10 controversial parenting tips

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Here’s an interesting article I came upon on Twitter today By Eva Bowen ABC15.com, Phoenix

“Parents, listen up! It’s the first rule of parenting that every new parent will quickly learn: you WILL be judged by others.

Every parent is faced with difficult choices as their children grow up. What type of schooling should they have? Is it okay to smack? Should you let your kids “cry out” their issues? Is it right to let your kids “drink” when they’re at home?

We’ve brought together some inspiring minds to share opinions on some of the most hot button parenting issues.


Dr. Kevin Lehman
Internationally known psychologist, award winning author, speaker and New York Times Bestselling author of “Have a New Kid by Friday.”

Dr. Lynne Kenney
Pediatric Psychologist, Producer, Mom and Author of “The Family Coach Method.”

Dr. Bob Sears
Pediatrician and author of “The Baby Book,” “HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby’s First 24 Months”, and “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child”.

Dr. Laura Jana
Board certified pediatrician, parenting expert, and co-author of the award-winning books, “Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality” and “Food Fights: Winning The Nutritional Challenges Of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor, And A Bottle Of Ketchup”.

#1 Parenting Dilemma: Co-Sleeping

Proponents claim it fosters a bond between parent and baby. Opponents fear the baby will be injured by a parent rolling over, or the baby will get too attached to their parents. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: Here’s the deal, I will be the first to admit, a parent is a psychological blankie for their child…Kids comes into your room and want to cuddle..it’s fine and acceptable. Every night is not good. Some parents think needs of children are being met. They’re not, it’s the needs of the parent. Weak parents, running on guilt, allow their children to sleep with them. Kids having their own room and own space helps them identify who they are. There is a sense of well being in the mundane, in the routine, like putting kids to bed. Kids feel secure when you keep their routine the same.

DR. KENNEY: Parents need to be mindful in making the decision to co-sleep. While parents may enjoy co-sleeping, the current infant mortality data cannot be ignored. Asphyxiation in a bed, on a couch or in a chair with an adult is a cause of infant death. A co-sleeper (an extended crib next to the bed) is safer. I recommend to the moms in my infant education classes that they hold their children while awake and use a co-sleeper or crib at night. “The safest place for an infant to sleep is in their own crib or other separate safe sleep surface next to the parent or caregiver’s bed.” (CDC, 2010).

DR. SEARS: I don’t believe there is one correct choice that is right for every parent. My advice is wherever a baby (and the parents) sleep best is probably the best option for each family. Some parents don’t feel safe with co-sleeping, and such parents shouldn’t sleep with their baby. A parent has to want to enjoy such a night-time relationship in order for it to be a positive and a safe one. Some babies sleep very well in a crib, and if the parents prefer to enjoy a little nighttime space, that’s just as fine. I do believe co-sleeping reduces SIDS far more than any minimal risk of a parent rolling over, as long as a parent is following basic safe co-sleeping guidelines.

My wife and I didn’t start off co-sleeping with our first child. We had him in a cradle right next to our bed. But after three nights of waking up every hour, I said enough is enough. I asked my wife to just keep him in bed right next to her so he’d sleep longer (and so I could sleep longer), and he did! Ever since then, I’ve slept through the night like a baby.

DR. JANA: I am a firm believer in creating as safe a sleep environment as possible for babies. That said, I believe it is important to distinguish between “co-sleeping” and “bed-sharing.” I wholeheartedly support the current recommendation that the safest place for babies to sleep is in the same room (co-sleeping) as their parent/caregiver, but not in the same bed. The safety issue(s) at hand are real ones, and involve not only the risk of an adult rolling over, but a whole host of other potentially tragic dangers including (but not limited to) suffocation from fluffy blankets, comforters or pillows; becoming trapped between the mattress and the headboard or wall; falling off the bed, etc.

