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Developmental scientist shares 'parenting anti-advice' that every parent needs to hear

'Negative emotions are not bad and it’s good for kids to experience what they feel like and learn how to process them,' she said.

Developmental scientist shares 'parenting anti-advice' that every parent needs to hear
Cover Image Source: Twitter | @DorsaAmir

There is constant pressure on parents to be the best around and give their 100% to their kids, which sometimes seems impossible. This is why development scientist and mother Dorsa Amir is giving some 'anti-advice' for parents troubled by the constant societal pressure. She wrote, "I’m a developmental scientist who studies how children grow and learn across cultures. I’m also an American mom who feels the extreme pressure put on parents in the West. Here are a few things you can worry less about.”



Her first advice is that everything need not be “educational” for kids. She wrote, “It’s truly completely okay (& indeed, good) for kids to play for the sake of play. They don’t have to be learning the alphabet or animal noises. They can just do whatever silly thing they want to do. They are ALWAYS learning!” She also pointed out that “active & direct instruction from an adult is the rarest form of teaching in human history” and that children learn via observation and “are extremely good at it.”

Mother teaching alphabets to daughter at park - stock photo - Getty Images | Cavan Images
Mother teaching alphabets to a daughter at the park - stock photo - Getty Images | Cavan Images


Another piece of advice that Amir had for parents is that parents should let their kids be bored for a while and doing that is not a parenting failure. “Kids should be allowed to experience boredom. It’s part of the human experience & it’s okay if they’re bored. You do not have to feel obligated to constantly entertain them or provide new activities for them. They should be allowed to generate their own activities and ideas,” she wrote. Moreover, she wants children to work through social conflict on their own. She tweeted, “They can disagree or argue with their playmates; that’s completely fine & actually very good for them to practice. Let them resolve things if they can, you don’t have to get involved or prevent it from happening.”



She goes on to say, “Negative emotions are not bad and it’s good for kids to experience what they feel like and learn how to process them.” Amir then listed the other expectations or worries that parents have, like being “zany cartoonish, friend” to kids, buying “600 toys” or having a life “100% around the children's preferences.”



Mainly Amir’s tweets intended to deconstruct the expectations or pressure put on parents by saying they “should” be a certain way or how their “kid should be.” “One thing that makes humans extra special is high levels of what we call ‘plasticity’ or the ability to calibrate to a million different ecological, cultural, & social environments. What this means is that there are a million different ways to be human and they’re all valid.”



“Your kid eats the same thing at dinner as you? Sure, that makes sense. Your kid gets their own special meal? Great, that's fine too. Does he have 600 toys? That's great. Does he play with kitchen utensils most of the time? Excellent!” she wrote.





Many on Twitter were thankful for the thread and parents were relieved to read such a post. @at_auds commented, “Thanks for this!! The pressure in the US to be my toddler’s entertainment 24/7 and to buy the best organic and educational everything marketed by influencers is absolutely bonkers.” @AppletoZucchini commented, "Yes! Modeling positive behaviors for our children is vital! My daughters love it when I dress up & wear make-up, go to the theatre and see friends. Also, when my husband and I take time together.” @BradBigelow7 commented, “Great thread. Modern parents (especially women) are so concerned with sanitizing every interaction their kids have that they literally become their kids’ sole environment. The kids never get a chance to manage their environment because their parents do it for them.”










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