgemental advise givers and embrace those who loved my kids and me who might have a good idea.

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  30. Angela says:

    You’re sounding quite like a moral relativist here. The two instances you give of CIO and spanking don’t take into account at all that these things have been shown in many studies to be harmful to children. So, people should sit back and let other parents harm children? Yes, discussions such as these should be done in a charitable, gentle, and loving manner, but they need to happen. This is how we’re opened to new ideas — by having other people challenge us, not by walking on eggshells because we parent differently. I’m growing as a parent every single day because people call me on things, and I research untiringly.

    • Cynthia says:

      What studies are you talking about? What is the nature of the study? You will always find an answer to satisfy what you want to find. My siblings and I were spanked as children. I actually know a decent amount of individuals that were spanked as children. We have all turned out good, unharmed, people that are grounded in our values and beliefs. So what, are we just an anomaly to these studies? Or is spanking different than it was 20+ years ago?

  31. Summer says:

    Have I told you lately that I love you?? You are so right about this. As a new mom of a five-month-old I have felt so conflicted by the instructions that I have literally had a panic attack, and might have made my husband think I am a crazy person.

    Same goes for how we choose to birth our babies–have a Caesarian because it’s safer and your baby will have a nice round head, except don’t because your baby won’t have leadership skills or love properly and it will ruin their life; do it without drugs at home underwater because if you don’t you are a lazy drug-seeking mother, except do it in a hospital with an epidural or else you’re a raving lunatic earthbound spiritualist…

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  34. “Chief Intelligence Officer”. That’s a good one :))

  35. Jo says:

    I want to give you a medal for mental clarity and the rare ability to “part the seas” as Moses did, and get through the OCEAN of nonsense people inflict upon one another. Thank you for proving there is someone else out there who uses their brain. :D

  36. Erik Kennedy says:

    You contradict yourself in the end by saying you insist all parents aught to love their kids. I agree with that, but I would also note that surely there are some people who were capable of having sex and producing children and kept those kids, who were not loved, whose parents were not loved, who are themselves ignorant to what love is, who are too selfish to truly love, or even there might be those who think that loving your child is withholding affection and stonewalling their kids or they do so because they think that is best for another reason. And then you put yourself in the position of telling all parents in all situations for every child that they aught to love their kids and that loves looks a certain way, and then in the end you have to admit that there are things that you should insist are part of good parenting, which would be my point. There are things that all good parents should do. I say good cause this is another built in assumption in your post, that all parents are good and that they want to be good parents. All parents are not good. There are parents who punish their children by sticking them in a pot of boiling water, and I’m gonna say no, no one should be allowed to do that, and society should make laws against abusive behavior. And you agree, and that’s why this article is bad. Despite a parents limited experience in parenting, you can still make judgments that apply to all parents and parenting because even if a child is not yours, you can genuinely care about that child. Rather than go on and on let me just end this here by stating that for all parents in all situations there a things that should not be done. There are things that should be done. And then you have what your post is about, things in the middle ground that are debatable. The only problem is, that there are going to be people who disagree about what things are debatable and what are cut and dry. And how can you fault people who truly believe that hitting your child with an object such as a belt or a wooden spoon or even your hands is child abuse and want to make that behavior illegal because they care about children? Ugh I said I would end this and I will but I want to go on and on.

    • Cynthia says:

      Some people are just never satisfied…you are putting your own words into his blog, by the way. And every child does deserve love and there sre ramifications for those that are deprived of it. Charles Manson, those other people with major social issues…those are what come from not truly knowing love.

  37. Cynthia says:

    Good read! I would like to point out that parenting 50+ years ago was probably just as opinionated as it is today. However, social media and networks gives people the impression that everyone needs to be right up in each other’s business. Back in “the old days” journaling meant one would take a pen and paper and write down their thoughts. Now, it means one has a blog on a website that is virtually accessible to the entire world, creating a way for debate to be seen on a mass scale. That’s what makes the topic of parenting seem so controversial today.

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