15 Pieces Of Parenting Advice From Country Moms

Every single parent raises their children a little differently. Like no two parents are the same, no two children are the same either. One child may respond differently than another to certain punishments, chores, etc. Parents should keep this in mind as they raise their children. Parents should also keep in mind that just because their parents raised them one way and it worked does not mean they have to apply the same parenting tactics to their own children. There are tons of different books, blogs and forums discussing the different types of parenting and the pros and cons of each style.

The four main types of parenting styles are authoritarian, permissive, authoritative and uninvolved.

Authoritarian parents are thought to be strict with the parents completely in control. Permissive parents are the opposite—they let their children run the show. Authoritative parents communicate well with their children so both parties have an understanding of where the other is coming from. Finally, uninvolved parents are exactly that—uninvolved. These are the commonly recognized parenting styles, but there is another style of parenting as well—from the country. A country or 'hillbilly' parenting style may seem a little more unconventional, but this traditional style has been passed down from generation to generation.

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15 An Adult Painkiller

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Despite the fact that the drinking age is far over one year old in most developed countries in the world, some moms stand by using whiskey or other forms of alcohol to ease the pain in a teething baby’s mouth.

While giving a baby a little does, in fact, take away the pain, the whole situation is rather controversial. Even in small doses, alcohol can be poisonous and/or fatal for babies. Reactions to alcohol could include seizures, respiratory failure, hypoglycemia or even death.

Instead of this unconventional method, try frozen washcloths, teething toys or rub a clean finger across the baby’s gums. Distracting the baby by playing with them, feeding them or simply holding them is another way to get the baby’s mind off its sore gums.

14 Public Embarrassment

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While public embarrassment seems to be a fairly effective source of punishment for children who act out, is it really a good idea? Some parents think that it is a very extreme parenting style and that it will only teach children to humiliate others in the future. In addition, there is some research that shows it can lead to strained parent-child relationships and cause the child emotional trauma that lasts.

Some people feel that public embarrassment is emotionally harmful to children. However, it usually works as it is a lesson that children will never forget, but is that necessarily a good thing? Things like hugging one’s mom in public, telling stories about one’s child when they were younger in front of friends and other “embarrassing stuff” parents might do to intentionally or unintentionally embarrass their kids do not fall into the same category as making one’s child wear a sign in public because they stole something or “roasting” one’s child online. The latter two are much more likely to cause psychological distress in the future.

13 Cereal In The Bottle Trick

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In the first few months of a new baby at home, parents are often pulling their hair out trying to get some sleep. Former parents may advise them to put cereal in their baby’s bottle in hopes of having the baby sleep for a longer amount of time. However, this is not a very good idea. Sure, it could maybe make one’s baby feel fuller and sleep longer, but young babies are still learning how to swallow—meaning that a baby may inhale the cereal and choke on it.

This trick is often employed for babies less than six months old, too—which is the earliest any infant should ever be introduced to solids. Sadly, even some doctors still recommend this outdated and dangerous practice to parents. Does it work? Sort of. It may keep the baby sleeping for longer stretches, but it’s important to understand why.

Babies don’t wake frequently to be an annoying nuisance to their parents. They wake because of hunger cues. They need to eat as frequently as their body tells them to for developmental reasons—not just because their tummy is empty. Infant cereals are void of whole nutrition. So filling baby up on cereal can actually stunt their physical and cognitive growth.

12 Car Seat Conundrum?

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Car seat? Who needs them? This mindset is very, very wrong. Car seats are necessary for a child’s safety. No matter how good of a driver a parent is, their child will be in danger if they are under a certain size and not in a car seat. Car seats save lives of many children each year.

In some places, parents can get a major ticket if their child is not in a car seat. Even though a new, up-to-date car seat may be pricey, it is well worth it. Keep in mind that as a child grows they will need different car seats. Children start in a rear-facing car seat, then a forward-facing five-point harness car seat and finally a booster seat. Most states require children to be in a booster seat until they are eight years old.

11 Just Supervise ’Em

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A lot of parents are willing to let their kids drink, smoke or use illegal substances as long as their kids are being supervised—by the parents themselves. While this may be a safer option than doing such in an unsupervised setting, it is not necessarily a good idea. Either way, these things are illegal in the United States. Some parents think this is a good idea though, because they think it will teach their children how to do these things responsibly.

Is it really responsible to break the law? Research shows that allowing your kids to drink before they are of legal age will cause them to be more likely to binge drink later in life. In fact, while many people take issue with the legal drinking age being 21, research shows that exposure to alcohol before such an age increases the risk of substance use problems down the line.

10 Indulging The Picky Eater

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Sometimes, children refuse to eat certain foods and the only way parents can get their children to eat anything at all is to let them only eat that one specific food they love. Parents, do not give in to letting your child eat chicken nuggets for every meal for weeks on end. First of all, it is not healthy for them at all.

Often, kids will always choose a less healthy, overly processed food over things like fruits and vegetables. So, allowing your children to only eat chicken nuggets will further promote the idea that not eating healthy foods is okay. Second, by giving in to a child who is a totally picky eater, it teaches the child that it is okay to demand other things that they want later in life and refuse anything else.

9 Leashes Galore

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In the past few years, more and more parents are seen holding leashes that attach to their kids. Though the leash often attaches to a cute little backpack that the child wears, it is not really a fashion statement. While many parents find it helpful in busy places like malls or amusement parks, it is still rather odd to see a child being treated like a four-legged friend.

