10 Parenting crimes the internet considers child abuse

Jan 12, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Image: Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty

Child abuse is a serious term that internet communities like to throw around lightly. While child abuse should always be taken seriously, child abuse accusations against a parenting style should not.

Just because you don't like what another parent is doing doesn't mean that it's child abuse. It also helps to remember that internet parenting arguments are not real life.

In your social circle, it's important to err on the side of caution and contact the authorities if a child may be in danger. But under the cloak of anonymity on the internet, child abuse accusations can hardly be taken seriously. If you don't agree with what another parent is saying online, just call them a child abuser, and that will shut them right up, am-I-right?

Let's see if any of your parenting choices fall into internet definitions of "child abuse."

1. Formula feeding

Billy Madison

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According to the internet, feeding your innocent baby store-bought "poison" is tantamount to child abuse.

2. Extended breastfeeding


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You had better breastfeed, but don't breastfeed for too long or you'll be deemed "inappropriate."

3. Cry-it-out sleep training

Mila Kunis

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Co-sleepers say: Letting your defenseless baby cry alone in her crib all night is just cruel. You should be ashamed of yourself.

4. Co-sleeping

Jon Hamm

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Cry-it-out parents say: Sleeping in the same bed as your defenseless baby is dangerous and negligent. You should be ashamed of yourself.

5. Turning your baby's car seat forward

Ryan Gosling

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Turn your baby's car seat to forward-facing before the 2-year mark, and some mom groups might just burn you at the stake.

6. Spanking

Will Smith

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Many parents have adopted a zero-tolerance spanking policy: Lay a hand on your kid, and you deserve a CPS visit.

7. Not vaccinating


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Parents who choose not to vaccinate should get ready for an onslaught of internet hate. Some online communities consider the anti-vaccination movement a negligent, abusive public health threat.

8. Watching R-rated movies

New Girl

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Exposing your kids to violence at a young age for the sake of entertainment has been called inadvertent child abuse.

9. Letting your kid play outside alone

Betty White

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Moms have been arrested for such "crimes." Let your child walk a few blocks to the park on her own at your own risk.

10. Putting your kid in day care

The Office

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You might be a "child abuser" if your day care is raising your kid for you. Anti-day care parenting groups consider day cares used by working parents to be a hotbed of abuse, molestation and neglect.

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