Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Psychology Classes Taught me About Parenting.

Parenting is not black and white and psychology has made that ever so clear. There are few things that I thought were all or nothing before becoming a parent. I am going to go over a few things I though before becoming a parent and taking psychology classes, and then give my thoughts on how I see them now.
1)      No TV!
What I thought before: If a child watches TV they were going to be violent, grown, not want to play, or go outside.
What I think now: It’s not that simple children who are violent may just like watching TV, children who get to watch violence are more violent. Not all children who watch TV mimic what  they see if they have someone/something else positive to mimic. Children who watch TV do play with toys, and if a child hates being outside (especially as a toddler) there may be a deeper reason for that.

2)      No sugar.
What I thought before: Children who eat sweets are hyperactive, do not eat real food, and become over weight.
What I think now: Children who eat sweets are no more likely to be over weighted if the parent is regulating their eating and this is also true for not eating real food. What the parent gives the child is what they will eat, giving a child sweets all-day and then thinking they are going to eat dinner is a joke. However, a cookie after dinner or with lunch is not going to kill the child, but it will teach them self-control.

3)      Early experience with other children.
What I thought: The earlier my son had interactions with other children the better his social skills would be.
What I think now: Children who are in daycare do not show to have better social skills then those who were at home with their parents. I am not going to lie and say I was not surprised at the studies that stated there was no lifelong difference.
4)      Have children close together.
What I thought: The closer in age you have your children the better their relationship will be.
What I think now: Child will or will not have a close relationship and that has to do with their personalities, how we the parent has them interact, and how the first born fills about having a sibling, and so many other things.
5)      Do not talk about sexual things with children.
What I thought:  Sex, sexuality, and all that fun stuff is not supposed to be talked about before a certain age (never made clear what age that should be).
What I think now: Certain things should be talked about as early as age three. Making all aspects of sexuality open for discussion does not start when they start asking questions but before.

Psychology does not make parenting simple what it does is shows how complex it is. There is no way to be a perfect parent, no way to prevent all illnesses mental or physical, and there is no way to control every hour of every day.  There is no sure way to get it right, but there are ways to make them better prepared for life. I do not regret learning all of this I feel as a parent I am more relaxed because I do not try and control what I cannot. 

Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.


  1. You know what, even going to school for ECE and hearing all of the "Best Ways to Bring Up a Child" from others, once you become a parent you start realizing things as well. Not just how you view raising your children,but how you view others. I use to be one of those people that internally comment on how I see others deal with their children and now I can view it from a more empathic and diverse standpoint. We know our children and when you are on the outside looking in you are not getting the full scenario.

    1. As they say, everyone is a perfect parent until they are parents.