Pediatricians Confess Their Worst Parenting Mistakes

Rest assured: Despite all their advice for you, when pediatricians become Mommy and Daddy at day's end, chances are they're not doing exactly what they say. "No matter how much you know the right thing to do, there's still a parent within you," says Dr. Ari Brown, coauthor of Baby 411 and Toddler 411, and often rules, recommendations, and best intentions give way to what works right now. Laura Jana, MD, a pediatrician in Omaha, is a fan of what she calls reality parenting: "You want to pay attention to recommendations, but they shouldn't be guilt inducing." Read about these pediatricians' worst parenting moments and give yourself a much-needed break. Doctor's orders.

I Let Him Watch Too Much TV!

Like many moms, Jennifer Shu, MD, a pediatrician in Atlanta, feels guilty about the amount of TV viewing her 5-year-old son, Jack, logs. She broke the rule about not allowing kids to watch television before they turn 2, letting him tune in for half an hour on some days so she could make dinner. Now he watches about two hours a day.

"The American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] recommends no more than two hours a day and no TV under age 2," Dr. Shu says. Infants and young children grow and develop best by experiencing the world through doing -- touching, smelling, tasting, and moving -- as well as by interacting with their parents and other caregivers, not by watching TV. "Sometimes you just need a break," Dr. Shu says. "Very few parents can do the whole no-TV-under-age-2 thing, but I still felt I was doing something wrong."

Personal Rx

Dr. Shu has reconciled herself to the fact that her family likes TV and will have to struggle with limits. Jack watches age-appropriate shows but can easily do without by entertaining himself, she says. Still, it's not an issue she raises with other parents. "It's one of those things I'm kind of afraid to discuss with people because I don't want to find out that my son is watching way more than others," she says.

Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail

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