Being a parent is not easy! Sleepless nights, interrupted sleep, the burden of bringing up the future generation and the never ending suggestions from other parents. Some unbelievable sayings though, seem to pop up out of nowhere from years and years of parenting old wives tales whispered in your ear since young. How true they are is an entirely different story.
1. Jump To Grow Taller
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A spot in the school basketball team is one of the most coveted vacancies for any Malaysian mom. Every short kid has heard the numerous pleas from their moms asking them to jump on the skipping rope or play basketball so that they might grow taller. While there might be some small merits to the wonders of jumping exercises, height is unfortunately mostly determined by genetics.
2. Future Spouse Pimples = Grains Of Rice Left On Plate
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Each Malaysian family dinner usually ends with a warning to eat everything on your plate. Finish every single grain of rice on the plate because every grain of rice left on your plate will be the amount of pimples your future spouse will have.
3. Eating Bread Crusts Will Give You Curly Hair
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In Australia, children are encouraged to eat the crusts on their sandwiches from lunches to ensure beautiful thick locks of hair. No leftovers ever!
4. Don’t Show A Baby A Mirror
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Starting in the 19th century in Europe, this myth shook the nation during the witchcraft era where mirrors are believe to be a reflection of the soul and therefore a newborn child should not see a mirror until its first birthday as his or her soul is still developing. If the child sees its reflection it is said that he or she will die.
5. Don’t Pluck Grey Hairs
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While this myth that plucking one grey hair out and three more will appear has been scientifically proven wrong, most women such as myself still scream when someone approaches your one of the few strands of white hair with any ill intentions. So, moms, once you spot a grey hair on your kids (as teenagers when those pesky white hairs start sprouting), remember hands off!
6. Cute Babies & Fair Skin
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In India where fair skin is the biggest commodity, many moms-to-be spend hours staring at cute baby photos and also eat and drink loads of white foods or milk to help create a cute and fair skinned baby in the womb.
7. Girls Shouldn’t Wear Pink
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Stories were whispered in South African primary schools about a monster that awaits girls in the school toilet. Girls were warned by friends not to wear pink to school because it would make the monster angry.
8. Laying Down After Eating
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In Japan, it is said that if you lay down after eating, you’ll turn into a cow. A very Malaysian mom once told me that lying down after a meal will make you fat. There might be some merit in that myth then!?!?
9. Cutting Finger Nails At Night
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Cutting nails especially kids’ is a very big no-no. For the Malays, cutting nails at night may shorten the lifespan, while the Chinese believe that this will cause kids to develop a phobia of the dark. Even the Japanese & Thais have bad omens associated with cutting nails at night.
10. Eating Ghee Will Make Your Baby Slide Out
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Among the Indian crowd, women who are very pregnant whisper in hushed tones about ghee and oil as a lubricant to help the baby slide out during child birth. While the myth is definitely not true as the high calorie content would do the opposite, it does alleviate the guilt from satisfying the cravings for naughty fatty foods.
Plenty would be able to related to these Singaporean pantang and superstitions. However, the best and favourite Japanese saying about pregnancy is that everything in moderation as long as mom is happy. Don’t we all agree?
But in the meantime, test how knowledgeable you are about all the corners of this world by seeing how well you can score on this Truth or Old Wives Tale Parenting Quiz. Which ones have you never heard of?