Still, nothing can excuse my behavior that afternoon. I erupted like Mount Momsuvius: "Enough! Get out! Stop bothering me!" The look on my daughters' faces said it all. The 2-year-old's eyes widened. The 4-year-old furrowed her brow and jabbed her thumb between her lips.Yes, the look on her daughters' faces said it all, eh? Because once the children are upset, what else needs to be said? Also forbidden are Leave me alone, you know better than that, and "labeling" your child, such as she's my shy one. Horrors. If Ms. Spencer has heard actual parents doing such things, it is a wonder she has not reported it to Protective Services. Six of the nine, in fact demonstrate how you can replace irritated, poorly-thought-out statements with controlled, chilly, yuppie ones which let the child know that their feelings are the pivot point of the household. To be fair, her offered replacements are generally better than the ones she criticises. Yet they are not much better - they focus on inessentials of parenting. Children are not that fragile. A large percentage of the people I work with experienced serious abuse as children, yet many retain remarkable humanity, self-confidence, a perspective. Young parents already have a tendency to paranoia and guilt about their interactions with their children. I don't see much need to increase that.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Things You Shouldn't Tell Young Parents
Parenting magazine has an article 9 Things You Shouldn't Say To Your Child, by Paula Spencer. It should be kept in parenting books as a bad example. The odd thing is, I discover upon research that Spencer is something of the anti-paranoid in most of her parenting writing. Where this piece came from - an irritated afternoon, perhaps - I don't know.
Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at 10:36 AM