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Top Mom Myths

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We agree that most of the time, mothers do know best, but they're not always right. Remember those motherly words of wisdom when you were growing up that just didn't sound, well, logical? Here, we debunk some of our favorite mommy-isms.

By Alma Schneider

"If you don't wash behind your ears, potatoes will start to grow there!"

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Why do kids loathe bathing? Everyone comes out smelling fresh and clean. Plus, you can play, float, and make funny hairdos with shampoo. Perhaps it is the primal fear of drowning, but most of us refused baths for the better part of our childhood. To avoid constant conflict, our moms needed to freak us out to get our stinky butts in the water. Who wants to be ostracized by peers because of the root vegetables sprouting out of our dirty little ears? Although she meant well, potatoes do not grow out of uncleaned body parts.

"If you shave your leg hair, it will come back thicker."

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How many of us ladies regret ever having shaved that very first time, knowing that if we had left it alone, we would not have the beastly mess we now have to contend with in adulthood? We were all told that once we shaved, the hair will grow back both thicker and darker. Well, this is a myth. Whether you shave or not, leg hair grows and darkens as you age, unless you are one of the lucky few with eternal peach fuzz.

"Don't go out with wet hair! You're going to get sick!"


Most of us know that colds are passed via direct contact with an infected person, so how could this be true? Yes, the body has to work harder in the winter months to stay warm, but a cold virus does not suddenly appear from nowhere to contaminate us. The reason why the incidence of colds go up so much during the colder months of the year is because that is when most people stay in and are forced to be in much closer contact with each other. Thanks, Mom, M.D, but we need to debunk this myth.

"If you keep crossing your eyes, they might stay that way forever!"

Who as a child did not enjoy learning that they had the ability to cross their eyes? This skill came in very handy when we wanted to annoy someone. Back in the day, when moms were drinking martinis and did not have the wherewithal to explain why it was not nice to make faces, they chose the easy way out by scaring us. These moms meant well, but were a bit misguided. Pulling a funny face can sure look unattractive in a photo, but it does not cause crossed eyes.

Alma Schneider is a licensed Clinical Social Worker helping individuals overcome their psychological and practical obstacles to cooking and parenting on her blog and consulting business, Take Back the Kitchen. She is a native New Yorker transplanted to the suburbs with her husband, four children and loving yet stubborn Beagle Shiloh.
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