• Thu, Jan 2 - 5:30 pm ET

I’m Googling How To Raise My Child Which Is Probably Not The Best Idea

183012315 copyI can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone to Google to solve my parenting problems. I used it for the answers to everything before I had children; I don’t see why the arrival of a child would change this behavior.

There is nothing that Google won’t tell you. How many teaspoons in a quart? What is the name of that thing you use to turn up soil? Why is Monsanto evil? What is the shortest distance between my house and the KFC downtown? By car? By train? Walking? What’s the name of that guy who was Mallory’s love interest on Family Ties? See. All of the answers are out there.

Why should it be any different for parenting? Spoiler alert; it is.

Googling any parenting dilemma is the worst idea, ever. It sends you down the rabbit hole – and not in a good way. Everything your child goes through has been encountered by another parent, equipped with a camera and ready to upload pictures. These pictures will terrify you.

A couple of weeks ago, my son developed a rash. I Googled, “bad itching toddler rash” and perused some images. Nooooooo. Immediately, I realized that I was not cut out for this whole parenting thing. There is shit out there that is way more serious than what I am encountering with my child. What if any of this horrific stuff appears on my toddler? How will I handle it? What are these skin conditions? I must know. Google. You are the worst.

It manages to convince you that you know things about things you know nothing about – and at the same time feed a paranoia that would not exist if we didn’t have all of this information at our fingertips. It also may annoy the shit out of your partner, if he or she is not inclined to diagnose your child this way. I’ve been known to be a little bit of a “know it all” thanks to Google:

Don’t let Lucien fall asleep with the bottle in his mouth!  Google-image ‘bottle rot.’  It’s disgusting. Make sure it’s in quotes. Don’t say no all the time, it will lose its meaning.  Its really just negative attention, and he can’t differentiate between negative attention and positive attention yet.  He just craves attention. Just ignore him. Google says around 15 months they go down to one nap a day. That’s why he’s waking up every night at 3 am for about 3 hours. It’s totally normal. Don’t give him honey yet. He’ll get botulism.

My husband finally got sick of my nagging.  I knew the day would come.

“Maria, I raised my two baby sisters and a daughter, remember?”

“Yeah, but you didn’t have Google then, so how could you possibly know if you were doing it right?”

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • Bethany Ramos

    THIS is my house exactly. I will do everything google says, no questions asked.

  • elle

    Haha dying because that is so me. In my mind Google can solve like 90% of problems/queries.

  • Rachel Sea

    I bet he secretly googles, too.

  • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

    I kind of miss the days where you wondered about something and you just had to….wonder. I tried to explain this to my students (both sixth grade and college freshman), and neither group could fathom this. The idea of not having immediate gratification with information is just mind blowing to people who have never experienced it, or were too young to remember.

    • Rachel Sea

      Back when encyclopedias and really big dictionaries were cool (actually, I still think they’re cool).

  • Natasha B

    This is why I hate ‘MyChart’ from the Dr office. I immediately google any little note they leave and spend the next 5/6 hours panicking. When it’s nothing. hubby you tubes everyyyyyything

  • SusannahJoy

    Yeah, I’ve made jokes about how I practically worship google. Because, after all *bows head* Google Knows All! My husband just rolls his eyes a lot.

  • Kay_Sue

    The only question Google has failed me on is whether or not coconuts migrate, and how many times a swallow would need to beat its wings to successfully carry one…and how to keep my child’s clothes on.

  • Think horses not zebras

    The problem with the internet is that anyone with access and a cat or a kid will present themselves as an expert.

  • Aussiemum

    Hi my name is Aussiemum, and I’m a google parent.
    Who the bloody hell isn’t? I google everything. My answer for everything is, let’s google that shit! I’ve passed my wisdom onto my sister-in-law and told her to google and if she doesn’t think she can, ring me… I’ll do it for you!
    I’ve googled first teeth falling out age (mr 7′s just wouldn’t come out and he was getting cranky cause the rest of his class had already had visits from the tooth fairy), how long they should sleep for (apparently 12 hours is not enough for mr 16) and so on.
    Last year however, I did my biggest google search for something my son was diagnosed with. Just incase the dr got something wrong! And let’s face it, the dr is like 50 and went to school yonks ago, shit might have changed! We learnt a few things and went back and told the dr about new research and possible triggers and helpful tips that have worked for our mr 7. I’m not sure he believed me, but on our next visit, he said he’d googled it too and was surprised by the amount of new information out there.
    Google parents stand proud!

  • Kaili

    Listen. To. Maria. This kid free got curious and did what she told me not to. I googled Bottle Rot and google auto-entered “bottle rot treatment”. I clicked images and there was a picture for “pizzle rot”. It is what I think it is.

    Note to self- never buy pizzle sticks or the dogs again.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ilikeswears Dusty

    I’ve googled everything from how to get rid of my daughter’s useless boyfriend to advice on dealing with passive aggressive and openly aggressive family members. There is almost no problem google can’t solve, outside of those requiring medical intervention.

  • pineapplegrasss

    I too have a mommy degree in googleology :)