Leashes allow children some freedom without having to hold their parents’ hands. Many parents worry that their child will be snatched up by a kidnapper if they are not attached to a leash, but perhaps if the modern parent did not scroll on their phone as much and watched their kid more closely (or even played with their kid), this would be less of a concern.

8 More Car Seat Issues

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Tons of parents choose to ignore other car seat issues. One issue is referring to state laws instead of federal recommendations for car seats. State laws should be the minimum amount parents do concerning car seats as the laws are made by politicians and not safety engineers. Another thing a lot of parents do is throw out the manuals to their child’s car seat.

Looking over the manual will help parents know the best way to use the car seat. Furthermore, using hand-me-down car seats or propping a car seat or baby carrier on the front of a shopping cart is not a good idea. Hand-me-down car seats are often not up-to-date with the latest technology. Propping a car seat in the front of a cart could make the cart top heavy and tip over.

7 Bite Them Back

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Parents dread the day when their child goes through the biting phase. Young biters are often excluded from playgroups, daycare or other activities and it makes the parents feel so guilty. Some parents suggest biting a child back after they bite someone else to show the child how it feels.

However, this is not really a good idea. Biting back is like resorting to violence with violence. There are other ways to teach a child that biting others is unacceptable. For instance, do not “reward” your child for biting, meaning do not pick them up. Parents should focus their attention on the one who was bitten instead of the biter. Also, keep in mind that young children are learning that it is not appropriate to bite others, so keep that in mind.

6 Television Babysitter

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A large number of parents think that a TV is an acceptable babysitter for children. A TV cannot do the Heimlich maneuver, nor drive nor call 911. No matter how long the week was, it is not okay to shove children in front of the TV instead of hiring a real babysitter. Sure, money may be tight, but it cannot be that tight if parents are planning to go out and spend money on themselves.

Regardless of the situation, many babysitters charge a reasonable fee or there are other programs in one’s community that can watch children. Furthermore, television and screen time, in general, can lead to future struggles for children like obesity, aggressive behavior, speech delays and other learning delays. If money is really too tight, save up for a babysitter or wait until your child is 12 to go out.

5 Boys Will Be Boys

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“Boys will be boys” is a phrase that we have all heard. Somehow, it excuses boys for pushing, hitting, being mean, being messy and so on. This is a phrase that needs to be banished from our vocabulary. Sure, boys may act in these ways sometimes, but girls will, too.

Either way, it is not acceptable for either gender to get out of consequences because “boys will be boys” or “girls will be girls.” Such behaviors should be addressed on an individual level instead of a sweeping generalization that all boys are this way. It teaches boys that they do not have to be accountable for their actions because it is just the way they are.

Well, being mean, messy, pushing and hitting are not specifically in male genetic makeup. Sure, males may be more aggressive by nature, but that does not mean that inappropriate aggression should not have consequences. Furthermore, what message is it sending to females about males? Remember, we’re preparing these children for adult relationships one day.

4 Throw Them In

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Many a child has been taught to swim by this method–“Aww, just throw them in.” Throwing a child into the pool may work for some children, but it can be scarring or even deadly for other children. Some parents think that by throwing their babies into water, it will make them “drown-proof.” It can teach children to float and balance in water, but it is not advised.

Children who have learned to swim by the throwing-in method have mixed feelings. Sure, many learned to swim quickly, but many were scarred or scared by their parents because of the experience. Some children even become scared of water for life because of this teaching method. In the end, it is probably better to enroll one’s child in a swimming class if they want to teach them how to swim.

3 Don’t Let Them Fail

Many parents no longer think it is a good idea to let their children fail at things in life. Every kid should be encouraged and feel like a winner all the time! This is not a healthy mindset and it does not prepare children for the real world. Too often, parents with this mindset often take over their children’s school projects, strictly make their child practice a dance routine, etc.

This not only puts a lot of pressure on the kids but also puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on parents. Kids should be allowed to fail because, by the time they are adults, failing could be really difficult if they have never done it before. It is important to let children fail sometimes because they will feel that much more successful when they succeed.

2 More Kids, More Babysitters

THE BABYSITTERS, director David Ross, Katherine Waterston, on set, 2007. ©Peace Arch Releasing

Veteran parents may tell new parents to have more kids because then they can babysit each other, parents will have to schedule fewer playdates and there will be more people to do chores. However, none of these are truly “good” reasons to have another child just because parents have one already.

While yes, children can babysit each other, having one’s children babysit each other is not always a good idea, especially if the siblings are young and close in age. Scheduling fewer playdates might seem like a bonus, but it is also good for children to interact with others outside of their family. Furthermore, having another child because it will mean there is another person to do chores is a ploy—because more children means there will be more laundry, more dishes and, overall, more mess.

1 Bribery, Baby

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Tons of parents choose to bribe their kids to get their children to do things like quiet down, do their chores, get good grades, etc. While some bribery may be a good call occasionally, constant bribery is not a good parenting technique. For a lot of parents, if their kid starts throwing a tantrum, the response will be bribery with candy or a toy. This is not a good idea because it teaches the child that whenever they throw a tantrum, they will get rewarded.

Furthermore, rewarding a child for everything they do just teaches children that they should get rewarded for everything they do all through life—including rewards from other people. Bribery dissuades children from learning the benefits and rewards of hard work.

References: Red Book Magazine, Bright Horizons, Huffpost, Wholesome Baby Food, Washington Post, Baby Center, Parents, Today

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