Overall, the push for parents to be more natural in how they run their homes and raise their children is a good thing. After all, kids who are raised eating healthfully are more likely to have healthy food habits later on in life. Furthermore, there’s absolutely no harm in teaching your kids about recycling or living a “green” lifestyle. In fact, it will make them better and more responsible citizens as adults.
However, there is sadly a new movement of parents who take “all natural” to a level where it becomes downright dangerous to both them and their children. To ensure that you have a natural household but not a dangerous household, here are some natural parenting myths, debunked.
Myth: Vaccines Are Dangerous For Children
Sadly, there are too many parents out there who believe the myths promulgated by celebrities over the expertise of obstetricians, such as Max Izbicki. Max Izbicki is one of the growing list of medical professionals who are seeing more and more patients who are reluctant to vaccinate their children based on something they read on social media.
Remember, there is absolutely no evidence that vaccines cause any sorts of diseases or mental health issues. However, there have been cases of children becoming very ill or even passing away due to illnesses that would have been preventable had they been vaccinated. Do the smart thing and just say no to the anti-vaccine movement.
Myth: Breastfeeding For Many Years Is Good For The Child
There is currently a big trend in mothers breastfeeding their children far past infancy, with some kids being upwards of 12-years-old and still breastfeeding. While breastfeeding older children used to be something that only “crazy people” did, this trend has become more mainstreamed thanks to supposedly holistic “mommy bloggers.”
There is no evidence that breastfeeding an older child has any mental or physical benefits. Furthermore, there is actually evidence that when older children breastfeed, it sets them up for potentially serious dental problems down the road. The exact age when you should stop breastfeeding varies, but it’s far younger than 12-years-old.
Myth: Gluten Is Bad For You
More and more “natural moms” are removing gluten from the equation entirely when it comes to feeding their families. There is only one time when removing gluten from the diet is necessary and that’s when you have an allergy to it. While gluten-free enthusiasts swear that they feel more energized without gluten in their lives, it is most certainly a placebo effect, as there is no scientific reason as to why a gluten non-sensitive person would feel improved health after cutting out the substance.
Essentially, unless your child has Celiac disease, let them have toast. Depriving your child of a perfectly healthy substance that they have no allergy to is extremely unnecessary. If you think your child might have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, have them tested by a doctor.
It’s admirable to want to raise your child as naturally as possible, but you should never take this too far. Some “natural” parenting techniques can actually end up having a harmful effect. If you want to be natural, focus on feeding your kids a clean diet, teaching them about the earth and imparting upon them the importance of medical professionals.