Monday, June 22, 2009

Benefits Blog: Parenting tips from our predecessors

WHENEVER I’m at my wits’ end with my children, I find myself wondering how people in the past managed to raise families without the plentiful resources, help, diversions – not to mention disposable diapers – that are available to us today.

How did they raise men and women whose memories inspire and illuminate our paths? Where are modern parenting techniques – and the gurus and super nannies who make a fast buck expounding on them – falling short? Why has parenting become an angst-ridden exercise for parents and children alike, leading to heartrending stories of abuse, traumatic breakdowns and alienation? What important ingredient are we missing out on in our overzealousness to get the recipe right?

In his bestselling book ‘Children Are From Heaven’, author John Gray (of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ fame) talks about “five positive principles of raising children to be compassionate, confident, caring adults,” one of which is: “It’s okay to say no, but remember Mom and Dad are the bosses.”I find it interesting that modern counselors are discovering in hindsight what our predecessors knew instinctively: that children need the emotional security and mental stability that comes with having parents who are ‘in charge’, not helpless putty in the hands of their children. For more go here.

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