Parenting at Our Best: Wisdom and Advice from Parents Who Have Been There

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Just for fun, I went on amazon and searched using the term parenting. A total of , books on parenting were found. If you spend one hour reading each one, therefore, you will devote If you start the day your kid is born, he'll be an adult and out of the house by the time you finish reading all these pearls of wisdom from the professional advice-givers on parenting.

And you will have spent good part of your retirement savings on the project. Being a social science, ideas in psychology will be more difficult to "prove" than hard sciences. It's harder to diagnose a child's problem than a cavity. That doesn't mean the whole field has no value. Also, no one is saying people HAVE to listen to the advice. In the spirit of Peter's post, if you don't need any outside advice, then great, continue on. But many parents get stuck in negative cycles that lead to poor results with their children. Listening to someone else's point of view whether that person is a a psychologist or not can potentially get them out of that cycle.

Matt, Listening to other people's opinions on parenting might get some parents out of a bad cycle, but it risks getting them potentially into an even worse one. For me, the comments on Peter Gray's blogs, especially the ones on the supposed shortcomings of parents with respect to the emotional well-being of today's college students, are generally ill-informed, pseudo-intellectual, overly-emotional, and tell us more about the posters than about parents.

I wonder about the people who spend their time on Psychology Today. Don't they have anything better to do with their time? I'm out of here! With the unrelenting drum beat that climbing the school ladder is the only path to??? Having followed the herd and played the school game well through 7th gd. The constant distraction of the process, whether one is participating or not, is the over shadowing problem.

I couldn't honestly tell one of my 8 kids to just sit there for all of those years, as though 12 years in prison for the crime of being young, is no problem. It is of course rare that Peter reacted to his son's school experience as he did, but he had access to Sudbury Valley and could afford it. If not for Sudbury, then what? I naively brought a woman to the farm with 4 of her 9 kids, thinking this could be a good place for unschoolers to spend some time, but it couldn't work, for many reasons.

Her 4 kids were totally unschooled, one of the tests, as with Sudbury is to read to your kids from the beginning almost , but not in anyway try to teach them to read, something that few parents would consider or ever thought about. One of the unschoolers, now divorced and living in a cabin on the farm, with her 6 and 9 yr. It is now on a strip mall at a main intersection--but how would a group of lady or men teachers know the importance of SPACE.

The monotony of school was good preparation for the monotony of most of the over 40 jobs I've had, which was it's original purpose, which hasn't changed. Being able to tolerate the intense boredom of school, most jobs and the military, was probably considered a good sign of self discipline. In over a million miles driving semi in all lower 48, from until 95, often with one of our unschoolers along, it wasn't until the early 90's, that I was able to get books on tape from the library and remember listening for 6 hrs.

The system has conditioned them to do whatever, for the BRIBE and without that corrupt motivation and never having been allowed to leave no stone unturned in pursuing their own passions, aren't aware that they missed anything. It would seem that if more were aware that "our democratic compulsory" school system came from the German Prussians, as the most efficient system for controlling the masses. That the Austrian school drop out led those well schooled Germans off the cliff, just as so many are eager to be led by Trump, would hope that as a good enough parent, they might be able to have a more objective view than most.

This letter to the ed. He was always ready to explore, probably because I had access to a green Buick convertible and an 18' canvas canoe. I had been on Boy Scout. Boundary Waters canoe trips summer of and ' Summer of '49, After 2. Kenny Nissen, owner of the green convertible, dropped us off at Sommers B. We checked a small island far to the side, paddled for what seemed like hours and the island hadn't moved. To break the silence and distract us from what seemed like a snails pace, we started calling each other Clem and each biting fly was Herman.

We were out for 10 days, during 5 of steady paddling in which the Clem's didn't see another person. Fishing was too good--imagine. We would have made the rail road, but came to where a portage was as mapped, a tree blazed, but the trail hadn't been cleared. At 22, with a wife and 2 kids,we became neighbors. Over the years I'd mention to others about our canoe trip, when I was 17 and Clem was only 14, as I was again November 18th and Clem's daughter Laurie gently mentioned how Clem had just turned 80, a few weeks before I turned 84 and I finally saw the light.

