Two interesting articles on parenting in The Guardian. Thanks to Claire for the links.
“Since when did obedience become the epitome of good parenting?” by Annalisa Barbieri.
Most parenting books are about how to get children to do things well. By well, read obediently. When and how you – the adult – want them to do something: eat well, pee in the potty, sleep well (that’s the big one), behave well. The aim, it would seem, is to raise compliant children. Because, according to these books, obedient children = successful parents, disobedient = head hanging failures. But actually is an obedient child cause for concern or celebration? The more I thought about it, the more intrigued I became by this question. Telling someone their child is obedient is (usually) meant as a compliment. But an obedient adult? Not quite so attractive is it? We have other words for that, doormat being one of them.
“Carlos Gonzales: the doctor who wants parents to break the rules” by Annalisa Barbieri.
In the book, Gonzalez explains the science or evolutionary theories (or exposes the lack of them) for various “fashions” for raising children: from feeding and sleeping through to discipline. It’s a book that makes you work, however – it doesn’t tell you what to do, but how to look at situations. There are lots of lightbulb moments as he turns round common ways of thinking and asks you to consider various scenarios in another way. Sometimes he looks at popular childcare literature and substitutes the word “wife” for “baby” and sees how that sounds (it makes for chilling reading).