Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Baumrind’

Raising Successful Kids Without Reading a Book

August 7, 2012

Clinician Madeline Levine has written an extremely compelling book entitled “Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success.” Based on her column in The New York Times this book has a lot to offer. Below is just a snippet:

The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident and generally in accord with reality. If you treat your walking toddler as if she can’t walk, you diminish her confidence and distort reality. Ditto nightly “reviews” of homework, repetitive phone calls to “just check if you’re O.K.” and “editing” (read: writing) your child’s college application essay.

Once your child is capable of doing something, congratulate yourself on a job well done and move on. Continued, unnecessary intervention makes your child feel bad about himself (if he’s young) or angry at you (if he’s a teenager).

But isn’t it a parent’s job to help with those things that are just beyond your child’s reach? Why is it overparenting to do for your child what he or she is almost capable of?

Think back to when your toddler learned to walk. She would take a weaving step or two, collapse and immediately look to you for your reaction. You were in thrall to those early attempts and would do everything possible to encourage her to get up again. You certainly didn’t chastise her for failing or utter dire predictions about flipping burgers for the rest of her life if she fell again. You were present, alert and available to guide if necessary. But you didn’t pick her up every time.

You knew she had to get it wrong many times before she could get it right.

My problem with parenting books is that they often take an all encompassing approach. Parenting isn’t a “one size fits all” exercise. Each child is different, with their own particular needs and unique talents.

It’s the same in the classroom. I can’t afford to teach every student in the same way. Some require more independence, some need more attention. I can challenge some more than others. Some thrive on competition others achieve better results without having to worry about winning or losing.

It is my firm belief that parenting, like teaching, is about understanding the child, connecting with them, setting achievable goals and monitoring their progress  against whatever approach you have identified as the best. It is a parents job to constantly reflect on how they are going and making adjustments along the way.  If you parent your first and second child in exactly the same way, you are likely to find that the results are sometimes very different.

This approach could never be properly written about in a book.

Click on the link to read Insensitive ‘Parent Bashers’ Take Aim at Grieving Colorado Parents

Click here to read ‘It’s Time to Get New Role Models’.

Click here to read ‘Schools Invite Kids to Parent-Teacher Meetings to Subdue Angry Parents’.


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