Clem was only 13 when his parents let him go into a wilderness where one drinks straight from the lakes and if one stubs their toe, there's no and now you know the rest of the story. Clem, Lyle Halliday, died Nov. His spirit overlooks his beautiful pond, with a lone rustic chair on a dock, looking across to a wood duck box and the hills. Clem and Clem will be neighbors forever. A question that teachers can't safely ask, because as Anonymous mentioned about psychologists and I now believe about teachers, it is best they not ask themselves, is whether what they do is worth doing.

Teachers can't safely open that can of worms because it is guaranteed to cause students to wonder if what their parents do is good enough, not based on what income their parents display, often as a male peafowl, but deeper than that. When I came back to the farm in , after 10 yrs. I then moved up the social ladder from sewage to opening a compost site, which has been open every day from dawn until dark since , operating with a donation jar and for 18 years raising hogs totally on waste food, mostly from Winona State, that issued me a piece of paper in the 's.

John delivered bread from where I picked up loaves a week, though my wife and ex-wife, a nutritionist, both said it should go to the landfill because most is not healthy, but all the animals ate it like candy and I assume the earthworms survived in the manure and it was good hand and arm exercise ripping open loaves. After 22 years loyally delivering the same route 5. After 3 mo.

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John quit because of the miles and 10 and 12 hr. One of my wife's unschoolers tends bar. Nearby Wi. This farm is alive with zillions of smiling earth worms. How would you rate these methods and whatever you are doing to make a living, as being worth doing or "good enough"? John Holt wrote that the ideal in life is to find a worth while endeavor which gives one such "inner satisfaction", that they would do it for no pay and that this statement in his many speaking engagements was always met as though he just got off a ship from Mars and no one ever asked or wrote him about that statement.

As is, I doubt the thought has ever entered most minds and I'm sure John Holt would have agreed. If you observed your kids playing in a sand pile of nuclear waste, but didn't know, would that be good enough? That was an analogy John Holt used and what percentage of parents would agree based on what experience?

I am fully in step with the good enough theory and am striving to relieve myself from the "failure" of imperfect parenting. The problem I constantly face is how to accept my children's actions as their own choices and responsibility but also convey that they need to incorporate respect and consideration for others in their actions.

They live in a household and what they choose to do impacts that home life. They are part of the community and what they choose to do impacts that community. When what they choose to do hurts someone else is disrespectful, careless or otherwise hurtful , how do parents deal with it effectively if the child's position is "I get to do what I want. I want to respect that my child makes his and her own choice but I don't want to accept disrespectful behavior especially when it is regularly repeated. In my opinion nearly every household needs to have rules--rules about sharing the household work, picking up after oneself, being respectful to one another, making time for and being present at family meals, etc.

Perhaps the first step is a family meeting to talk about possible rules of the household and how everyone might benefit from those rules. I also don't think it is wrong to have consequences for not following the rules, such as no allowance, or no trip to whatever it is that the child is hoping to go to. This is part of how children learn to live in society.

It is not healthy for children to grow up feeling "entitled" to benefits without giving in return. I am afraid that for instance not allowing a child to go to a trip he really want to because he broke rules can create resentment and can damage the relationship between parents and children. I really like books from Thomas Gordon parents effectiveness training and teaching self discipline. They really seem consistent with your writing, Peter, since the approach is based on children willingness to contribute to others' well being and since it respects children autonomy making choices.

Rules are not part of it, it is more about fulfilling children AND parent needs and about conflict resolution method. Parents who wonder about discipline might find some answers in those books. Hello Fabienne! I wanted to add onto your suggested parenting resource. Alfie Kohn has written several books and articles about parenting, the most popular of which being Unconditional Parenting. In the context of discipline, he suggests that parents should ditch the Behaviorist method of doing things to children i. I bring this up because Kohn's research seems to overlap with the point you were making with Dr.

Gray, being that it is respectful to a child's autonomy and a respectful means of conflict resolution. I hope you found this helpful :. Suzanne, I just wanted to thank you for bringing this up. I was also wondering how and where discipline fits into this topic. And I constantly struggle with this - how do I discipline while also having empathy and understanding of the behavior? Just because I understand it and empathize with it, it doesn't mean the behavior is acceptable.

