10 Most Controversial Parenting Practices

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Some parenting practices can cause passionate debate.  Mention co-sleeping or breastfeeding, and you’re sure to find some widely varying opinions.  Here are 10 of the most controversial:

1. Bed-sharing


Why is it controversial?

Proponents of bed-sharing claim it fosters a bond between parent and baby; they believe it might also help reduce the instances of SIDS.  Opponents, however, fear that the baby will be injured by a parent rolling over.

Is it really that bad?

The jury is still out, as experts disagree.  Some research does show that it will help regulate a baby’s sleep and that it helps both parents and babies sleep better.


2. Allowing your kids to drink alcohol


Why is it controversial?

For one thing, it’s illegal (though in many states you can consume alcohol with your children).  And if you buy alcohol for your kids, and any other children consume it, you will be held financially, legally, and morally liable for any negative consequences, including alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, and angry parents.

Is it really that bad?

An occassional glass of wine on a special occassion probably won’t do much harm, but it’s not a great idea to host keggers in your basement.  What about the argument, “They’ll do it anyway?”  Maybe so, but do you really want to be permitting it?


3. Not restricting soda consumption


Why is it controversial?

Free-flowing soda (or “pop”) has been linked to childhood obesity and dental problems, and it contains caffeine, which is addictive.

Is it really that bad?

Soda should be treated as a liquid dessert, not an any-time beverage.  It has no nutritional benefits and sets kids up for a lifetime of an unhealthy habit.


4. Spanking


Why is it controversial?

Spare the rod and spoil the child?  Spanking opponents claim giving “lickins” is a violent act that does nothing to teach children proper behavior.

Is it really that bad?

In a word, yes.  Spanking has been linked to aggression, long-term behavioral problems, and lower IQs.


5. Bottlefeeding


Why is it controversial?

I was bottle fed.  You were most likely bottle fed.  But now, the WHO states that the breast has always been the best.  Are bottle feeders short-changing their children?

Is it really that bad?

Not all moms can breastfeed due to poor milk production, latching problems, and time issues.  In our opinion, we shouldn’t judge a bottle-feeding mom because you never know her situation.  And a whole generation was raised on formula, so it can’t be that bad.

To read the next 5, click here.

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