I'm convinced that, when it comes to rearing children, everyone is ready to offer absolutist opinions. Even people who have none of their own and cannot speak from direct experience. This is an example of the dark side of the African "It takes a village to rear a child" proverb. Yes, whether the advice is wanted or needed, or not.
I guess it starts with the birthing process. People have firm opinions about what form of prepared childbirth, and where the mother-to-be should have the baby. Even people who might have had different experiences themselves.
And breast versus bottle feeding. Now here's an occasion for unbridled shaming whatever the choice. (Is it too extreme to speak of Breastfeeding Nazis? I don't know what the real deal ones or the Alt Right ones advocate regarding breastfeeding; but they have definite opinions, I'm sure.) After all, mother's milk does not come in detachable containers and a little bit of breast exposure might accidentally happen. Oh how shameful!*
Naturally, there is also arguments over when weaning is to take place; with attachment parents advocating doing it later to foster closer bonds between child and mother. Remember that Time cover?
And styles of parenting are openly discussed. Is it best to be an authoritarian, permissive, or authoritative parent and what are the consequences of each of the possible strategies? (For the record, authoritative parenting yields better outcomes, over all.)
To heavily schedule and arrange the child's life or not? Some are described as "helicopter parents." Others, usually in safer places, allow their children to be free-ranging. And there's a lot of argument over this too.
However, the latest thing that people are now getting their knickers in a twist over are participation trophies. See also this from the sainted NYT. Yes, those little trophies or medals or certificates that team coaches and/or parents bestow on participants at the end of the sport in question's season are the cause of worries and even conniption fits! Yes, even losing teams get trophies, not just the over all champions! This is plumb un-American! How dare they!
Good Lord! Imagine the scandal from giving trophies to a soccer team of seven- or eight-year-old boys and girls who won only four of ten games! Is this rewarding mediocrity?
Lighten up, people!
Remember that it was these same kids who showed up for practice, in most cases learned new skills, and may not have been 100% eager for the entire process while it was going on. (Adults have a penchant for thinking that children necessarily think the same way they do.)
In short, why not take the time to make them feel good about themselves? Do we have to resolve everything in terms of being the best or world champions?** Jeesh! Is our goal to make children feel like losers? Some of the critics seem to think so, if they thought it through.
Also remember that grown-ups are inclined to award themselves participation certificates, trophies, or decals certifying that they did something. Like this one***:
*A little note - I remember when a bitchy neighbor criticized us preschool girls for playing at breastfeeding our dollies!
**Last year both the Cubs and the Indians were champions, though only the Cubs won the World Series.
***No criticism here. Anyone who can get it through a 26.2 Marathon deserves a pat on the back!
2 hours ago