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The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up...


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be the parent

A significant portion of Sax’s book is devoted to the importance of parents modelling traits they want to encourage in their children. 

Chief among them, he says, should be humility and conscientiousness—which run counter to inflating a child’s self-esteem and sense of entitlement. To that end, he encourages parents to fortify their adult relationships so they are not overly concerned with pleasing their kids as a way of satisfying their own need for affection. Neufeld also urges parents, including his own adult children, to establish a network of surrogate caregivers—relatives, neighbours, daycare workers—who will not undermine their authority but back them up when they need help.

And invariably, they will. “Parenting is awfully frustrating and often a lonely place,” says Neufeld, especially when a child misbehaves. In those moments, he recommends parents reassure kids that their relationship isn’t broken. “When parents realize that they are their children’s best bet, it challenges them to their own maturity.” It gives them the confidence that they know what’s good for their kids, and that they should stand up to them—this is, in fact, an act of love required of parents. They become, in effect, the grown-ups their children need.

I've long said that most people don't really mature until they raise children.

Wow Stephen, way to humblebrag.

Really?  I don't think that's a humblebrag.  I could do a lot better humblebrag anyway.  (Is that a metahumblebrag or a humblebrag brag?)  I first realized the point above when I realized the change in myself over the month following my first baby's birth.  Then I noticed similar and even larger changes in others.  Is it a humblebrag for a parent to tell children they will understand something better when they are a little older?  Seems like simple wisdom to me.  Or are you taking issue with "I've long said"?  While sort of a brag, here it also serves to indicate that I'm adding to independent evidence of truths that this book is describing rather than just parroting it.  The latter justifies the possibly slight offense of the former.

No offense but I need to work pretty hard to look at your issues

Eh?  You mean my notes are hard to read?  (Some people don't like long messages, I know, sorry.)  That I have issues that are hard to look at like a train wreck?  Perhaps, although I don't think they are in this area.

"Had some kids.  Now I know better."  

Yeah but they're already out there. You can't put them back.

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