But this battle between the two - empathy with behavior and discipline- is a constant struggle for me as a parent. It is, for me, the most difficult part of parenting. I often wonder if other moms find this part of parenting difficult. When do we decide to simply comfort and hug our children when they are upset empathy and at what point does their behavior warrant consequences imposed by us as parents? In other words, how do we set rules and boundaries and simultaneously empathize with our children. It often feels impossible to do both.

If your children are more than about 4 years old it should be possible to involve them in discussions about the rules, why they are important, and to agree upon appropriate sanctions for breaking rules. My observation is that children abide by rules more willingly when they have a voice in making them and when they understand that the rules apply to the adults also. She focuses on the importance of children learning and practising self-governance, and her strategies include discipline and rely on respect.

This book was a relief to find, as it gives concrete, practical advice. I find myself taking advice from "experts" rather than from the people who know me, because frankly the people who know me don't advise about respect. I have received horrendous suggestions on how to handle my two year old and I while I use my own "conscious reflection, maturity, and empathy" to understand that there has got to be another way, I turn to "experts" to find this other way.

I love most everything written by Dr Gray because it provides such a different point of view from the people who know me. I have also started reading a book by Faber and Mazlish which provides me with practical strategies in how to deal with the difficult situations. I feel that if I had been left in the dark, only having my own mind and the advice of the people who know me, my child would have had a miserable childhood.

Now that I have found "experts" such as Gray, Faber and Mazlish, and through them devised respectful parenting strategies, I feel a lot more confident that I am a good enough parent. So for me, the most important step that brought me from being a bad parent to become a good enough parent is that I went outside of my private network to find better sources.

What I'm trying to say is that not everyone has a good network of parents to learn from. Some parents will need advice from outsiders, so-called experts or not, in order to break free of a negative environment. I feel the same way, Natasha.

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I find people are quick to bash the idea of looking to books for answers which, frankly, reminds me of being a kid, mocked for reading by the other kids - I can't take someone seriously when they think reading is stupid. But what comes naturally as a parent is based on what your parents did, and so following your instincts without critical thought or going to your parents for advice only works if you had a certain kind of childhood and parents.

Expert advice certainly has to be carefully vetted though! There was a wonderful moment in Faber and Mazlish' "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" when the authors deepened my understanding of what it meant to respond with empathy. Their young child wanted to go to Disneyland again - I think had gone the previous year - and the parent s had to answer I'm sorry, we can't afford to go again this year.

The child responded with sadness and disappointment, of course. But instead giving the basic empathic response of saying "That makes you feel sad, doesn't it? This pattern the authors gave the name " Fantasy Fulfillment". Its possible I have misremembered some of the details here I looked forward to reading their book "How to talk so kids will listen" but there they focused entirely on getting kids to do their homework, and never once did it occur to them to ask the question "What would you rather be doing instead? Some boxes seem to be hard to get out of.

In a democratic, humane system we would grow up with space, where a few of all ages pursued worth while endeavors, that gave them inner satisfaction. Time would be ours, to explore and bump into others. We'd figure out reading on our own, when we were ready. We'd make a few friends, based on common interests, whatever their ages. When we would have questions, our friends and Google would express more opinions faster than teachers and preachers could ever force feed us.

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We would pursue our passions from the sandbox through out the world, with no artificial boundaries. We would not grind away at meaningless jobs, dreaming of retiring to the beach. How much more beneficial to all life than being one of the millions whose ultimate dream is to be on Time Square tonight. Anonymous is too generic--to prevent confusion could Peter humanize generic like Pope X?

X seems bothered by some of Peter's comments. What I like is that Peter's topics attract us, for whatever reasons and we participate for the "inner satisfaction", not for ribbons, grades or bribes. Sometimes in responding verbally or in writing, a comment will fall out and in my case, "where did that come from--didn't know it was in there" and others might say it makes sense or it doesn't and whether Peter's psych. Big money controls us, for it's own benefit.

When our first was born 61 yrs.

