Let’s talk about the recent Maclean’s article “The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up”. Written by Cathy Gulli, the article is based on expert opinion about the current demise of parenting. The article is spreading like wildfire. I just had to read it and it was interesting to say the least.
Many concepts in the article are from Dr. Leonard Sax’s new book of the same title. The title itself was enough to entice me; it has a certain shock value. It made me stop and think, “could it actually be true?” Could asking my child to try one bite of their green peas be partly to blame for kids becoming overweight, over medicated, anxious and disrespectful of themselves and those around them?In response to Gulli’s article, I’ve recently come across many different parenting articles in the media. Dr. Leonard Sax also wrote an article in the Globe and Mail about the disintegration of the parent child bond and Andrea Nair responded with a positive twist on how to increase our parenting confidence.
Reading all these articles makes me think:
- Have we totally missed the boat with our parenting approaches?
- Has the pendulum swung too far?
- Have we all lost our nerve to be parents?
- Will these articles give us food for thought or scare us into another form of parenting?
Everyone seems to have an opinion. There is so much information on parenting, it is hard to know what to believe and who to believe and figure out what is just plain rubbish.
Well, be confident in knowing that parenting is not black and white. It is not as easy as right or wrong. There are MANY factors that affect how one will parent, such as special needs and parent/ child temperament just to name a few.
There is however one area that people who work with families seem to agree on…and that is about strengthening the parent-child relationship. So, how can you strengthen your relationship? Start by increasing your family’s assets.
The Search Institute® has done a great deal of research on family strengths and has developed the family assets framework. Family strengths contribute to child and youth well-being and resilience, healthy behaviours and civic engagement.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Find time to talk every day about everyday stuff.
- Make family meals a priority.
- Do things together.
- Establish clear and concrete expectations.
- Have everyone in the family contribute to making the family strong.
- Teach problem solving and solve problems together.
- Give back to people and places that matter to you.
So, as you continue on this amazing parenting journey, trust yourself and know who to trust for parenting advice. Know yourself and your child as you choose what works for your family.
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