Guest Post: Stop Over Thinking (Over Reading) Parenting

Stop Over Thinking (Over Reading) Parenting
By Nicole Dash

34,711. This is the number of books on parenting
that appears when searching on Parenting advice books are a
big business. So are their online counterparts, with dedicated websites,
blogs, and message boards telling you how to put your baby to sleep,
how to discipline your child, how to tell if he or she has roseola, the
best way to swaddle your baby, whether or not to encourage the use of a
pacifier, the best way to read to your child, how to tell if your child
is going to one day be obese, and the list goes on. At some point you
have to realize two things:

You cannot parent from a book
You will make mistakes and that is okay

parent is perfect and trying to “learn ” how to parent from a book is
just going to lead to frustration. We cannot let go of our instincts in
favor of all the “experts.” Does this mean you should never read? No.
Does this mean I haven’t turned to the Internet to figure out if my
child’s rash looks normal? No. The information age is wonderful, but it
is also a slippery slope, especially if you allow yourself to be swayed
from your instincts.

Good parenting is about trusting your instincts, learning from your
mistakes, reaching out to your community, and forgiveness – for yourself
and your child. When I say community, I mean leaning on your family,
friends, co-workers, and yes books and the web.

Raising children cannot be approached like a professional or a
student. You cannot study for some test or find the answers in one
place. Here is an excerpt from an article in the National Post, a Canadian newspaper:

“At the end of the day, parents just need to trust their instincts
and pay more attention to their child — that unique little snowflake
that will never be a carbon copy of the next, said Judy Arnall, a
Calgary-based parenting educator, who recently wrote a parenting book
entitled The Last Word on Parenting Advice. It contains a few short
sentences and key take-home message: “Trust yourself.” The rest is a
whack of blank pages.”

Would you follow your GPS off a cliff or would commonsense prevail? I
like to think that you would keep your eyes open and pay attention. The
same applies to raising children – and I’m sure at least one of the
34,711 books out there would agree with me.

Credit: K Photography
Dash is a writer, blogger, and child care business owner who lives in
Annandale, VA, with her husband and four children. Nicole shares her
journey on – a blog about family, life and caring for children – yours and mine.