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  5. Mothers, not M. Our land grant ag. A few small organic farmers and consumers are turning it around, not Ph. Far more difficult to turn around than toxic chemical farming, is our "democratic compulsory education system", whose parishioners have been forced to worshiped at the feet of their prison guards for at least 12 years and they totally control the money and power; however, a few Mothers and Peter are trying to turn it around.

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    If given 5 acres, 3 woods and 2 tillable, most would make lawn plus weed and feed on the tillable, complain about the time to mow it, bring in a propane tank and complain about the price of heat. Their kids would complain about the distance to the Mall. Another, with the same acreage, could have a wood chip garden, a road side stand the kids could operate on an honor system, raise bees, a couple milk goats, heat with wood and kids from both families might end up in a big city, but when those kids on the productive 5 start raising kids in the city, they might remember how great it was to grow up with space and self sufficient parents.

    Curiosity is the cure for boredom and school is the cure for curiosity. When Kevin concludes, after serving 16 yrs. I believe there's no substitute for participation which isn't what I equate with the Pep Meetings we were forced to attend in public school, before a big game. Pep Band, cheer leaders and jocks on stage, girls crying if the big game was lost, but great training for attending the "U", where thousands of students, packed into rabbit hutches, totally cut off from "an active participatory life", become lifetime fans, for the benefit of the NFL, breweries and the gambling industry.

    I empathize with Suzanne and those raising kids in confined areas. I enjoy cutting wood. Two year olds enjoy bringing in sticks from the yard for the wood stove--they FEEL the connection. Most buyers pick them up here and no matter what their age, it is pleasant to watch the happy bonding, in a society that is becoming more detached. Milking 40 cows does get one up in the morning, no matter what the weather or conditions, but I couldn't rationalize much social value to it, though far above raising tobacco. I was saved from milking by the fed. However, I could have rationalized value in milking a few raised only on organic pasture and hay and sold direct from the farm, with no pasteurization.

    Wife Sue started this year with 6 bee hives and was checking YouTube last night on indoor observation hives. I rate bee keeping at the top, along with recycling waste food through hogs. We receive 15k a yr for picking up waste food for our hogs and don't buy any feed.

    Composters leave cash in the contribution jar. There are many beneficial creative ways to survive on a small piece of land. Sue has 20 Gypsy mares, which rate high with most girls as describe in "The Naked Ape", and some women who spend a lot for certain colors, but they are just low down hay burners on my list. Enjoyed being out digging eggs in the Ms. River, but didn't like knowing they'd end up in turtle bowls in Manhattan, so was relieved when the U. Mail ended shipping baby turtles.

    I hope at least one of you will say what you do to survive and how you would rate it, not as to income, but it's betterment to all life. This article makes many extraordinary points about understanding the context of children, their desires in the moment, their rational capabilities, the greater information of parents, etc. I almost felt like I was reading the mirror image of comments that were made in a wonderful book I just read by Anny Morele called "Children Have Rights. Morele takes all of the excellent points above one step further by proving that kids have the same individual rights as parents -- and how that plays out in a household.

    Would love to hear Mr. Gray's opinion on this book by Ms. One of the statements in that book was "overpleasing is a form of waste". And so would being overprotective, overinvolved in a child's homework, etc. As you say, "provide the help that their children need and want, but not more than they need or want.

    Instead of "good enough", another term might be "optimal" - providing the right amount of support, not more or less than is needed. The good enough parent. Child boards bus at 7:A. Parent asks "What happened at school today"? Child, "Nothing". Child grumbles about school's nothingness to parent. Parent, "Just put up with it, you can't change it!! After hearing the account, from the teacher, counselor and administrators, Peter's 9 yr. The typical parent would be embarrassed by the authorities inferring that they might not be "good enough parents" if they can't straighten their little kid out.

    What choice do they have? Peter had the choice of a totally self directed school , the original Sudbury Valley School on 11 acres that adjoins Callahan State Park's, acres with ponds, a stream, fishing, 6. Is it easier to be a "good enough parent" if one has no choices, is unaware of schools real purpose and what John Holt equated with allowing your kids to play in a pile of nuclear waste? Hi Professor Gray, I agree with you that good enough parenting is a good goal for parents, with an important caveat.

