had no idea it was creating such a buzz.
As I sat there listening to her interview, by the way, which could have lasted longer...I said to myself, "finally, someone in the mainstream who's not afraid to challenge the 'modern' way of parenting, without being afraid of getting their head ripped off". Since "Tiger Mom" put out her first book, I thought no one else dared to come out with something that challenges the "world's view" on parenting. But oh was I wrong. And you can best believe my wheels were spinning! As you can probably tell, after writing this post...I'm going out to buy this book(that is if my husband doesn't beat me to the punch - he reads more than anyone I know).
Back to the book. Since I didn't have an actual copy in my hand you know I had to go Google it. I read the reviews, some of course were not favorable, as in anything that goes against the "status quo". But, before I get into MY thoughts on modern parenting...here's an excerpt from the forward....
"Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: what are the effects of children on their parents? In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior isolates and analyzes the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources-in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology-she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations-and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards.
Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today-and tomorrow."
This was such a breath of fresh air for me. I'm all gung ho, as I haven't actually read the book yet. And there will probably be something in it(as with most books I read) that I won't agree with. BUT, it has gotten the dialogue started on why as a society, we're digressing. I'm not saying that Mrs. Senior's book is the answer to the decline of our society, but it's a start.
I for one, come from the "old school" fabric of parenting. I'm the one who reads Dr. John Rosemond's Sunday column and give him an air high five for having the guts to say what deep down inside, we all know to be the truth. Listen, some of the advice can be to the extreme, as let's be honest here...some parents aren't equipped to make fair, rational and reasonable child rearing decisions when it comes to their children. THAT in itself is a very sad thing. But, that in no way means we should throw out the baby with the bath water! What's right is right and what's wrong is wrong....right?
For instance, if a child is in the store rolling on the floor having a temper tantrum. You just don't throw up your hands and let them do it! NO! Boundaries should have been set waaay before that even takes place. I, in no way think ANYTHING is cute about a child sassing or saying no to a parent. Even at the cute age of 1 or 2. Contrary to what some parents think...children.are.not.stupid! In fact, they're VERY smart! And they also know what they can and can't get away with! If boundaries are set and they already know what's expected and the consequences that come with it...BELIEVE ME, they may try - but they're smart enough to know what the ramifications are that follow. Why do you think a teacher can get an entire classroom of kids to follow rules(sure you'll have a few that will buck the system), but the majority of them won't. She has a set of rules and a set of consequences and if they deviate, they get the punishment. And eventually they learn. It doesn't take rocket science. It takes patience AND consistency. And you don't have to scream and yell either to get your point across(aside from the occasional 'clean your room or else'), lol. But seriously, children WANT boundaries and discipline...why, because it's a security and a stability to them. They know they have someone in the mix who's smart enough and bold enough to have their backs and center them when it looks like the world is falling apart.
We as parents have tired ourselves out parenting, because we try to be EVERYTHING to our kids. Their friend, their confidant, their play date, their everything. Hey some of you may love that, but I'm not the one. And NO, my kids aren't some warped basket cases, because I wasn't all those things to them. As a matter of fact they thank us for giving them a reality check concerning life. And they'll be the first to tell you they had a wonderful childhood filled with love and laughter. Listen, they had their fair share of movie, museum, park, zoo and library outings to last them a lifetime. But, I didn't drop what I was doing to run to their every beck and call either. If they wanted to play, that's what they had siblings and friends for. That's what God gave them an imagination for. And please don't get it twisted, I wasn't some "Mommy Dearest" mother who shunned her kids and showed no nurture. No way! As a matter of fact, I(we) showered them with love and affection(my husband would say I was overbearing in that category, lol)...still do, but I never, ever let them get confused as to whose role was whose. And our(my husband and I) relationship with them is one of the closest I've ever seen. It has made them independent, self-confident adults, who make wise choices concerning their lives.
I've said all that to say, that our parents and grandparents raised a house full of kids. They didn't have all the books and psychology we have today, but we turned out okay, didn't we? They had to rely on their parenting instincts and not on what some book told them to do. They had to come up with a game plan that not only protected their children, but also preserved their sanctity, their energy and their time. I'm not saying we can't have fun with our kids and make memorable moments. My motto has been and will always be...if it ain't broke, you can tweak it, but don't fix it! God gave us the job of parenting and we're to do our very best. We're not going to get brownie points for how many times we let them have what they wanted or what we gave them materially, but we'll be judged on how well we steward their lives.
Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 29:15, Proverbs 22:6, I Corinthians 3:10-15, Genesis 18:19
SN...the "Doing YOU WELL Wednesday" link up will only be hosted the last Wednesday of each month, starting this month. Please join me next Wednesday!
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