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Thursday 25 February 2021

The Collapse of Parenting Book Review

Title: The Collapse of Parenting
Author: Leonard Sax
Publisher: Basic Books
Published: 2016
Recommended for: All parents

In this review, I will summarise the important points the author wrote about and add my own thoughts to them. 

The first is that children are growing up disrespecting adults, authority, each other and everything. This is the culture of disrespect where it's cool to be disrespectful. In this culture, parents are afraid to upset their child through applying rules and restricting their child out of fear that their child will not love them. And so the child has no limit on his or her behaviour and can do whatever they want.

There are several remedies to this.

1. Be the Parent
If there is something that the child needs to do then don't ask if they want to do it, tell them to do it. Don't ask for their permission for them to do it. You are the parent. Be the authority. If there is something that the child needs to stop doing then tell them to stop, tell them it's enough or tell them no. You can explain to your child why he or she needs to do something or not do something but don't negotiate. 

This may sound like an authoritarian parent but it's not. The authoritarian parent is strict and shows no love to their child. In contrast, the authoritative parent has rules and consequences and shows love. 

To balance your authority, you'd need to have fun together doing fun things with your child. This will build your relationship up so your child will more likely listen to you.

2. Develop Character
Teach your child good character and good behaviour. The two characteristics that the author focused on are self-control and humility. 

To teach your child self-control you'd need to have rules. When a child an follow rules and abstain from acting outside those rules then she or he is learning self-control. 

To counteract the over inflation of the ego, have children do chores. Menial chores such as scrubbing floors, taking out trash will teach children humility. No job is too low to do. 

Also teach your child to be willing to fail. Don't be over-protective and shield your child from failures. Let them experience failure to learn from it and be humbled by it. Over-protectiveness will lead children to over-estimate their abilities and lead to depression when their faced with reality later in they're in society.

Two ways to teach character is to:
a) help your child to identify with good behaviour
b) teach your child the higher and more meaningful purpose of life - which is to be of service to others.

If you like this and want to read more then get the book.

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