Let’s bring back “Good Old Common Sense Parenting”

Response to Wall Street Journal Article

Darius & I reading together.

I read an article, “A Field Guide to the Middle-Class U.S. Family”,   in the Wall Street Journal,  with utter disbelief.

The article discusses the following findings:

1.  ”… The [American] families had very a child-centered focus, which may help explain the “dependency dilemma” seen among American middle-class families…..”

2.  ”…Parents intend to develop their children’s independence, yet raise them to be relatively dependent, even when the kids have the skills to act on their own, she says…..”

3.  ”Dr Ochs… noticed that American children seemed relatively helpless compared with those in other cultures she and colleagues had observed.”

4.  ”In those [other observed] cultures, young children were expected to contribute substantially to the community, says Dr. Ochs. Children in Samoa serve food to their elders, waiting patiently in front of them before they eat, as shown in one video snippet. Another video clip shows a girl around 5 years of age in Peru’s Amazon region climbing a tall tree to harvest papaya, and helping haul logs thicker than her leg to stoke a fire.”

The American examples in the article are certainly not indicative of how I was raised, nor how my husband and I raise our 3 year old.  In fact, we’re raising our son more like the Peruvian example in the story.  Yes, we expect our 3 year old son we to help out with family chores, dress himself to his best ability, and clean up his mess when he makes one.  

Baby talk?  Never!  Since his birth we have spoken to him normally, not  with “baby talk”.  Clearly, this is one of the reasons he has developed a board vocabulary, and can articulate his thoughts clearly, despite his tender age.
Discipline, respect, and moral responsibilities are just interwoven into our daily life activities.  Now, without much promoting our son cheerfully greets strangers with “Hello, how are you?”  ”Please?”  and “Thank you.”  This is just the minimum.
If this column is a true reflection of American Middle-Class Families, no wonder we’re in trouble and struggling to compete globally.  Maybe it’s time to bring back some old school common sense parenting, you think?


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