Parenting magazines should be renamed, 1,000 Ways to Accidentally Kill Your Kids.
During my first pregnancy and Ainsley's babyhood I spent a great deal of time digesting all the information in parenting magazines and books.
This habit was a contributing factor to my post-partum depression.
Here's the problem, in the exact same issue they include conflicting information and either way you're screwed:
One article says you should make your child wash their hands 10 times throughout the day to prevent illness. If you're making your kids wash their hands before bed, after high-fives and 8 other times during the day you're making your kid and yourself neurotic.
Flip the page and there is a story on the surge in childhood diabetes. Researchers are looking at extreme cleanliness as an environmental cause.
Oh, you mean like washing their hands 10 times a day to prevent a cold? We're trading a cold for diabetes?
We also have these gems:
* Checking to make sure there are no stray hairs around their fingers and toes every time you change them. Apparently one child in Canada almost lost a toe due to a hair being wrapped around it tightly.
* Getting early intervention services for autism - even if your doctor thinks he's fine.
* Dark meat, turns out is good for kids. (Last year white was best.)
* No riding on ATVs because doctors have seen injuries.
* No more peanut butter cause other kids are allergic.
* The wrong size soccer cleats might cause your kid to lose a toenail.
* Daycare for the under 3 month baby prevents asthma. (Last week it caused RSV.)
* No amount of lead is okay now. Even if it's not deadly, it will make them stupid. Go get another blood test and spend thousands figuring out where it's coming from and getting your 1950s house treated. Forget that millions of people walking around the planet practically ate, breathed and bathed in the stuff and are just fine.
* Fat will give the heart disease in their 20s. 40% of fat kids' parents think they're normal, beware you might be one of them.
* Childproofing items are dangerous: outlet covers will choke them (chose between death by electricity or choking); bathtub safety seats caused drowning; wipes warmers start fires and electrocute people; seat belt positioners aren't good, now 8-year-olds need booster seats; bed rails to prevent falling out could kill them; sleep positioners to prevent SIDS could suffocate them; Ipecac will prevent poisoning, but could kill them anyway; baby rearview mirrors might help you, but become a flying object to injure you in a crash, crib bumpers to prevent their heads getting stuck between slats will suffocate them.
When you read the statistics they have to justify their preventative advice it's always like 18 kids in the last 20 years. Which, when you consider how many kids there are on the planet - millions - it isn't really alarming enough to justify changing your lifestyle.
Now that you're good and freaked about all the ways there are to kill/mame/or damage your children, turn the page and there's an accusation that parents are too paranoid to allow their boys to play freely, offering up too much supervision not enough free play and being weird about naturally aggressive wrestling/fighting play.
Gee, I wonder why parents are paranoid?