There’s so much parenting advice on the internet. Every day, it seems, on Facebook, another trusted friend is sharing an article with 6-great-ways-to, or another “must-read”. What do we do when those great articles contradict each other? How do we choose the right methods for our families without being overwhelmed?
Today’s guest, Harriet Connor, gives a great example of exactly the problems we face today in this age of internet parenting. She read an article via Facebook which talked about how children should learn to obey their parents the first time they’re given a command, and shouldn’t have to be told more than once to do something. Soon after that, however, she read an article about how children’s brains are still developing, and we can’t expect them to take in and respond to a command the first time! So who do we believe? What do we do? Where do we go to for good parenting advice?
More from Harriet Connor
Show Notes – Choosing Good Parenting Advice
With so many people wanting to offer advice, much of it conflicting, it can be hard to know where to start. Harriet suggests the following tips:
- Before you go through the information have clear in your mind what are your values when it comes to raising children. Once your values are clear you can pick and choose articles that support these.
- A wise friend suggested to Harriet that they write out their family values. What kind of people do you want to be, and raise? This means moral values, but also smaller, everyday things. Do you value sport, or not really? Reading? Bushwalking? Creativity? Identifying your values helps you make decisions in line with these.
- Harriet’s family decided it wasn’t so important for their kids to be enrolled in a sport outside of school. Although they want their kids to be healthy and active, the commitment of Saturday sports isn’t a priority for them. Harriet explains that once you’ve prioritised the important things everything else often falls into its correct place.
- Reading books on good parenting advice is better than short articles. Books give you a bigger framework, a context, and the author’s whole perspective from which you can make your decisions.
- Little bits of information don’t add up to a comprehensive understanding. It’s easy to come home from playgroup and say “we should be doing this”. It’s important to step back, ask “why?” and “how does it fit for our family, and for this particular child?”. It’s also important to remember that, if you’re married, you’re team-parenting with your husband. It’s his co-operation and support you need, not the approval of other playgroup mums.
- Harriet took her values from the Bible. Whereas the Internet can confuse you with tiny details, the Bible forced her to step back and look at the bigger picture. How can we cope with guilt, fear, confusion? How can God help us be better parents? Going back to God’s work helps us get out bearings, and acts an anchor for our parenting decisions.
Choosing Good Parenting Advice with Harriet Connor
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