Parenting Expert Says We Shouldn't Ever High-Five Our Kids

Ashley Hunte
Give someone you like a high five today, no matter how old they are.
Unsplash | Giorgio Trovato

Do you high-five your kids? Chances are, you probably do. According to one "expert", though, you should probably stop, unless you want them thinking of you as an equal instead of a parent.

The good news is, you don't actually have to listen to this guy. In fact, most people online have been pretty quick to say that this guy's opinion is pretty wrong.

Dr. John Rosemond is a child psychologist.

John Rosemund, who apparently really hates it when parents high five their children.
Facebook | John Rosemund

In and op-ed written for the Omaha World Herald and published on October 2nd, Rosemond went on a pretty scathing tirade to discredit one of the most lighthearted gestures in the world. Why? Because, according to him, "The more adults and children commingle as if they are equals, the more problematic become their relationships."

Rosemond believes that a high five teaches kids to "disrespect their elders."

A dad and his daughter high fiving
Pexels | Monstera

"I will not slap the upraised palm of a person who is not my peer, and a peer is someone over age 21, emancipated, employed and paying their own way," he said in the piece. And yeah, the rest of it is just as perplexing.

Needless to say, most people are confused and pretty angry about this.

It quickly made its way to Twitter, where users are just as confused as you probably are right now. But rest assured, not a single soul is taking this seriously.

In fact, most of the replies consist of people making fun of the column in any way possible.

On the surface, it can be pretty easy to dismiss this column as something trivial. But denying kids any kind of affection or encouragement sounds... really problematic.

Other Twitter users shared how they view high fives.

"I have easily high-fived more than a thousand children over the years, encouraging them with affirmations of 'good morning' 'have a great day' 'well done' and 'that's awesome' in the process," a user said. Half-joking, of course.

In actuality, Rosemond's advice is... well, it's wrong.

It didn't take long before other psychiatrists began catching wind of this incredibly strange column, and began responding with (you guessed it) the exact opposite advice. As it turns out, high fives are a good thing.

Dr. Lisa Lundquist spoke with Today, telling them why high fives are good for childhood development.

"This provides a child with a sense of competent achievement and allows them to understand where to direct their efforts during future tasks," she said.

Dr. Nicole Kern, a school psychologist, also spoke with Today.

"One thing that helps is not denying them access to contact with adults, be that physical or emotional, when the child seeks such a connection. I would never deny a child something as basic as a high-five," she said, also noting that Rosemond doesn't seem to really understand kids.

At the end of the day, if you want kids to respect you, you also need to respect them in return.

Children aren't mindless puppets. They have thoughts and feelings and personalities. They get sad when you deny them affection.

In other words, they're people.

As hilariously out of touch the column is, it's also incredibly damaging. But, as I've already said, you don't have to listen to Rosemond's regressive advice. From the looks of it, the people of Twitter sure won't be.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!