Skip to navigation menu Skip to content


Mother and daughter with serious face thinking about question with hand on chin.

5 Parenting Myths and Truths

By Dr. Sherie Austin, Courthouse Pediatrics

Myth: Too much love and attention spoils children.

Truth: While children need boundaries, rules, and structure to keep them safe, they also need love and attention from their parents. Children who receive a lot of affection from their parents tend to have better self-esteem and fewer behavior problems.

Children thrive on positive reinforcement, so it’s important to give them praise when they do something good. Use positive discipline to help guide a child’s behavior.

Myth: Honey is a good choice of sweetener for your baby.

Truth: No. Do not give honey to children under one year of age because it may contain bacteria that can cause botulism. The honey may also contain Clostridium botulinum spores, which can multiply in the intestine, producing toxins that can cause paralysis.

Myth: You should avoid giving peanut products to children until they're toddlers.

Truth: For years, experts thought avoiding foods like peanuts would prevent food allergies. But recent research has shown early introduction and regular feeding of peanut products can actually prevent the development of an allergy. Speak with your pediatrician about what is best for your child, especially if they are at high risk of peanut allergy, but most babies can safely have peanut products, such as peanut butter thinned with breast milk or water, around the time they are 6 months old. Read more about this topic from a CHKD allergy, asthma, and immunology specialist in this CHKD blog.

Myth: A baby walker promotes early walking.

Truth: A baby walker can help babies learn to balance and take their first steps, but it doesn’t make them walk earlier. Only babies who are developmentally ready can stand up, support themselves, and learn to walk.

There has been a call from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to stop producing and selling baby walkers with wheels. They can slow normal motor development, leading to poor balance. They also increase the risk of falls, which are among the leading causes of injury in children under 5 years old.

Myth: Children need time alone to develop independence.

Truth: Children don’t need time alone to learn independence, but rather opportunities to practice it within safe boundaries set by their parents. Your child will develop problem-solving skills if they are allowed to try things independently before getting assistance from you or someone else.

Like this post?

Sign up to receive our once monthly email with more kids' health tips from the region's most trusted name in pediatric health care.

About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.