The “W” Gene… Examining a Logical Fallacy in Parenting

Here’s an article that’s recently taken parenting sites and Facebook groups by storm.  It’s talking about the hysteria about “W sitting” like the image below:

A Child W-Sitting

Image credit:

What’s more interesting to me than the article are all the comments regarding the statement that this CAUSES “femoral rotation” and winds up with inward turning feet.  Some experts swear that it’s the worst thing a kid can do; others say it’s nonsense.  Then you have the anecdotal testimonies confirming or dispelling the claim.

I humbly suggest…

Image Credit

I think both camps got it wrong.  I think people are arguing the Chicken vs Egg and are ignoring the real issue… pre-existing hypermobility that CAUSES certain kids to sit like this in the FIRST place!

My opinion is that sitting this way does not necessarily cause any issues, but the kids who instinctively sit like this are also the same children who have possible underlying issues.

So rather than trying to “fix” the kids’ problems by “correcting” them to sit the “right” way, it makes more sense to me to take that child to their pediatrician and say: My kid is W sitting; can you please check him/her for any possible syndromes/issues that would CAUSE him/her to sit this way to BEGIN with?”

It’s a simple logical fallacy known as false cause.  Think of it this way: every time it rains, there are always umbrellas.  Therefore, umbrellas make it rain.

Sounds silly now, right?  That’s why I think it’s FALSE that every time I see a “W sitter,” I think it causes problems.

Yet people get VERY worked up about this issue on Facebook.

Sheep, Agriculture, Animals, CountrysideI urge you to make today’s 153Promise to take everything you read about parenting with a grain of salt.  Evaluate the source.  Is it on a site that’s mainly geared to selling products?  Read the comments.  Do they offer a strong counter argument/perspective?

Make the 153Promise to not only parent with your heart, but your brain as well.  Don’t be swayed by trends; be logical and observe your children and look to see if they have issues.

Don’t let a viral post be your parenting guide.

Kisses! XxXx


5 thoughts on “The “W” Gene… Examining a Logical Fallacy in Parenting

  1. Great post! Ah, the wonders of the Intertubz! An article causes an Internet sensation without citing a shred of supporting evidence! Wow! It must be true, I saw it on the Internet. The Women’s Day article is an Internet hack job, meant to cause a stir and drive readership. It links to two totally unrelated scare pieces (something about cold sores on your baby and another about heroin needles in your local playground) before linking to the article about W sitting from the “Pediatric Therapy Center.” The Pediatric Therapy Center article is totally unsupported. Any article that about anything related to health or well-being that can’t list primary sources for supporting evidence doesn’t should be discarded. Primary sources in this case would take years of double-blind research, following a representative sample of children who were allowed to W sit and a group who were discouraged, and then testing them years later for whatever conditions were studied (something about core muscle strength). It doesn’t seem likely that the “Pediatric Therapy Center” in Papillion, Nebraska conducted such a study. It’s run by two ladies who are Occupational Therapists, and the article is written by a third person who might be an employee. There’s no doubt the Pediatric Therapy Center does wonderful work. But the article should cite primary sources, or at least some reputable secondary sources. The article in Women’s Day and the article by the Pediatric Therapy Center should both be discarded.


      1. Official Internet Debunker. Just fooling, I work in Technical Services. I have to write stuff for work that sites primary sources for support, so I can usually detect a lack thereof. Just wish we could get the rest of the Intertubz to think that way. There would be a lot less hysteria!


Thank you for sharing! <3

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