I remember as a child my mum saying “if you eat carrots you will see in the dark” and another favourite was “if you eat your crusts, you will have curly hair”. Now I have worn glasses since the age of 9 so there is as much chance of me seeing in the light or dark as there is knitting fog and given the fact that my brother had no hair by his late twenties, let alone curly hair, it kind of blows these parenting theories out of the window.
I had to laugh at this video created by CANparent, who are a new Government (DfE) initiative aimed at providing high quality parenting classes to support the parenting skills of both mothers and fathers. The video even mentions the carrots ….. they must have spoken to my mum!!
As a parent myself, I now know that mums and dads will do almost anything to convince a child to “eat their greens” or other such good things but parenting myths have a tendency to become folklore through the generations.
Parents love to categorise and one of the most renowned myths is “The Terrible Twos”. The "twos" -- or more accurately, a period in time that falls somewhere between 18 and 30 months of age -- are terrible only if you're unprepared (speaks she who is riding the wave of a determined two year old).
Now anyone who has had a 2 year old will find that sometime during that 12 months period, it's almost certain that your beautiful pleasant mild mannered baby will be replaced by a stubborn, argumentative and tantrum-prone toddler. Familiar anyone? I was having a chat with some fellow mums only yesterday and the general consensus was that toddlers are essentially little people and they are just learning to exert their personality.
We have found that praising often works wonders, like “You did a wee wee on the potty! Well done!” (followed by clapping and some dancing) But when a tantrum erupts, it seems the best thing to do is ignore her, as long as she isn't hurting anyone. Shouting or similar attempts to subdue—even with affection— can sometimes make tantrums last longer. (trust me, I know).
So are the terrible two’s a myth? In my opinion, there's no denying it, 2-year-olds are totally cute! Their curiosity about the world is infectious and as parents it is our responsibility to encourage their character, not crush their personality. Trying to get a toddler to conform is the only terrible thing about it!
For more information about CANparent and expert parenting advice visit and “Like” the CANparent Facebook page.
What are your favourite parenting myths?