TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Every parent has their own parenting styles and methods. Some may be true, but others are just myths. Pediatrician Mesty Ariotedjo talked of three common myths about early child development that parents must set aside, as follows:
- Babies are prohibited to use left hands
Many parents force their babies to use their right hands to carry out daily activities for fears that they will become left-handers. Mesty clarified that children aged below two years old should be free to use their hands, such as for eating, doodling, and playing as it will affect the development of the left and right sides of their brain.
“Children need to have a balanced left and right brain, and this surely must be continuously stimulated. If we keep them from using their left hand, their right brain development will be hampered,” said Mesty.
- Using baby walkers to help children walk faster
According to Mesty, baby walkers are not recommended worldwide as it causes many accidents. “The function of the babies’ legs will become unnatural. They will eventually tiptoe and their walking position may not be as optimal as those who do not use baby walkers, although not all children experience it,” she explained.
- Babies putting hands in mouths
Mesty explained that until the age of two, children are in the oral phase where putting their hands in their mouths gives them comfort. “It doesn't need to be prohibited because putting hands in the mouth is a form of soothing,” she said.
What parents must do is observe the action. “We have to understand what exactly is the children's unmet needs and what makes them uncomfortable. That must be addressed,” said Mesty.