Are you normal? Are your kids normal?
By normal I mean average, typical, in the majority. How you parent may be “normal” to you, but is it “normal” in the sense of what “the typical parent” does?
My kids had formula. They go to a bilingual private school. Both were natural births, but one did require an epidural. I didn’t cut the cord. We drive them to school. We didn’t redshirt our youngest for kindergarten. They each have an iPad. They’re both circumcised. I have spanked them. We don’t go to church. They don’t eat fast food. They both have been vaccinated. My wife works, and we have a live-in nanny. We stopped at two kids and I had a vasectomy.
Is that normal?
When it comes to parenting, it’s easy to start controversy. We all take how we raise our kids as a very personal thing. We know what’s right for our kids, and whether we researched our practices or not, we know what’s right.
So I thought I’d take controversial parenting issues and look at them statistically. If normal is what the majority decides to be acceptable, here’s what a normal parent believes in. From religion to vaccination, from education to family unit size, here’s how statistically “normal” kids are raised.
Are You Normal? 1 of 15
Are you normal? Check out these facts about "the typical parent."
Circumcision 2 of 15
Most men in the world are uncircumcised, most American males are circumcised. Those that are, have it done mostly for religious reasons, not for any health concerns. The highest rates of circumcision are in Muslim countries. In America, circumcision was highest in the '70s and '80s, and has recently been on the decline. According to the CDC, the current statistics show 56 percent of American males are circumcised shortly after birth, while 1/6 to 1/3 of worldwide males are circumcised.
The Circumcision of Christ (1517) Jacob Corneliz Van Oostsanen. Image via Ed Bierman on Flickr
Vaccines 3 of 15
Despite the headlines and the discouragement by the likes of Jenny McCarthy, immunization rates are close to or above 90 percent "for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B and chicken pox." While that seems like a strong enough number for herd immunity, when the rate of immunization decreases, the rate of infection increases and is to blame for the rise of diseases like pertussis.
Image via Johanna on Flickr
Breast or Bottle? 4 of 15
While 77 percent of babies breastfeed in the U.S., the issue for many is the length of time the infants are breastfeeding. According to the CDC Breastfeeding Report Card, 49 percent of infants born in 2010 were still breastfeeding at 6 months old. The rate at 12 months old was 27 percent — up from 16 percent in 2000.
Image via Hamish Darby on Flickr
Religion 5 of 15
Natural or C-Section? 6 of 15
Spanking 7 of 15
An ABCNEWS poll found that 65 percent of Americans approve of spanking children, and about half admit they sometimes spank at home. But when it comes to other people spanking your kids, the majority of Americans opposed, with 72 percent saying it shouldn't be allowed for teachers to spank students.
Image via chauromano on Flickr
Single Parents 8 of 15
According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007, a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau every two years (and most recently in December 2011), there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States, and those parents are responsible for raising about 22 million children. This number represents approximately 26 percent of children under 21 in the U.S. today.
Image via USAG-Humphreys on Flickr
Screen Time 9 of 15
We're not supposed to have screen time until kids are 2 years old. The AAP goes so far as to say "parents establish 'screen-free' zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children's bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner." Once kids are older screens should be on no more than two hours a day, with the bulk of kid's time spent outdoors, reading, and complaining to you about how bored they are ;)
Image via DadCAMP
Co-Sleeping 10 of 15
Redshirting 11 of 15
Holding kids back and delaying the start of kindergarten is a trend on the rise. In 1968, four percent of kindergarteners were 6 years old. In 1995, the number was close to nine percent. As of 2008, 17 percent of children are held back from starting kindergarten until they are older.
Image via DadCAMP
SAHP 12 of 15
Whether or not a parent stays home with kids depends on the age of the kids. 35 percent of moms stay home with kids under 6, while the number drops to 25 percent when they are school aged. Even though there is a trend to stories about stay at home dads, the number of dads at home with kids under 15 years old is less than one percent.
Image via Imnop88a on Flickr
Homeschooling 13 of 15
Get To School 14 of 15
Fast Food 15 of 15