mom and crying child

I don't know what exactly it is about a new year that makes us suddenly want to revamp our entire lifestyles, but this is definitely the best time to make a few changes ... hopefully for the better.

And while most New Year's resolutions are focused on things like eating healthy and getting in shape -- there are definitely other areas where most of us can stand to improve a little.

Like with parenting, for instance. OMG. Who else thinks it's about high time moms and dads get their butts in gear and go old school when it comes to raising our kiddos?

You know what I mean. Like giving up all these trendy, fluffy, shiny new parenting techniques in favor of regular old ... well, parenting.

Here are six methods of raising kids we've hopefully seen the last of now that 2014 has arrived.

  1. Taking them EVERYWHERE -- OMG. Enough with dragging toddlers to high end restaurants and concerts, already. They'll be perfectly fine without you -- and will be much happier playing at home with the babysitter. You know ... the babysitter. The high school girl who lives down the street and is dying to make a few extra bucks. Try her on for size sometime. You won't regret it.
  2. Nothing but positivity -- Yeah, yeah, that positive reinforcement stuff is all the rage and generally works well when it comes to discipline. But telling your kid "no" from time to time and putting him in time out isn't going to hurt him. Saying "don't do that sweetheart!" in a singy-songy voice only makes him think you're a bigger sucker.
  3. Treating them like an accessory -- Ok, so this is more of a celeb thing -- but your toddler is not a purse. Or a backpack. Give your arms a rest and put him in a stroller, for crying out loud. Or try letting him walk once a while. (What a concept!)
  4. Forcing them to train -- Yes, we want our children to get enough exercise and be active. But toddlers don't need CrossFit. They just don't. Wouldn't it be nice if more parents ran around with them at the park versus enrolling them in fitness classes?
  5. Scheduling routine "playdates" -- Ok, so we definitely shouldn't stop our kids from socializing altogether. But can we please call playing with other kids something other than a "date"? Like ... "playing with other kids." And can't the encounters be more spontaneous instead of being penciled in a month ahead of time? That sure would be nice ...
  6. Letting them lead -- I know there's that whole study about how a toddler should set his own bedtime so his sleep patterns aren't screwed up later -- but we're really setting ourselves up for disaster by letting our children call all the shots. They need rules, limits, and guidance. Period. (Don't let them try and control you. They're WAY too good at it.)

What parenting "trends" would you like to see go away forever?

 

Image via Jim Forrest/Corbis