    As a family therapist I work with many loving, caring parents who are doing the best they can, however many come from less than ideal parenting themselves, so their internal GPS on what is good enough is skewed. They're lacking important information because it wasn't modeled for them in their own childhood. Furthermore, most parents get little to no training on how to parent effectively, one of the most important jobs they will ever do. Now that many parents live far away from their own relatives, there's little support network to help mentor parents as they mentor their own kids.

    For these reasons, I've created a 'core essentials' online class for effective parenting. I think good enough parenting is great, as long as parents are equipped with the necessary tools for the job. I read your post and saw my own defects. I have a 4 year old autistic girl who has a severe communication disorder and a general developmental delay she acts, in most instances, as a younger child, except for her pre academics and music, on which she is really good at.

    She is very social, in general, but still has a lot to learn about interaction. Parenting is hard. Parenting a child you cannot establish verbal communication just yet hoping that will change some day makes it harder. However, I found your general ideas here and, as much as I dislike Bettelheim, his general ideas as interpreted by you very useful to understand my own child and to make an effort to make sure her childhood is a happy one.

    It is natural to be concerned on her future, particularly so because of her condition. But I think that efforts into her present are more important now they all are focused on communication and general development, anyway. So succeeding at this stage will make her a happy kid while learning how to grow up to be a happy adult. We'll see what's next on due time. I was delighted to read this article about "the good enough parent" - it came as a metaphorical breath of fresh air to me. There is much good to be gained from attempting to be good enough parents, as opposed to being controlling, narcissistic perfection-seeking parents.

    Surely this good benefits both parent and child, forging a healthier relationship between the two? When we are freed from the pressure of always having to try to be "perfect" and what is "perfect", anyhow, given that "perfect" is a subjective term? Which can only be a beneficial outcome Sadly, the pleasant, encouraging effect of your post, Dr. Gray, was completely spoiled for me by two significant factors, the one related to the other To explain Nowadays, we live in a society that has become increasingly obsessed with the notion of "perfection". This is despite the fact that "perfection" is an impossible goal - because it means different things to different people, "perfection" can never have one clear definition, and thus cannot ever be seen to have been achieved.

    Still, our modern-day human society foists the notion of "perfection" down our throats in so many different ways; predominantly as a means to get us to buy things, or to buy into certain beliefs that make us later buy things. This is the problem of a consumer society! Just look at the media bombardment of adverts that we daily face. Adverts for beauty products promising falsely to eradicate our imperfections - to make us "perfect". Adverts for cars, holidays, clothes, and other luxury goods that companies wish to sell to us by getting us hooked upon the idea of "the perfect lifestyle".

    The tag line being that one's life is less than "perfect" is one does not purchase this product! Adverts featuring "perfect" families; all of them squeaky-clean and immaculately presented. Adverts featuring models with "perfect" bodies and faces and hair. Adverts for things like cosmetic surgery, gastric bands and fat reduction Adverts that basically play on human insecurities in order to make dumb humans because not everyone falls for these adverts buy their pointless products!

    As if a car makes a person "perfect"! As if a holiday in Spain makes a person "perfect"! As if having a gastric band, boob job and liposuction makes a person "perfect"! The people who believe such things are downright stupid; but, sadly, their numbers seem to be increasing.

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    Our modern society is obsessed with apparent "perfection". This obsession is clearly driven by the media, and by big business - by people who want to sell us things, and by the people who write the adverts that persuade us to buy. This obsession - and the way in which it is fuelled - is clearly unhealthy. We are a society that permits advertising agencies, supermarkets, the media and other large corporations to tell us both as a group, and as individual people that we are "less than", "not good enough".

    We allow them to tell us that we should be aiming for "perfection", and that the only way we can achieve it is to buy a certain product, or buy into a certain lifestyle. Our society allows other people to tell us this, too - people like politicians, royals, celebrities We are encouraged to see these people as "role models", generally because they are rich and famous.

