Another year gone by, another year filled with annoying parenting trends. Here are some fads I'd like to see disappear by the end of 2013:
1) Trophies for all: This one has been around for a while. We are raising our kids in a generation of "everybody wins and nobody loses" and what this does is make losers of us all. Without experiencing losing, kids don't know how thrilling it really is to bring home a coveted trophy or medal. They don't give out Participation Medals at the Olympics; let's stop giving our kids trophies for simply turning up. Think of the money, gold coloured plastic, and particleboard that could be saved.
2) Snacks at every event: From visiting the local park to half-time at a pre-school soccer game, apparently we've decided our children can not a) be hungry at any point or b) be expected to not have a snack every half an hour that c) parents must carry with them at all times. Recess snacks? Snack break at a playdate? End the madness, please.
3) Ramping up holiday time: Kids used to send Valentine's cards to only kids they actually liked. Strange concept compared to today when kids have to send in cards to everyone in the class, and half of them come with candies, stickers, or pencils attached. Then there's the mom who brings in (more!) snacks to the class on her child's birthday. Let's lower that bar (and cost, and calorie count) just a bit, OK?
4) Food Deception: This trend continues to be popular as parents everywhere hide kale, quinoa, broccoli and other healthy foods inside sauces, stews and other mixed dishes. Of course it's great to feed kids nutritious food, but they should also appreciate and learn about what they are eating so that they can make informed decisions once they leave home. One day they'll have decide what to pick for themselves or (gasp) make their own lunch.
5) Kid-Tatorship: In many households, the kid is running the show when it comes to what they eat, when they eat, when they go to bed, what activities they choose to do, and even where to go on vacation. It's not all about the kids, kids. Remember that parents are people too and make sure you're not sacrificing all of your wants for theirs.
Originally run in the Metro News.