If you are a parent, you may or may not have noticed, but you are under siege. From the moment a woman gets pregnant, you (man or woman) are under attack. Attack of information. Some good, some not so good.
It is simply amazing that there is any parent that doesn’t go simply insane! I mean life happens, and some days you have to deal with it. We all want and need to protect our children will do anything to do so. We worry about it. We take quizzes to rate ourselves. But it is this same need and desire that makes us easy to exploit.
It is bad enough that we sometimes feel the need to beat ourselves up about the little mistakes we make, everybody knows that sometimes accidents happen. We do not need the deluge of information out there telling us what bad people we are.
Madison Avenue Attacks
Did you breast feed? Similac has “just as much iron” as mother’s milk, “Plus” yada yada yada. What bottle did you ultimately buy? Avent for their “natural” style nipples? Playtex Nursing Bottles which help “keep air out of baby’s tummy”? How did you come to that decision? By reading ads that told you what is the “best” for your child.
Who didn’t go out and buy, or have someone buy for them a tape, video or some other item that was supposed to benefit your son or daughter from The Mozart Effect? We scrutinize toys for the development benefits. We buy things that will give our children whatever “edge” we can give them in life.
Pushing Your Buttons: Not Just For Advertiser Anymore
Advise on raising your child hits you from all angles. From your mother-in-law (or mother) who just means well, to the snobby neighbor who is always pointing out how their amazing child could do calculus at 6 months, to PETA telling you how cruel you are to Bovine-Americans for stealing their milk and feeding it to your child, it is not just advertisers preying on your fears and insecurities.
If you have even given your child Tuna Fish, you are poisoning them says PETA. “The message should be: `Eat more fish for your health while minimizing your mercury intake,”‘ adds Ned Groth, a scientist with Consumers Union, a nonprofit group. Which is right? The decision you make will affect your child for years to come.
Your doctor makes suggestions in such a way to make your feel bad to not listen to their suggestion even if you disagree with it, because hey it is better to be “safe than sorry” right? Advocates from all walks of life try to get you to bend to their will, by instilling fear that you are in some way harming your children.
Organizations who want every chemical compound ever made be removed from our lives and in order to do so try to convince us that a Fabric Softener Sheet is Biohazard Waste, and allowing one in your home, never mind allowing your children to touch one is tantamount to murder.
I even fairly recently overheard a comment from a lady as she walked to church (on the corner near my house I have not one but two churches), how “horrible” this mother she saw walking with her family in front of her. Why? Because “that horrible woman” had her daughter dressed in “slacks” and that only leads to “no good.” “For goodness sake,” she went on, “the poor little girl will probably wind up being a lesbian.” A Lesbian? From wearing “slacks”?
Where does information like this come from? How do we filter the good from the good-intentioned to the just plain out BAD? Please make it stop! We worry enough about whether or not we are doing the right thing for our child… we don’t need this! Stop the insanity! Leave us parents ALONE!!