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‘Becoming a copycat parent made me a monster’: why influencer parenting tips don’t work for everyone

The internet is flooded with parenting advice, with influencers showing us how to do everything better. But just because a certain style works for some, it doesn’t mean it will work for you 

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Ann Marie O’Sullivan will stick to her own parenting style. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Ann Marie O’Sullivan will stick to her own parenting style. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Dr Malie Coyne, Clinical Psychologist. Photo: Andrew Downes

Dr Malie Coyne, Clinical Psychologist. Photo: Andrew Downes

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Ann Marie O’Sullivan will stick to her own parenting style. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Before when my children asked me for a toy my reaction was always a Thatcheresque “no.” It was a stoic one-word answer. It didn’t come with an explanation or appeals process. No meant no. That parenting style doesn’t have a soothing title, nor is it unique, a solid “No” has been around for decades.

But times are changing in the parenting world and there are gurus, experts, psychologists and regular parents flooding the internet, showing us how to do everything better. Recently, I came across Fritha Quinn, a social influencer and “respectful parent”, talking about how she approaches the same situation. She promotes engaging with her child about the toy. She shows interest in it and talks about the reasons they like it. Then she asks if they’d like to take a picture of the beloved toy so they can always remember it. This works to avoid tantrums 99pc of the time, she claims.


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