Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Everyone's a parenting expert . . .

I have an information addiction. I self-medicate with research. I guess it's better than a lot of other addictions, and it comes in handy sometimes, but at other times, it's bothersome and problematic. The biggest problem I run into, especially insofar as parenting is concerned, is that always doing research before making decisions creates the illusion that there is one right answer that can be found if only you devote enough time and energy to unearthing it under piles of reading and statistics. This, of course, is total and complete bullshit. 

Apparently, though, I'm not alone in my dependence. This fantastic Motherlode piece, Information-Hungry Millenial Parents, Making It Hard on Themselves, totally hits the nail on the head. Here's one of my favorite parts:
In the 1980s, when my mother raised me, it was perfectly acceptable to take your children to their annual pediatrician visit and defer to your doctor (or the older mothers in your neighborhood) about parenting dilemmas. Doctors had gone to medical school, after all, and other parents had experience. They were the experts. But I get the feeling that has changed.
Of the 10.8 million households with millennial parents at the helm, nearly all of them are frequent Internet users. Liberal, socially conscious, interconnected and peer-reliant, my segment of the millennial generation (wealthy in education and confidence, if not in our paychecks) has unprecedented access to what was once privileged information, as well as the opinions of their peers. We’ve become the experts, and as a result, we’re hyper-aware, constantly questioning, defensive. Baby boomer helicopter parents have nothing on us.

Is it lost on me that in discussing my information addiction on parenting issues, I just directed you to read an article about the issue? No, it is not lost on me. I just consider this Motherlode reading a kind of Methodone.