04/30/2008 10:36 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Uncommon Common Sense

I have had people respond to my advice regarding kids and food and remark: "Isn't this all just common sense?!"

And I respond: "Yes! Absolutely!"

What I find interesting however, about a lot of things these days, whether it be about food, eating, parenting, jobs, relationships, is that common sense is not so common. Think for a moment how many times you might find yourself shaking your head and thinking: "Wait a minute, this can't be right."

Common sense seems to be on the decline. We are bombarded by expert advice and self help books. Everyone has an opinion on how you can parent better, or do everything better. There are books, courses you can take. But I think there is a danger in overly relying or in taking in the information without integrating how it works for you. I call that putting the information on top of your head and wearing it like a hat, instead of letting it seep through, and take what you can use, and throw away the rest.

One of the fallouts I think of delayed childbearing and giving up careers that women have faced, is that they approach parenting like a career. But there are things that we face in parenting that are out of our control. Our kids inherent body type, genetic predispositions and personality styles that are beyond our control. There is only so much we can control. Or micromanage. The trick is to figure out the balance between limit setting, parameters and our own comfort levels and requirements because we are the parents and get to pick a family style that works for us. Yeah, we are the bosses!

So, for all of you that rely on others for advice on what to do, or seek experts out to figure out what to do, think first of your own instincts.

I always say that you are the one who knows your kid best. You know yourself best too.

Usually you are dead on.

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