We parents are the victims of parenting rhetoric. These are practices developed in think tanks made up of individuals trying to justify their salary/program, establish themselves as an expert, or keep happy corporations funding their program. These practices lack practicality, facts, and respect for the needs of children and families. They build momentum by the next person in line being motivated by the same unauthentic reasons as the last, until these practices become societally accepted and an abnormal “norm”.
The victims of this are we parents and our children. We are taught to ignore our intuition, and do what others tell us. Instead of being empowered to trust ourselves, our common sense, and our knowledge of our children, we are told to trust “them”. We are left frustrated, confused, depressed, and anxious. This is passed on to each subsequent generation. Today’s articles exemplify three (of many) phenomena that fit this bill.
Ah, family dinner. The end all be all to a strong family dynamic. Right? No, you say? Family dinner is not providing that for you? Hmmm… there is good reason for that. Take a look:
Why We Don’t Need Family Dinner by Grown and Flown
“Yet when they delved into the data and stripped out the quality of family relationships, the degree to which parents monitored their kids, how they spent their time together and the availability of financial resources, suddenly the story changed. The researchers noted that, “We found no direct, lasting effects of family dinners on mental health, drug and alcohol use or delinquency.” It was family connections, not meals, that mattered.” Click here to read.
Next up: We are told to distance ourselves from our children. Even if different words are used, we are implored to toughen our kids up, for their own sake. This article talks about the negative impact of these practices:
Research Shows from University of Notre Dame “Ill-advised practices and beliefs have become commonplace in our culture, such as the use of infant formula, the isolation of infants in their own rooms or the belief that responding too quickly to a fussing baby will ‘spoil’ it,” Narvaez says. This new research links certain early, nurturing parenting practices — the kind common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies — to specific, healthy emotional outcomes in adulthood, and has many experts rethinking some of our modern, cultural child-rearing “norms.” Click here to read.
This next article will cause some people to say that they cannot homeschool and I should not suggest they try. Let me be clear; this is now what I am suggesting. Whether you are homeschooling, unschooling, or public schooling there are important messages to take from this piece about the shift in what top universities are looking for.
It is not that I care what elite schools are looking for, rather, I (hope) this represents a shift in our culture- that we will once again encourage kids to problem solve, think critically, and operate outside of the box. The only way this will happen though, is if we each commit to that in our own house- whether or not our kids go to school.
The Indirect Call to Homeschool by Homeschool Diaries
“They lacked the ability to focus, an inner drive to achieve and interest-led passion. Interestingly, these students achieved high grades and test scores. These kids were smart on paper. They did well in school and ranked at the top of their classes. But, according to the former provost, grades and high scores aren’t enough. Top tier colleges and universities are looking beyond grades and scores.” Click here to read.
Happy family living, and have a great weekend everyone!