As my readership increases, I have been questioned on a number of occasions about what my definition of Old School Parenting was and it struck me that there is a number of misconceptions out there about what it means to be an Old School Parent.
When people see the title Old School Parenting they seem to immediately envision a cantankerous old bastard that yells and screams at the wife and kids every other day and lays a whooping on them once a month whether they need it or not. In these conversations the terms loveless, cold, uncaring, ruthless, demeaning along with a host of other negative adjectives seem to make their way into the discussion but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Old School Parenting or Traditional Parenting has always been about raising a child to become a functional adult who can contribute positively to their family and ultimately, society. It is a philosophy that feels that all a child really needs is healthy food, clean water, reliable shelter, quality education, access to medical attention and of course love from their family.
Modern Parenting on the other hand, focuses on nurturing a child so they feel confident in their individuality and their special place in this world. It is a philosophy that stops at nothing to provide everything the child should need or want so they can achieve this elevated sense of self.
Where the negative image of Old School Parenting comes in, is that it is difficult to parent in this manner. Traditional Parents say NO! a lot and cause their children to cry. Sometimes Traditional Parents get annoyed and yes even angry with their children. Traditional Parents don’t tolerate toddler tantrums, give into teenage demands or care what others kids are doing. Traditional Parents are not afraid of hurting their child’s feelings and they believe that good self esteem comes from learning to respect others
In contrast, Modern Parenting is relatively conflict free because everything is an immediate yes or at worst, a weakly negotiated maybe which ultimately becomes yes. Modern Parents don’t like conflict because they feel it might bruise their child’s fragile self esteem and hamper their progeny’s assention to status of demigod. Admittedly, it is a wonderful way to parent but it isn’t very realistic nor does it prepare your child for the real world.
Where the two philosophies collide, is in the notion of ones place in this world. Old School Parenting sees a child as precious part of a whole, irreplaceable but never better or more deserving than anyone else within the family and ultimately society. On the other hand, Modern Parenting sees the child as a unique individual, deserving of special attention, recognition and ultimately a special place in this world regardless of cost to others.
Old School Parenting is about family, it is about community and it is about personal responsibility to both. Old School Parenting believes that it does not do a child any good to place them upon a pedestal which is not of their own creation and that self esteem is earned not delivered on a silver platter.
More Thoughts On Traditional Parenting