A couple of noteworthy pop-culture parenting phenomena have been making the rounds lately. While markedly different in the ages of kids at their focus, both lead to the same place: sending parents to therapy.
Okay, not really. But, both point to life occurrences that make us a bit loony. The first is the Atlantic article "How to Land Your Kid in Therapy." The gist of it is that many parents are ruining kids today with their intense parenting, focus on the happiness of their children to the exclusion of values that will have more, well, value, and otherwise setting them up for a struggle through life by our actions that are intended to pave the way to good fortunes.
At least, I think that's what the article is about. I actually read about it in this Washington Post article. I clicked to the original article and found out that it was over 7,000 words. That's 4 full pages of internet text or 12 pages if you decide to print it out and read it later. (Do people still do that?) Either way, what parent who is balancing work, spouse, kids, sleep, meals, occasional exercise and a little bit of television or hobby or whatever your distraction is has time to read an article that, by all indications, would be really good and important reading?
I’m a reading addict and I still can’t find time to critically read and process this. Just trying to find the time adds to the stress. Nonetheless as I scanned the original and read the Washington Post article it seemed clear that we’re either prepping our kids for at least a few therapy sessions down the road, or we’ll be there ourselves. Or both.
Actually, I really like the message that (I think) is coming from this article. It strikes me that a focus on values not outcomes - parenting being about how to bring out the best in our kids and not being a statement about us - is the goal. I don’t want my boys to be the best sons of “TNH Guy”; I want them to be their best selves.
In fact, there’s a book I’ve been reading (that was recommended by a friend) that predates the Atlantic piece by years and delivers just that message: Bringing up Geeks. While I don’t agree with everything, I’m a fan of the overall message and would recommend checking it out.
If you aren’t familiar with the next piece of cultural phenomena, get to know Go the F*%! to Sleep. If you have young children today, ever had young children, ever were at a friend’s house whose young children were going to bed or have ever came across a young child in your life, this book will speak to you. In fact, if you click here, you can hear Samuel Jackson speak it to you. (Warning: VERY vulgar language.) If reading the lengthy Atlantic article or trying to parent in the modern world isn’t enough to send you to therapy, memories of sleepless nights with crying children just might!
(NOTE: TNH Guy actually takes seriously the notion of therapy, and while making light of it here as a play off of the original Atlantic article title, he means no offense to anyone who might take some.)
(Photo credit: https://www.blogcdn.com/www.mydaily.com/media/2011/04/couples-therapy-233ds040511.jpg)