The changing nature of parenting advice

Polly Palumbo, PhD Psychologist, shares advice for parents on how to handle the frustrating ways of changing parenting advice
The Changing Nature Of Parenting Advice
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The changing nature of parenting advice

Sometimes it seems like experts change their mind all the time. It can be really frustrating for parents. A great example of this is advice on peanut allergies, which may be changing soon. As most parents know, peanut allergies have been on the rise for the best decade. About ten years ago, experts began recommending early avoidance. What this means is that children should not be exposed to nuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or the first three years of life. What's happened is that peanut allergies have still increased. There is some tantilizing evidence that this early avoidance, may actually be creating more allergies and there is a certain period of time, early in life when children should be exposed to nuts. I think what's also happening, I think expert advice is changing when parents hear one study, for instance, that pregnant women should avoid fish; and then hear another study soon after and say, pregnant women should eat fish. I don't think it's necessarily that expert's opinions have changed. It's just that there are certain caveats and conditions in any research project.

Polly Palumbo, PhD Psychologist, shares advice for parents on how to handle the frustrating ways of changing parenting advice


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Polly Palumbo, PhD


Polly Palumbo, PhD, is a former research psychologist and founder of Momma Data, a non-profit organization that tracks the parenting media and checks on the scientific evidence behind claims about children’s health and well-being. As a research consultant, she reviews and decodes studies for parents, educators, journalists and organizations. In the past she’s conducted and collaborated on numerous research projects in psychology, health and education across academia, government and the private sector and has co-authored articles in leading academic journals and texts.  As an outspoken critic of the parenting media, the only thing she enjoys better than reading a great study is debunking a bad one on her Momma Data blog. It’s her mission to flush out misinformation in the media and coach parents how to judge news and evidence about kids.      

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