Experts on Child Rearing – Should You Listen to Them?

By Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.

Listen to experts? NO! Not if you are about to use them as a step-by-step methodology for raising your child.

Now a disclaimer: I am a child development “expert.” Starting out as an Early Childhood Education major, on to being a Kindergarten teacher; through to a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and life as a professor, text book author and parent – I live and breathe child psychology. Yes, I am one of those experts.

So why then do I ask if you should listen to child rearing experts and answer NO? In short – because your child is your child and not my child.

I didn’t want anyone telling me how to raise my son and I wouldn’t think of telling you how to raise your child. But there are ways an expert can be helpful. What an expert can do is suggest ideas, raise questions, and mention what research shows about children, parents and the interactions between them.

Parenting skills require thinking:

= thinking about the child and its development

= thinking about yourself and your development

= thinking about the interaction between the two of you

That’s the simplistic part. Add in a spouse, other children, pets and life and – oops – you get a much more complicated scenario. A scenario most idiosyncratic to you and your home – nothing the expert experiences on a daily basis – if at all.

In fact, even within your home each being lives in a “different” scenario, as what constitutes “self” is different for each one of you – and “self” will differ from time to time even for an individual. So how you interact with your children, to my way of thinking, can and will change depending on many factors.

Only you, the parent, is an expert in raising your child. What the rest of us experts can do is offer information and advice…not step-by-step “rules.”

And now I invite you to stop by Parenting 201 where you can find out lots more about children and parenting and more about my e-book You Can Totally Screw Up As A Mom And Still Raise Great Kids

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