Study Shows Parenting Books Make Moms Feel Inadequate

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by Cassandra R. Elias

In The News: Study Finds Parenting Books Set Impossible Expectations for New Moms

Parenting Books Set Unrealistic ExpectationsNew research by the University of Warwick in England shows that the tone parenting books are written in sets unrealistic expectations and makes new moms feel woefully inadequate. From Frederick Truby King in the 1940's to Penelope Beach and Terry Brazelton in 2000, it's clear a change should happen.

160 women were interviewed and asked to compare the advice provided by six childcare 'experts' who published popular books on the best way to raise a baby. The final results were published in her book, "Modern Motherhood: Women and Family in England, 1945-2000."

The interviewer Angela Davis, who is from the Department of History at Warwick found that, "although the advice from these experts changed over the decades, the one thing that didn't change was the way it was delivered. Whatever the message for mothers, it was given as an order with a threat of dire consequences if mother or child failed to behave as expected."

Isn't there enough pressure on parents? Many parents already worry about whether they're doing enough, doing too much, if our child will end up on a therapist's couch one day blaming us for their unhappiness.

Ms. Davis continued to say, "All this conflicting advice just leaves women feeling confused and disillusioned."

What's a new mom to do when it comes to the so-called experts? The study looked at more than 50 years of experts and they still didn't find a universal approach for how to raise a baby.

We think following one's own instincts is invaluable. While unwanted parenting advice from friends, family and strangers makes us cringe on occasion, wanted advice from an authority can be a blessing.

This study reassures us. It's good to know that when we read some of the experts' books, it turns out it's their tone and not our abilities that are the issue. We all can't be perfect parents all the time.

To feed into that philosophy, our mission at Pregnancy.org from day one is to walk with you on your journey as a partner and friend. We strive to talk with you, not at you -- just like you would expect from a caring friend.

What do you think about this study? Does it ring true for you? Let us know in the comments!

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