Birth in the Know

Common Sense Parenting

What happened to common sense parenting? Sometimes I am amazed at what I read, see and hear about parenting. As a parent of two adult young men, I do know what it’s like to be a Mom with young children. There is much to do, and learn, and no shortage of people telling you how to parent your children.

Fortunately, for me, my kids grew up before social media exploded into the go to source for every question imaginable. This was before Google was a verb. I learned to trust myself, or ask a friend or my Mom. There were times when I doubted that I knew what I was doing. Yet, no matter what, my husband and I made choices. We didn’t always agree, and maybe they weren’t the best choices. At the time, we thought they were the best parenting choices.

Some of the questions I have heard lately are:

  •  Should I hire a sleep expert?
  •  Why is my toddler so picky about food?
  •  How can I stop the whining?

These are all valid questions.  Although, the question that starts with should implies that you need someone else to decide for you. What someone else says you should do may not align with your parenting style. 

Sometimes simply taking a step back, and being observant can help you create a better sleep routine for your child.

Maybe there is a medical situation, or something other than knowing what normal sleep patterns are at your child’s age, and knowing your child’s needs. Maybe a sleep expert will help. Learning to trust what you know about your child is most important.

What about the picky eater? What I’ve seen is that parents are only offering certain foods, and limiting the variety. Or, giving in to what the child says they want instead of serving the meal and letting them know, “that’s it.”  I remember when my Mom said to me, ” nobody every died from too much cereal.”  It was the joke because I would tell the kids if they didn’t like the dinner they could grab a bowl of cereal. I wasn’t going to make anything else. I learned this the hard way after my first son.

Common sense parenting means using sound judgment. 


There are times when you might need to call a doctor, or poison control, or 911. Most of your parenting questions can be answered by you. None of us get a rule book, or a blueprint for our kid. The faster you can make decisions without the input of other people, the more confident you’ll feel. You’ll make what you consider mistakes. You may experience guilt. But, you could also ask 100 people a question and get 100 different answers.

What did people do before there were computers? They relied on instinct. Humans are the only species who rely on thinking their way into every solution. Parenting requires much more than that. Using your inner guidance system is something you can learn to do.

Common sense parenting is possible when you tune out distractions, and tune into your child.


You can read books, seek advice, take courses, and ask as many people as you want. Yet, the quicker you learn to trust yourself, the easier it becomes to parent your children.

You can play the parenting game, even without a rule book.


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