    We are told they are "aspirational"; whereas, by contrast, WE are little, mediocre, not special This message is all around us in our current, modern society. On billboards. On the television. In newspapers and magazines. On catwalks at fashion shows. In the form of the wealthy, private-school educated elite. In the form of the landed gentry. In the form of huge multinational businesses. In the form of celebrities, sport-stars, pop-stars, film-stars, beauty queens, fashion models, politicians, "spin doctors", C. WE are endlessly bombarded with images of the "perfect" person, or the "perfect" family.

    WE are endlessly subjected to messages that tell us we are NOT "perfect". And, weirdly, our society as a whole buys into this. Both individually, and as a whole, we accept and internalize these messages telling us we are "less than". Perhaps we have become so used to them as to have become almost inured to them? To no longer fight them?

    A sort of "learned helplessness", to use the Psychological term! Indeed, much of modern-day society would appear to have been constructed wholly around the message that we the regular public are "less than", and the desire to make us buy into it - whole sectors of industry and commerce are founded upon this notion. The "beauty industry", anyone? Or, maybe, the fashion industry! In a society where "perfection" is forced down our throats to the extent that we are almost choking on it, how can the "good enough parent" possibly measure up and be good enough?

    No way! Nowadays even parents and their kids are supposed to be "perfect"! They are supposed to be just like the fantasy families that appear in adverts, or films. I'm sure we ALL know these images. These "perfect" aspirational families which are so totally and utterly a construct of the media and of business. You know? The "perfect" parents with their two "perfect" kids a boy and a girl - you MUST have one of each! These "perfect" parents will be impossibly buff, slim and toned despite the fact that mum is supposed to have had 2 or more kids!

    They will be stylish. They will never get annoyed with their kids. They will never get tired out, or sick, or divorced! Their kids, too, will be "perfect". Immaculately dressed, always clean and always polite. Endlessly well-behaved Come on! Surely we can see this is fantasy land! But real life mums and dads; real life kids; for some reason feel that they have to aspire to being these fantasy families.

    That if they don't, they are less than "perfect". This can only make for some seriously neurotic, stressed and anxious parents. For some seriously unhealthy parenting practices. And, as a result, for some seriously unhappy kids.

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    I ask you, HOW is it possible for anyone to believe that their parenting abilities are "good enough" if the society in which we live is constantly bombarding us with the message that we ought to be better? HOW can any of us truly feel free to be happy - to be content with our lot - if someone, somewhere is always telling us that we are "less than perfect"? THAT is what contemporary society does to us.

    Sadly, I have noted a significant degree of ignorance, and of "scaremongering", amongst these comments which does concern me. Some of them really do put a "downer" on your article! Perhaps there is something that these parents need to learn and understand? Which is this It would appear to me that our society's insistence that everyone be "perfect" creates immense problems for parents of autistic or learning-disabled kids, because our society is inclined to label such children as "imperfect".

    Age-old prejudices that originated long before our Victorian ancestors cruelly opened "lunatic asylums" have become well and truly entrenched within our society, and mean that people who are mentally ill, or learning-disabled may be seen by some as targets for ridicule; as "less than". I can empathize with parents of learning-disabled and autistic children, who I can only imagine may feel unfairly targeted by a society that treats disability as somehow "unacceptable" or "inferior" - I, myself, was raised by a parent with Bi-Polar disorder, and grew up experiencing the stigma associated with my parent's diagnosis.

    I know what it is like to be stigmatized and even bullied for something that is not ones fault. I know, also, that some medical theories can lead to people in my position feeling extra stigma - just as parents of learning-disabled and autistic kids can. For example, some clinicians and medical professionals seem to believe that parents who have mental health problems, or drug and alcohol problems, are always going to produce kids who have the same problems. That kids whose parents are mentally ill, or have addictions, will always be kids who are also mentally ill, or have addictions.

    I find this belief incredibly insulting - and not merely because it is inaccurate! The human gene pool is a funny thing, and its quirks mean that children whose parents are mentally ill, or who have addictions, DO NOT always turn out to be mentally ill, or to have addictions themselves. This is just the same with learning-disability I'll explain more below.

    It is true that some of the outdated theories as to what "caused" things like mental illness and learning-disability were insensitive, and maybe even offensive. I have heard of the concept of the "refrigerator mother", just as I have heard of John Bowlby's concept of "maternal deprivation". However, this is NOT to suggest that other theories by the same author e.

