The Parental Salmon: When Good Parenting Means Ignoring the Trend

Mosaic Artwork of a Salmon
Photo Jjlcooterpie|CC

Sometimes the best parenting decision involves being the ‘parental salmon’ — swimming up-stream of the popular trend — in order to meet the best interests of your family and child.

Everyone is doing X, so we must do X.  The best pediatrician is Dr. Q.  You’ve got to be on the waitlist at THIS preschool. Baseball is a must-play sport.  Parents are hit with an endless stream of advice from well-intentioned family members, teachers, friends, and parenting resources.

Absolutely, parents need to research and seek input and parenting advice from as many sources as possible.  Making good parenting decisions requires empowering yourself with as much information as possible.

But sometimes parents have to STOP reading the parenting books.  STOP reading the mommy blogs.  Sometimes you DON’T need your mother’s or best friend’s advice.  Sometimes the pressure to follow and “keep up” with parenting trends and fads is too great.

Every child, parent, and family is unique.  What works for one, doesn’t always work for another.  Often a “one size fits all” strategy may not be appropriate for your child’s particular needs.  Doing what THEY need, rather than what everyone else feels is best, takes parental courage. It’s OK to be the different parent and an advocate for your child’s uniqueness.

Learn to trust your instincts as a parent. Rather than blindly following the advice of others, the best parenting advice is to follow your heart.