As a pediatrician committed to promoting practical parenting, I am happy to say that there is fortunately a very realistic solution for parents wanting to be close to their babies at night: by keeping your baby with you in your room, but safely in his/her own crib rather than in your bed, parents can still keep a watchful eye and be appropriately responsive to their baby’s needs during the night, while at the same time protect them from the potential and preventable dangers listed above.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

#2 Parenting Dilemma: Homeschooling
When it comes to home schooling, advocates tend to be strongly in favour of it, while opponents say we should allow teachers to learn how to best educate school children. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: The Lehman’s had a discussion in our own home about Homeschooling. I brought it up. It was a short conversation. My wife said “what”??? Most of the people who home school their children are people of faith. They want to teach their kids in accordance with their faith. I don’t have a problem with that.

What I have a problem with is when parents want to keep their kids away from the “bad kids” at public schools. Ask yourself some tough questions, “what is my motivation for doing this?” If it’s to keep your kids away from terrible children, then you need to rethink this. Trying to put your kid under a glass isolates them from life. Let me be the first to wish you some good luck.

DR. KENNEY: Home schooling is a matter of personal opinion to be left up to qualified parents. I advise people to keep their strong opinions to themselves and let others do as they feel best for their own family.

DR. SEARS: I’m right in the middle on this one. There’s certainly nothing wrong with home schooling. We sent all three of our kids to school because we like the schools in our area. If we didn’t like our schools, I couldn’t easily see us home schooling for a year or two. But this isn’t a matter of what’s right or wrong. There are advantages and disadvantages on each side. It comes down to what type of family life you have, what type of parent you are, what your kids are like, and how good the schools in your area are.

DR. JANA: I don’t have a strong opinion in favor of or against homeschooling, but rather am an active advocate for the importance of high quality education for all children regardless of what setting they are in.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

# 3 Spare the rod, spoil the child? Smacking opponents says its a violent act, while opponents say a little swat never hurt anyone. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: My wife and I have reared five kids. We counted the times on our hands how many times we spanked them (very sparingly). A spank is a swat on kids’ tail with open hand, more affectionately called a swat.

Most parents get mad and call it spanking. That’s just a demonstration of parents that lost control, putting their anger on their kid. Most parents don’t know how to spank.

This is a hot button. If you were abused as a kid, never spank a child because you will never do it well. Never strike a child in anger. Don’t spank a child over 7 or under 2. By 7 years old, it’s too late. Sometimes a swat on tail is the best discipline, a 4-year-old fork in a toaster. It’s best to give swat and look and tell them not to do that. There are times when the parent has to stand up and do something more than what you normally do.

DR. KENNEY: There is no research to show that spanking improves decision-making or behavior in the long-term. Teaching right from wrong is best done without spanking. Thankfully many alternatives exist from Love and Logic to The Family Coach Method and more. All you need to do is visit your local library or online parenting resource such as parentsask.com.

DR. SEARS: I’ve never spanked any of my three children…not because I’m so much against it, but because I never felt like I had to. Other techniques (time-outs, instruction, distraction) worked very well with my children. I do believe spanking can be okay as a very last resort, especially when a major safety violation has taken place that a child knows was dangerous.

However, I am against utilising smacking as the primary form of discipline. For example, a child says “no” to his mom, and the mom takes him upstairs and gives him 10 swats on the bottom…and this is repeated every time the child says “no.” I believe this approach builds resentment in a child. Even if it does end up working to control behavior, the resentment isn’t worth it.

DR. JANA: As a pediatrician, a parent, and an early educator who owns an educational child care center with 200 students ages 5 and under, I simply cannot find any way to justify spanking or see it as a teaching tool. I find it unfortunate that some parents/caregivers spend a significant amount of time teaching their young children to “use their words,” only to not follow this simple and important lesson themselves.

Quite simply, I see no way around the fact that the very clear and powerful message of spanking teaches children that it is okay for those who are bigger and stronger to inflict physical pain or harm on others. In other words, I feel that the argument that one spanks to teach children an important and well-thought out lesson is very misguided. My other, even bigger concern is that many parents don’t spank simply out of a desire to teach a well-thought-out lesson, but rather when parents are at frustrated and at wits end. In this instance, spanking is a final resort that involves anger, frustration, and the real risk of inflicting potentially serious emotional and/or physical harm.
(A new March 2010 study by researchers at Tulane University finds spanking your kids may not only be ineffective, but it can backfire. Of the nearly 2,500 kids in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3, were 50% more likely to be aggressive by age 5. The study is published in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics.)

