Paperback Parenting

I love when I read books and articles about adolescents that parallel my own professional experience and personal opinions. Not only does it confirm that I may not actually be as nuts as my wife seems to think but it gives me some hope for the future of our society. I recently stumbled upon a great little interview in the March 2009 edition of Macleans Magazine titled, “Why Teens are Crazy.” Since I am a high school teacher, I think am already an expert in this field but since I was at physio therapy and needed to kill twenty minutes on the bike, I figured I would see if there was anything new in the field of teen insanity.

As it turns out I didn”t learn anything I didn’t already know but I did take something away from reading the article. It seems that we may be turning the corner in the way we (as a society) are raising our children and that perhaps the permissive manner in which we have been told to raise our children in the past twenty years might be coming to an end. Although there have always been those who knew that the enabling parenting styles of the past twenty years were flawed, there seems to be a ground swell of opinion, research and action which supports a return to (modified) old school style of parenting.

The list of books that are begging for a return to sane parenting and making a very good case while doing it, is growing. This interview with Michael Bradley was a based on his book, Yes Your Teen Is Crazy is witty and insightful, based on his own research and past counselling experience.

Although my children are not teens yet, I have a copy ready and waiting on my bed side table. At the first sign of teenage like behaviour it will be out and acting as a guide in dealing with my own teen issues as they arise. Then again I may be lucky and doge the mayhem but it is unlikely.

Dr. Maggie Mamen, who I have mentioned before in this blog, has three books along this vein which come from her years of family counselling. Who is in ChargePampered Child Syndrome (as seen on Right) & Laughter Love & Limits. All are great reading and preach sensible parenting.

My personal favourite is the Pampered Child Syndrome. I find myself referring to it frequently when trying to figure out particularly challenging kids I encounter at work. A masters in educational psychology pales in comparison with the logic and insight of this book.

Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy, is a great little book which looks at raising kids the way they are suppose to be raised , free and able to wander. (within reason)

Skenazy feels that we have fallen into what I refer to as a culture of fear. An entire industry has been build around the notion that there are predators around every corner waiting to abduct your child. Skenazy suggests that things are no worse than they have ever been and that the fear we feel for the safety of our children is a media creation rather than something which is rooted in reality.

Skenazy does not suggest we do not watch over our children as all responsible parents should, she advocates allowing your children to explore and become independent children who do not need constant supervision through to adulthood.

Lenore also has a great Website / Blog to visit. Free Range Kids‘, ‘Free Range Kids – Lenore Skenazy’

Although I do not believe that we have to turn to the “experts” in order to learn how to parent, I do believe that there is some parenting skills and or wisdom that has been lost along the way. These books capture all that was good about old school parenting and presents it in a straight forward yet fresh never been seen before way.

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