Questioning Conventional Parenting Wisdom

Questioning Conventional Parenting Wisdom

A fundamental part of being a natural lifestyle in an unnatural world is to question conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom isn’t necessarily wrong. We just need to shed the attitude that so many people can’t be wrong. The truth is that a lot of conventional wisdom isn’t so much believed by the masses as it is propagandized by people who stand to gain from it. The mainstream media is a huge propaganda tool of conventional wisdom, which is why questioning it becomes instantly easier once you give up watching television.

Here is a working list of some conventional wisdom I have encountered and questioned. I’m not going to tell you what to do with it, other than quit assuming it’s true. Do your own research and make a truly informed decision. What you decide about these things will have profound ripple effects on the way you raise your children.

1. Vaccinations are necessary for good health. There is solid research questioning the safety and efficacy of just about every vaccine. In addition, the diseases vaccines are supposed to prevent are for the most part avoided or mitigated by good nutrition and some very noninvasive treatments. You owe it to yourself and your children to become informed on the issue. Even if you choose to give them vaccines, they will benefit from your knowledge of the risks and alternatives.

2. Fat is bad for you. This is patently false and ignorance of this can cost your children immeasurably in terms of their health. Visit the Weston Price Web site ( for information on the importance of fats in the diets of growing children. Resolve now to quit buying them skim milk and get them whole milk, preferably raw milk from a grass fed cow instead.

3. Pasteurization makes milk safer and healthier. False again. Many learned people smarter than me have argued that raw milk is the only milk fit for human consumption. It certainly tastes better! What’s more, many who thought they were lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy do just fine on raw milk. Check out for more information and to find a supply of raw milk near you.

4. Babies have no control over their elimination functions. This is the primary assumption behind the use of diapers, disposable and otherwise. The truth is babies can control those functions from birth and with gentle encouragement, often do. Parents all over the world have learned to tune in to their baby’s potty needs. The idea that babies cannot control their elimination is a very modern, American idea. You don’t have to ditch diapers to practice elimination communication with your baby, but it’s helpful to at least be aware that there are numerous babies who have never worn one.

5. The doctor knows everything. Doctors are trained to practice medicine and go through intense schooling to be able to do so. We’re all grateful for their expertise in emergency situation. However, that doesn’t mean they are the only ones who can know something about health, and they certainly do not know your child as well as you do. According to famed Pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn, author of How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor mothers (and grandmothers) are the best Doctors of all. You have the right to work with your doctor as an equal partner, to educate yourself about the health issues affecting your family, and to understand that he doesn’t always know what is best. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the parent.

6. Children need harsh discipline. Scientist have proven in the last few decades that people respond far better to positive reinforcement than to harsh punishment. Harsh discipline practices - if they work, they work by causing damage to the parent/child relationship. And when they don’t work, it’s because the child no longer has respect for the parents and is frightened. Do you want either scenario with your children? Children need boundaries and guidance, for sure. This is best accomplished with lots of positive strokes when they’re behaving the way you want, clear guidelines and communication, and less reliance on punishment.