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d like to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
#4 Parenting Dilemma: Childhood Immunisations

Should parents vaccinate or not? Immunizing your child is increasingly becoming a controversial subject and a difficult decision for many parents to make. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: This is not in my area of expertise. So the only way I will respond is to say moderation is best.

DR. KENNEY: Immunizations are a complicated topic if you are a parent with a family history of neurological disorders or autism. I have always valued the opinions of parents and believe that more research is needed regarding vaccinations, environmental toxins, food sources and our children.

That said, current research suggests that not being immunized poses more dangers to a child’s health than being immunized. So if you have a family history of neurological illness, consult with a developmental pediatrician who is expert in autism and neurological disorders to make an informed decision for your family. If you are in the general population, follow the guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatrics until you have a data-based reason not to.

DR. SEARS: Vaccines are very important, and I do believe parents should vaccinate their children. Having said that, I know that a growing number of parents don’t trust vaccines and the system that has created our nation’s vaccine policies. These parents are saying no to vaccines, or at least wait. Many doctors will just kick such patients out of their practice and tell them they are wrong.

What I like to do, instead, is follow the American Academy of Pediatrics policy on how to deal with such parents: I offer them an alternative vaccine schedule. I vaccinate their kids more slowly. I give the most important shots first, and delay the less crucial ones for later.

These parents appreciate the fact that I’m willing to work with them and vaccinate their kids in a manner they are more comfortable with. I do have some patients that don’t want any vaccines, and I am happy to serve them as a doctor because they may need me more than ever someday.

DR. JANA: Vaccines are one of the best tools we have to keep our children healthy. I think it’s worth pointing out that they are, in fact, widely considered to be one of the most important contributions to modern medicine, and despite the perceived “controversy,” a majority of parents in the united states vaccinate their children.

That said, the parental concerns about vaccine-preventable diseases are very understandable, both because of the abundance of misinformation out there regarding vaccines, and because in this day and age, it’s all too easy to forget the dangers posed by the diseases that vaccines are now able to effectively prevent. While it is true that no vaccine (or medicine, for that matter) is 100% “safe,” the important thing for parents to understand is that for each of the vaccines that are currently recommended for children, the benefits far outweigh the risks.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

 #5 Parenting Dilemma: Medicating Children 

Medicating young children has become increasingly popular for treating kids with mood and/or behavior problems. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: We are the most over-medicated society on the face of the earth. In fact the smart pediatricians aren’t giving kids antibiotics. In general it’s not a good idea. In over 30 years of private practice, I have never made the diagnosis of a child being ADD or ADHD. This diagnosis must be done by medical doctor that is medically trained.

Too many kids are diagnosed but they don’t have the disorder. We live in a society where if you pop a pill, everything will be alright. Be conservative with medication and you will never go wrong. So many kids get ear aches. Don’t wait to long to have the doctor check out. You don’t want their ear drums bursting.

DR. KENNEY: The good news in 2010 is that there are many treatment options available for children with ADHD, not only medication. The important first step is to base the diagnosis of ADHD on a thorough evaluation by a qualified clinician. The next step is to consider the behavioral, developmental, learning, nutritional and medical interventions available in your area.

If you have experienced providers in neurofeedback, cognitive-motor, behavioral or nutritional interventions, I would start there, as they are least intrusive and you might find great success. In some cases medication is prudent and necessary, it also can be very helpful. The key is to intervene on as many levels as possible and not rely on medication as the only method of treatment.

DR. SEARS: As a pediatrician, I’ve prescribed ADHD meds to some of my patients because they work very well. I’m not against them. But there are some other things parents can and should try first. High doses of fish oils can help. Taking extra B complex vitamins may help. Two natural antioxidants that can boost attention and intellectual functioning, pycnogenol and quercetin, may help. A high-protein breakfast and lunch at school helps with focus. Once my patients have tried these and other steps, and the ADHD is still a challenge, then I offer them meds.

