Children Know Best?

Parenting.  It’s most definitely not an easy job.  Sure, children can be challenging.  It’s not just the act of parenting our children that can make being a parent rough.  There’s also the push and pull of different parenting philosophies, disapproving strangers, judgmental mommy groups, and trying to be all things.  Some parenting philosophies maintain that as parents, it’s our job to make the best choices on behalf of our children.  Apparently, there are also those that believe that children know best.Children Know Best? (Cloth Diaper Addicts)

Sure, there’s child-led parenting, attachment parenting, and other philosophies that believe that, to some extent, children know best.  It’s countered by, on the extreme opposite end, of philosophies that believe in strict, regimented scheduling and that children will fall into line.  I imagine that most of us fall somewhere in between.

I came out as pro-vax on this blog last month.  In other blogs previously, I’d written pieces to explain my position in the vaccination debate.  Generally, when I have a discussion about the vaccination debate, it can stay rational.  I don’t feel the need to get worked up, and since it’s my blog, I have the ability to just plain click delete on anything that’s profane or laden with personal attacks.

I rarely feel the need to insult the intelligence of the person who disagrees with me.

Every now and again, though, I see something that’s just so riddled with logical fallacy that I have to pick at it.

When Nissa at The Cloth Diaper Guru came out as pro-vax on her Facebook page, things on her page became a bit less respectful.  That’s always too bad when it happens.  There was one comment, though, that I had to pick apart.

JMC offered this helpful suggestion.

Natural methods are always better that (sic) chemical poisoning. There are reasons kids don’t like to get stabbed.

Okay, I’m going to ignore the assertion that vaccines are chemical poisoning.  Fine.  That’s her belief.  I don’t agree with it, and I’ll pick the “chemical poisoning” bit apart later.  What I found far more interesting was her suggestion that vaccines are bad because children don’t like them.  Or that somehow, children inherently know that vaccines are bad for them and that’s why they cry.

Since children know best, I’m going to have to make a list of things that are clearly bad for them.

Broccoli

Obviously, broccoli is poison.  Produce stores everywhere should have warning labels on the mini trees to let us know that children know best and their visceral reaction when made to eat the steamed green trees clearly means that it is toxic.

The Dark

The dark is, obviously, a horrible place.  If it wasn’t, then children would not fear it so.  This means that we must immediately lobby our governments to be sure that they create synthetic suns over every city to ensure that we have no dark ever.  After all, children know best.  Nevermind the need for darkness to help with sleep/wake cycles in healthy adults.

Car Seats

Who cares that infant and toddler safety seats have saved lives?  Sure, it can prevent our children from becoming missiles in the event of an accident.  But you know what?  They are clearly inhumane torture devices that should be banned immediately.  Children know best, and they frequently fight, twist, squirm, and scream when it’s time to go in.

Diaper Changes

Clearly, it is a horrendous thing to change our children.  If it wasn’t an awful thing, mothers everywhere wouldn’t commiserate about being kicked in the face or fought so hard during diaper changes.  Obviously, this means that the most reasonable course of action is to either a.) let our children run naked and defecate wherever they please or b.) let our children wear the same diaper until it falls off or disintegrates.  Bath time, bedtime, brushing teeth, and changing clothes are also acts of abuse that must be eliminated immediately.  After all, children know best.

At the end of the day, it falls to us as parents to make the best decisions that we can for our children.  If you decide that some commonly held practice, even if it has been proven to save lives and has eradicated disease, is not something that you want to participate in, fine.  But at least own it.  This nonsense that our children don’t like it because it’s bad is clearly just that: nonsense.

Have you ever gone against your children’s express wishes because you felt that it was in their best interests?

 

Attachment Parenting, Divorce, and Mayim Bialik

While I have no personal experience with divorce, I do remember learning from my friends while growing up a simple truth: divorce sucks.*  When you’re famous, divorce can be even worse.  When you’re famous and advocate attachment parenting, then you really get comments from the peanut gallery.

Just because Bialik favors attachment parenting doesn't mean it caused her divorce.

Mayim Bialik, image from Wikipedia

Mayim Bialik has made headlines because she’s getting a divorce.  She’s said point blank that attachment parenting had nothing to do with the divorce.  I figure, hey, it’s her marriage and her divorce.  She should certainly know better than me if co-sleeping or extended breastfeeding caused issues in her marriage.  She’s the one who lives it.

Still, that doesn’t stop the press (or those who oppose attachment parenting for some reason) from speculating.  She mentioned attachment parenting in her divorce announcement.  That must be the real reason!  Why else would she bring it up?

Here’s the deal: I don’t practice attachment parenting.  Sure, I’ve done babywearing and I bottle fed on demand.  However, I can’t even sleep with my kids in the same room, let alone the same bed.  It doesn’t work for me.  That doesn’t, however, mean that attachment parenting is a flawed system or that it’s the cause of someone else’s divorce.

She’s raising her children the way she thinks is appropriate… and I imagine that he was on board with it in some sense.  There are a lot of reasons for marriages to fail.  Just because she advocates a parenting style that isn’t for everyone doesn’t mean that it led directly to their divorce.  Making assumptions about what can be a difficult time for anyone, regardless of how unhappy the marriage may be, serves no one.

All that I can say about her divorce is “Good luck, Dr. Bialik.  Hopefully everything works out well for your family.”  But really, even that’s none of my business.

What are your thoughts on the speculation about Bialik’s divorce?

*No, I’m not advocating staying in an unhappy marriage.  That can suck worse than divorce.