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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

I have been reading a book lately about parenting. Soon, I will be the happy father of a little baby girl. My wife and I are eager for the new family member, but apprehensive of countless nights of little sleep, incessant crying, dirty diapers, nursing trials, bottle warmers, and decorative onesies (I think it is spelled this way!?).

┬áBy admission, parenting is a relative affair, Everyone does it differently and everyone thinks they have a lock on how it should be done. “Your having a baby,” they will say. “That’s great! Here’s what we did when our little man/girl was born.” I have had countless conversations like this. Or, my favorite so far has been: “Have you done your registry yet? No, well I must tell you this. Go to this store for this item. We hear it is the best to have and you want the best for your little one, right?” (Sigh) Yes, I confess that I do want what is good, and usually what is good is best, but I don’t need a $600 thing-a-ma-jig because it is all the rage for the cosmopolitan parent.

What I do need is some sage advice, opinionated-free counsel, and some help on what to expect psychologically, neurologically, and spiritually. As such, I think I have found it. It is James Dobson’s Bringing Up Girls.

I will give a detailed review of his book at another post, but I did come across a paragraph today that I felt needed to be shared. As I am still short (bout 3 months to go) of being a new parent, I am still able to tell when someone is doing a bad job at being a parent. (Soap Box Alert) Sure, kids run around and scream. What little boy doesn’t want to run around with underwear on his head, claiming that he will save the world from the evil spaghetti mafia. However, no one wants to see that when you are sitting down at a fine-dining establishment. And, no one wants to see you (parent) coddling your child when what they need is some order and discipline. Am I saying that it is wrong to coddle your child and love them? No. Am I saying that it is wrong to make people wait in line for ten minutes while you ask your 4-6 year old whether they would like milk or fruit punch as their drink? Yes. This is just one example and I am sure there are many, many more.

Appeasement in parenting is dangerous business. Children will run your life if you let them. However, attachment is a critical issue and one worthy of pursuit with your little guy/girl. Just make sure you don’t use appeasement as an excuse for attachment. Here, I turn to Dobson for the final word:

“It is my belief that the desire to be liked by one’s children reveals a subtle apprehension that they will rebel when they are teens. Perhaps moms think, if my husband and I don’t try to tell them what to do, maybe we can avoid conflict down the road. Bur both generations suffer when that happens. Moms and dads who are afraid to say no to a child, which I call “the denial of denial,” often produce the very rebellion they dread. Children need firm leadership from the moment of birth onward, and it is cruel to deprive them of it. Trying to avoid conflict by being permissive has a name. It is called appeasement, and it never works in human affairs.”

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