DR. JANA: When children with ADHD are carefully assessed and accurately diagnosed, then ADHD medications can be very effective in treating and improving symptoms. The controversy lies not with the medication themselves, but in the inappropriate diagnosis and over-use of medication.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
#6 Parenting Dilemma: Cry It Out Method

Controversy over parents using the “cry it out method” to teach babies how to sleep through the night has been going on for ages. Advocates say there are better ways to help babies learn how to soothe themselves and sleep through the night. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: A mother knows her child’s cry. There is a difference in the cry that says I have gas, versus one that just says I want you to come in and hold me again. What young parents have to understand is that the first born is the lab rat of the family, the one you are practicing on.

The first born parent is over cautious at first. In essence, we teach children if you want mommy or daddy to come in the room you just cry. Put yourself in the infant’s perspective. I’m all by myself aren’t I, it’s sort of cold in here. I think I’ll get mom’s attention. And then the child starts to cry.

You have to understand there is a judgment call to be made. Crying is not going to kill them #1. It’s good for their lungs. But taking either a black or white approach is not in the child’s best interest. Parents can not respond to every cry. There has to be some moderation. Don’t get sucked into to responding to every cry or whimper.

DR. KENNEY: Having helped hundreds of kids get to sleep, I can assure you, no method fits all children. Some children do well with crying it out for a few nights (15 minutes or so) to develop the self-soothing strategies to put themselves to sleep. Other children need support, help and nurturance as they do not develop the self-soothing skills to fall asleep, get back to sleep and stay asleep. The best approach is one that takes the needs of the parents (or care providers) and the individual child in mind.

DR. SEARS: I am not against the cry it out method if it involves only a few minutes of crying and the baby learns to fall asleep easily without crying within a week or two. But I don’t like to see babies subjected to hours of crying for weeks on end.

Intense crying isn’t good for a baby’s brain. Oxygen levels decrease and blood pressure increases during prolonged crying. Stress hormones flood the brain during intense crying, and research has shown that such repetitive overload of stress hormones isn’t good for a developing nervous system.

I believe human babies are very dependent creatures. Most need their parents to put them to sleep. Parents sign up for this duty when they have kids. I know it isn’t easy – no one ever promised it would be. Easy-going mellow babies can probably be taught to fall asleep on their own with minimal crying and minimal stress. But more needy babies can’t, and to force them into it can be very tough on their little systems.

DR JANA: While some parents are lucky enough to have babies who are born with exceptional sleeping skills, for the rest (majority) of babies, becoming a “good” sleeper is a learning experience. Instead of focusing on the related (but not central) issue of “crying it out,” I like to discuss realistic sleep expectations and how new parents can help their children learn to become good sleepers. Typically, this conversation involves explaining that by the age of 4 months (but often months sooner), babies can generally fall asleep on their own without needing to be rocked, fed/nursed, or driven around the block.

I have found that it is also helpful to explain to new and expectant parents a little bit about sleep cycles and the fact that we all (babies, children and adults alike) intermittently enter light sleep/wake up during the night. If babies become dependent on something (most often a bottle, breastfeeding, being rocked or taken for a car ride, etc) to fall asleep, they end up needing (i.e. crying for) the same soothing routine during the night at each of these periods of light sleep. Now to the question at hand and whether to let a baby “cry it out.” Parents can generally tell the difference between the cry of a baby who is simply fussing and the cry of a baby who is never going to stop without attention. While I certainly believe in calming and soothing a truly upset baby, I have found that some parents are so quick to intervene at the first signs of fussing that babies never learn any self-soothing skills.

Fortunately, I have repeatedly found that simply introducing a bedtime routine (after the newborn period) that clearly separates feeding from sleeping (for example – breast or bottle followed by bath followed by books and then bed) and involves laying babies down on their backs to sleep before they are already asleep quickly (within mere day or two) resolves the nighttime wakings and crying that are so distressing for babies and parents alike.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

#7 Parenting Dilemma: Bottled versus Breast Feeding

The debate over breast versus bottle flares up during almost every parenting or breastfeeding debate. It’s not uncommon for nursing mothers to receive negative comments from their relatives, friends, or even complete strangers about how they feed their baby. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: Breastfeeding is best. If you talk to lactation nurse or pediatrician they will provide you with a fact sheet of how much healthier kids are who are breast fed than bottle fed.

Some moms say they bottle feed with breast milk, because they use the pump…that is fine. But a mother’s milk is best. We live in an area of convenience. I got news for you. Children are a huge inconvenience. They can ruin any plan you have.

