10 Things That Are NOT Child Abuse

image source

Perhaps you’ll be relieved to know that, despite what many self-proclaimed mommy police seem to think, not a single one of these things qualifies as child abuse:


  1. Formula feeding.
  2. Having oodles and bunches of kids.
  3. Expecting your child to eat the food that you serve.
  4. Letting your kids watch cartoons.
  5. Giving them raw milk.
  6. Having an only child.
  7. Breastfeeding beyond a year or (gasp!) even two.
  8. Opting out of story hour, tumbling tikes, play group, or… name your activity.
  9. Sending them to daycare.
  10. Not having a TV in your home.


Shocking, isn’t it? ¬†And a mite freeing, if you ask me.


Tell me– what would you add to the list?


linked to Top Ten {Tuesday}
Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Email Tumblr

15 comments to 10 Things That Are NOT Child Abuse

  • Amen. Especially #8. I know a few people who honestly believe that I’m destroying my son because I don’t race him from activity to activity. He does two: karate and cub scouts. That’s enough for us!

  • Kathy

    Saying no to video games at 2. We didn’t let our boys play til they were 6/7 years old. We were so mean (according to some). And even now we only allow E ratings and that is equally mean by some people’s standards.

    • Oh, you cruel, cruel mama. ;) We are crazy vigilant about game content/ratings in our home… even my husband thinks the violent games have gotten way too graphic and realistic. The manufacturers have moved way past the days of Duck Hunt, that’s for sure! (And that makes me sad.)

  • Marci

    What you mean parenting isn’t child abuse? ;-)

  • Yup, puts it all into perspective doesn’t it…. ;). My addition — giving them canned baby food and rice cereal.

  • I know this is complete heresy according to today’s mores, but I am not at all convinced that a spanking under certain circumstances is horrible. I was spanked a few times as a small child and I ALWAYS knew that Mom really meant business about whatever it was. I also ALWAYS knew that I was loved! My husband was spanked, my cousins were spanked, most of my friends had at one time or another been spanked. We survived and we learned!

    Now of course, I am NOT talking about beatings, or whippings, or the use of anything other than a couple of quick swats by a flat hand applied to the child’s clothed bottom after some truly unacceptable or dangerous behavior. With a young child, words and reason do not make much of an impression. A spanking is more more effective. I spanked my daughter a few times up until she was old enough to listen and understand other sorts of discipline. It was not even close to child abuse. Sometimes you need to get their attention and create a link between bad behavior and immediate consequences. (By the way, my daughter is now a wonderful, successful 45 yr old wife, mother, and career woman who is completely well-adjusted and sane!)

    Basically, I guess I believe that children need to understand actions and consequences and they need to understand them sooner rather than later.

    I know that some of your readers will react with horror at this, but I truly believe that more parents occasionally use spanking than will ever admit it. I also believe that more parents SHOULD use it. And to them and all others who have or have not spanked their child, I promise you that a child who is spanked by a loving rational parent is not scarred for life. Really!

    • I have a feeling I have readers who might disagree and others who will nod right along… and, to me, that’s a good thing! We are not all designed to believe the exact same things. :) No matter where one stands on the argument of the efficacy of spanking, however, I do think it is important that we all understand the difference between a spanking and abuse. Because you’re very correct in that there is a significant difference and distinction.

  • Lindsay

    People accuse me of abuse because I don’t send my child to daycare, nor do I wish too. We are also considering homeschooling which has received gasps of horror to public school teachers literally dancing for joy. We breastfed, but not exclusively, and my son has a set bedtime that we don’t change even if he doesn’t seem tired. We let him cry it out and I kiss every one of his booboos. Isn’t the point of parenting to make decisions for your individual family and accept others’ choices, as long as they truly aren’t abusive?

    • I almost included schooling choices on my list, Lindsay, but, alas, I was limiting it to 10. :) I think one of the issues we mommies face is that too often the words “acceptance” and “approval” are getting confused. I agree with you– we should be able to accept others’ (non-abusive) choices… whether or not we agree or approve.

  • mlearley

    Wow, two of the items on your list I felt so guilty about doing with my baby for a long time. I wasn’t able to breastfeed her and I had to work full time to help pay the bills but I got grief from so many young women at my church. Now I just shrug it off but the 1st year of my daughter’s life was rough on me. Oh and I fed her baby food from a jar!

    I’m going to add not allowing my daughter to watch more than 1/2 hour of tv. She’s three and is just starting to like movies but even when she asks, she’s finished with it after 1/2 hour. Some think I’m being mean but I’d rather her use her mind/body to play.

    • Oh, it makes me sad (though not necessarily surprised) that you faced such judgment from the church women. *Sigh.*

      I don’t think you’re mean! My 6 and 7 year olds have never been the kind to enjoy watching TV/movies for extended periods. As a result, our “Pizza & a Movie” nights often involve watching an episode of some kids’ show and that’s it. They’re not interested in spending 90+ minutes staring at a screen and that’s just fine with me! But others have children with different personalities and preferences and I’ve learned to respect that, too. :)

  • Co-sleeping- sometimes it’s the only thing that will work!

    Food choices- soda/no soda. organic carrots/conventional, whole milk/skim, juice/no juice…do what works best for your family and respect that others may make different choices for their family.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>