    What these "refrigerator parents" are is similar to what John Bowlby wrote about in his "maternal deprivation theory". These "refrigerator parents" are parents who are cold, and unresponsive to their children's needs. They are the parents whose treatment of their children amounts to ignoring their kids, not feeding them, not cuddling them, not spending time with them, never saying nice things to their kids, always criticizing them, maybe even hitting their kids These are NOT parents of autistic or learning-disabled kids at all or, if they are, they do NOT cause autism or learning-disability - their abuse and neglect is separate to this.

    Such parents DO NOT cause learning-disabilities or autism in their children - learning-disabilities and autism exist in children completely separately of any form of "refrigerator parenting". Difficulties that are quite separate and distinct from autism or learning-disabilities. My belief is that autism and learning-disabilities simply exist. They are a random function of the human gene pool. Perhaps cases where a parent drops the baby on its head and causes traumatic brain damage? If you can keep it together for a week those things usually pass. When my husband and I were new parents someone told us that if we found that our children had a particular interest in something whether it be sports, dance, theatre or something altogether different, become involved as a parent.

    Learn everything that you can about the activity that your child loves. Find positive ways to help your child improve and grow. Be present, active, and always willing to lend a hand with booster clubs, parent organizations, or volunteer opportunities. Through their activities, our kids have let us experience some things that we knew absolutely nothing about. Another benefit has been the opportunity to develop life long friendships with other parents through these activities!

    The birth of my daughter completely changed me into this calm, relaxed individual. If I was calm, the baby would be calm. This proved true for us. The good times, the bad times, potty training, first day of school, sleep training, learning to tie shoes, learning to drive, choosing colleges. Fully experience every moment and appreciate it for everything that it is — full of love, miraculous and fleeting. It can help you cope better with the inevitable tough times, and reminds you to appreciate every single second of the good ones.

    Take time, pause, breath in deeply, and experience every wonderful smell and taste and feel of the child in your arms. And as I look at my 11 year old, who is my height now, I wistfully think about how life, like a good book, really does seem to be speeding by. Which is not very easy raising children in this day and age. But the older I get, the better I am getting at letting things go and not being bothered by stupid things that may occur.

    It will all change soon. I do believe kids need consistency but they also need to learn to be flexible and adjust to your schedule on occasion. I was told this by the nurse leading a breastfeeding support group for new moms with babies weeks. I attended when I had my first child because it was offered by the hospital. It still holds true today. I try to remember this when my daughter is having a tantrum! Choose to see happiness and you will be happy. We all have our moments and it is so much easier to laugh about them than to stress over them. Said by my husband When you think your kid will never sleep though the night all of a sudden the next week they do.

    This also refers to the good stuff. When you think you have it all figured out they throw you a curve ball. Everything is always changing, so enjoy it all because none of it is permanent and it goes by so fast! Allowing your children to be independent will provide them with the tools they need to grow and foster eventual independence.

    This is especially challenging for mothers, as they naturally want to do everything for their children; however, refraining from doing so at times is probably the most helpful thing a parent can do. Further challenging this strategy, your children will likely complain in the immediate future but will ultimately be the subject of much gratitude when they reach adulthood.

    I think I may have heard that from a country song. And the one piece of advice that I give myself every day is to love them the most when they deserve it the least. Personalized Burp Cloth s:. They are so cute and very absorbent. Everyone I have given them to love them, and now pretty much expect to get them for their next child. I have the burp cloths for Ireland. They are so absorbent, and I love seeing her name on things. Everyone needs them- why not make them cute and personal? They are always prompt to contact me when I have asked questions or had special requests. Also, it is so neat that the staff will email a photo of my purchase just before it is ready to ship!

    Now that is what I call personal service! The burp cloths are adorable, useful, and durable.

    25 Inspirational Quotes That Will Boost Your Parenting Patience - One Time Through

    In addition, the burp cloths are keepsakes! I feel that every item that I have purchased has been made with love and attention to detail! Brava to the BBH team! They are perfect! I just love giving these as gifts.