They can suck you dry of all the energy you have. The best way to nurse that child is for one year or less. Some mommies want to nurse the kid on demand. A 5-year -ld demanding their mothers’ milk? Not a good idea.

DR. KENNEY: Breast is best, if possible. I support mother’s breast-feeding their babies anywhere, anytime their infants are hungry. But for some mother’s, breast-feeding is not an option. I have empathy for and support mothers who choose to feed their infants formula for a variety of reasons. On the topic of breast-feeding, people need to be sensitive, considerate and quiet. It is not appropriate for people to express unsolicited opinions to mother’s about the feeding of their children in public or in private. These decisions are up to the mothers, their partners and their physicians.

DR. SEARS: Not sure there’s any debate here. I doubt there is a medical expert anywhere that would say formula feeding is just as good as breastfeeding. If anyone has such an opinion, I’d like to see some research to support it. There are many studies that have verified the advantages of breastfeeding.

Perhaps a more appropriate question is this: Is it ok for a woman to purposely decide not to breastfeed because formula is “almost just as good?” I completely understand when a mom tries to breastfeed and doesn’t succeed for a variety of reasons. I have such patients every couple months in my office. But because we know that breast milk has many factors that are crucial to an infant’s brain development that aren’t duplicated in formula, I feel that the best nutritional choice for every baby is to breastfeed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a year. Various Surgeon Generals have recommended two years.

The World Health Organization recommends two years. My wife breastfeed our first child until two, and our next two kids until they were three years old. The world norm is around age 4 years. Anyone who actually criticizes a new mom for choosing to breastfeed, and to do so for a few years, is just plain ignorant.

DR. JANA: This is such an important topic that it is one of the topics my co-author & I have dedicated the most space to in our book, Heading home with your newborn: From birth to reality. To summarize, I firmly believe that all new mothers, regardless of whether they choose to breast or bottle-feed their infants, deserve support. That said, I consider it very unfortunate that many new moms quit breastfeeding early on because of a perceived (and often inaccurate) sense of failure and/or lack of support, especially because the value of breast milk and breastfeeding is so clearly established.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

#8 Parenting Dilemma: Attachment Parenting: Baby Wearing

Parents that participate in baby wearing openly receive criticism and ridicule from strangers. Some parents believe a baby needs to held as often as possible, while some say the baby will be spoiled and not learn how to self soothe. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: My question is whose needs are being met? I think the parents need is being met. The parent is saying I have a need to be close to my baby. I think it’s important for kids to have their own space. Women are like velcro, everyone wants a piece of them. We have seen the enemy and they are small. It’s unnatural and not healthy for the child. You want your kids to have a healthy independence.

My vote is moderation. In the child’s first two weeks of life, go out for dinner and leave the child at home with a babysitter.

DR. KENNEY: Infants do not get spoiled by being worn, loved and nurtured, carry away!

DR. SEARS: There isn’t a single research study that has shown attached, baby-worn babies are spoiled and won’t learn to self soothe. In fact, research has shown that babies who are worn in baby slings actually develop intellectual and motor skills more quickly because in the increased interaction with the parent.

I don’t think that every parent has to use a baby sling; it has to be a natural choice that the parent is comfortable with. But I do feel that being a responsive and interactive parent in whatever manner works (as opposed to a less involved, less interactive parent with the goal of trying to create a less needy and more independent baby), is a wonderful choice for a parent to make.

DR. JANA: Baby wearing is one of many ways to form a close and loving bond with a baby. While I believe there are many additional ways to bond and establish a secure, loving relationship with babies, I support those parents who choose to maintain close physical contact with their babies through baby wearing. Especially with very young infants, I do not believe that this in any way constitutes spoiling.

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

#9 Parenting Dilemma: Young Kids and Cell Phones

More parents are looking to cell phones to help keep their children safe. What’s your opinion about giving young children their own cell phone?

DR. LEHMAN: My clinical term to describe parents that give kids a cell phones too early in life is they are “nuts”. My youngest daughter got a cell phone at 15 years and seven months, when she got her driving permit. That’s an appropriate time. Kids that are 8, 9…that’s just par of the “hurry child syndrome.” We give kids too many things to early in life.

