effective parenting

10 Things That Parents Will Never, Ever Agree On

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fighting moms pointing fingersIf I’ve learned nothing else from writing about parenting on the Internet, is that parents have strong opinions on everything. And I mean Every. Thing. Ever. Name a parenting choice and there will almost certainly be a corner of the Internet vehemently for and against it. When it comes to raising tiny humans, there is rarely a middle ground, even when they probably should be. Below are 10 things that parents  will never, ever agree on, and they will be happy to let you know why…

10. Daycare

Daycare Parenting topics 1



Daycare is a staple Mommy Wars argument starter because it encompasses everything that sanctimommies like to fight about; other people taking care of your kids, financial aid, working moms, etc. Send your kids to an expensive daycare? You’re paying people to raise your babies. Send them to a low income daycare using vouchers? You’re a lowlife mooch who’s letting the government raise your kids. No matter what, you can’t win.

9. Television

kids watching TV parenting topics



Personally, at my house we rarely watch TV, but that’s mostly because we’re super busy. I see nothing wrong with a little TV action on the weekends, or whenever you can steal an hour or so, but some parents equate letting your kids watch Baby Einstein to letting your kids smoke some crack (no, really). This debate can get HEATED.

8. Pacifiers

pacifier debate parenting topics


I didn’t realize that this was such a hot-button issue until I took the time to Google “Pacifier Debate.” Seriously, this seems to be such a huge issue for people, and I don’t get it. Someone else’s decision to use a binky has literally no impact on your or your kid. Get over it!

7. SAHM vs. Working Mom

sahm vs working mom parenting topics


Ah, the eternal debate. To stay at home or not to stay at home. It doesn’t matter than plenty of mothers don’t have an option, and that the whole “generation of SAHMs” from yesteryear is a myth. Nope, you simply can’t have a discussion about heated parenting topics without bringing up this old standard. And you rarely hear about work from home parents, SAHDs or anything in-between. If you strictly listen to the Mommy War pundits, you have two choices – stay at home and teach your kids that women are subservient doormats, or head to work and abandon your kids to Big Daycare or some other heartless, uncaring stranger. Either way, you lose.

6. Kid Leashes vs. Strollers

stroller vs harness parenting topics


Kid leashes are so hated among sanctimommies that you’d think we were discussing those electrified poles that circus trainers use to make lions do tricks. In some ways, I kinda get it, I mean they are a leash…except not really, they’re more of a harness, and they seem pretty useful  to me. Then there are those parents who are vehemently anti-stroller and pro-harness

5. Extended Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in general is controversial, but nothing gets people riled up like the idea of extended breastfeeding (ie: anything past 12 months). All you have to do is mention EB on a parenting forum and you’ll have a comment section filled with irate sanctimommies faster than you can say “if they can ask for it by name…”

4. CIO vs. Attachment Parenting

CIO vs AP parenting topics


The bitter feud between folks who believe in the Ferber Method (sometimes called CIO, but not technically the same thing) and Attachment Parents is as epic as the Hatfields and the McCoys (or Carson and Rivers, if you must). Ferber parents think AP parents coddle their kids, whereas AP parents think the CIO method is cruel and mean. The fact is, most parents I know do whatever works best for them and it has little to do with politics and everything to do with getting enough sleep to function the next day. #Fact

3. Chore Wars

chore wars parenting topics


Personally, I hate this newfangled idea that a kid’s main job is to “be a kid.” Kids have “been kids” since the dawn of time, that doesn’t mean they they get to be little mess-making slob machines that eat everything in sight and crap chaos. I think kids should be taught from a young age (unless they have a disability that makes it impossible) to do their part around the house. The whole “I want my kids to be kids and have everything I never had” attitude does nothing but breed spoiled, entitled brats. This is one of the few topics that I have trouble saying “to each their own” because these kids grow up and them we, as a society, have to deal with them.

2. Spanking

spanking debate parenting topics


Spanking is basically the holy grail of parenting argument fodder. Even mentioning the word brings out literally ALL the trolls. Personally, I’m against spanking. I think the fact that children are the only people you can regularly assault and get away with it speaks volumes about how society values them. That being said, I was spanked as a kid and I think the issue is way less serious than other, more pressing parenting concerns. Let’s stop arguing about spanking and start a dialogue about the rat-race world we live in that facilitates the stressful situations that cause it.

1. Free Range Parenting

free range parenting topics


The most overblown parenting “debate” in my opinion is the Free-range/Helicopter parenting argument. The vast, vast majority of parents subscribe to neither of these parenting “methods” but rather a mixture of the two that works best for them. Do I sometimes let my kids run around the block too the ice cream man, even though I live in the urban jungle of NYC? Hell yes. Do I often agonize over the stupidest, most inane subjects other times? Yes. I guess you can call me a Free-range-helicopter-tiger-panda-crazy-method-mom.

(Photo:  Michal Kowalski/Shutterstock)