When they handed out report cards when I was in school, mine were never good. But they use to have a spot in addition to grades to grade you on your character and things like self control. You don’t see that anymore, because as a society we don’t value it. Parents, most of time, are driven by guilt and aren’t around a lot of discipline, affection and time spent with their kids.

Unless there is a reason based upon safety, I would say wait for cell phones. There should be some things in a kid’s life they should have to wait for.

DR. KENNEY: Giving your child a cell phone is of course, a family decision. Generally, I did not believe in giving kids under age 11 or so cell phones until an incident happened where my 9-year-old daughter was on a playdate and I wished she’d had a phone. That changed my opinion. There are times when for safety and communication it is beneficial for a child to have a phone to contact a parent.

I also have observed that texting between a child and their parents lets them stay in touch throughout the day as needed. Some families cannot afford cell phones for their kids, which I respect. But this is indeed a digital generation. We parents need to adapt. Remember to monitor usage. A research study showed that texting too often was associated with lowered reading scores. Kids need to learn how to self-manage their usage. I now see cell phones as not only a tool for communication but a safety tool as well. So when monitored, I am now all yes.

DR. SEARS: The rule in our home is that our kids don’t get cell phones until they hit 7th grade. At that point, we like to be able to reach them, and they reach us, whenever needed. They are boys, so they don’t spend much time talking on their cell phones. They do text more than I’d like, but we set limits on that, such as no texting at dinner or during church. We do ask them to use the house phone when making calls to limit the cell phone radiation.

DR. JANA: Our children are growing up in a very different, much higher-tech world than we did, and central to the world as they know it is the ever-present cell phone. As with all forms of media (tv, internet, computer games, texting, etc), I firmly believe that it is our responsibility as parents to set appropriate limits/restrictions on and teach responsible use of cell phones. Like everything else in parenthood, this involves understanding the risks (access to the internet, sexting, etc) as well as the benefits (safety, easy to locate/communicate with your child).

What do you think of this parenting dilemma? I’d love to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

#10 Parenting Dilemma: Allowing underage teens to drink at home

We all know its illegal, but some parents take the “they’ll do it anyway” approach to allowing their underage kids to drink at home. The experts weigh in.

DR. LEHMAN: It’s not a good idea and it’s a violation of the law. A parent is hung up on being their child’s best friend. That type of parent tends to be the permissive parent. If you bring your kid up in a permissive manner, they will tend to rebel. Or if you bring them up in a strict manner, that kid will rebel as well. Either extreme brings rebelliousness.

DR. KENNEY: It’s true that millions of kids ages 12-20 drink alcohol each year. That’s right, millions (Source:www.sadd.org). But your tween or teen does not have to be a statistic. Research shows that kids with active parents who value family meals, family activities and quality communication can raise teens more interested in life than escape through drugs or alcohol. So ditch the negative, “They’ll do it anyway,” attitude and get up off the couch and do activities with your tweens and teens. Express an interest in their likes, opinions and activities. You are the most powerful protective factor in their lives.

DR. SEARS: I have two teenagers, and I wouldn’t even consider serving them alcohol. I like to teach them to respect and obey laws. And we’ve told them that they have to be 21 to drink alcohol – that’s the law. We don’t make it an issue of being right or wrong from a moral standpoint.

They see us drink wine, and I have the occasional beer. But we don’t drink in excess around them, and we don’t make drinking a regular part of social occasions. We want them to know we can have fun without alcohol. I highly doubt that giving kids alcohol at home actually decreases drinking behavior elsewhere. If my kids sneak and drink away from home, and they get caught, they’re busted. But I’m not going to condone it by serving them.

DR. JANA: I simply don’t buy the “they’ll do it anyway” approach to parenting in general. I certainly understand the challenge of underage drinking and its prevalence, but as a parent – throwing up one’s hands and deciding to simply condone this behavior (or any other like it) is not only inappropriate, but against the law (and for good reason!)

What do you think of this parenting dilemma?  I’d love  to hear how you are raising your children. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

So there you have it – sorry about no colourful images my computer doesn’t let me add them – but fascinating ideas and questions – what do YOU think?

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