Raising secure and confident kids using best parenting practices from the past.
Does it ever seem to you like kids these days are in control of their parents?
Having a strong sense of yourself as a parent is key to raising a resilient, independent, thoughtful, and solution-focused child. But over the last several generations, parents have been immersed in the well-intentioned idea that parenting should be child-centered rather than adult-centered. Many parents have begun to follow their children’s lead rather than insist that children adapt to parental prerogatives. Parental authority has come to be seen as a bad thing.
The 8 keys presented in this book focus on valuing your own authority as a parent; cultivating your child’s character; applying discipline instead of punishment; strategies to motivate compliance; fostering emotional development; problem-solving; conflict management; and effective communication. They will help parents raise self-directed children who are active learners, feel good about themselves, take initiative, and have a strong moral compass.
Without naming names or citing literature, psychology professor Mascolo sets himself in opposition to "child-centered parenting" philosophies. This use of a murkily-defined straw man antagonist sets a combative tone that undermines what is otherwise a useful parenting guide. Mascolo provides a valuable explanation for how time-outs have become a form of punishment, transforming "what was initially meant to be a quiet break into a negative consequence for misbehavior." He argues for "Removing the Negative" or "Earning by Learning," two approaches that give the child agency and the opportunity for healthy development. In the first, the parent gives the child the opportunity to "get out of jail" by making a choice that complies with the parent's wishes. In the second, the parent makes the effort to understand a child's motivation for misbehavior and help the child develop related skills or reduce the fears causing the problem. Another section uses research on negotiation techniques to help parents guide their children in conflict resolution. This can be heady stuff the author doesn't shy from citing Aristotle when talking about moral character but he breaks it down in a way that is accessible. Parents are likely to cherry-pick what's constructive from what's merely negative in this uneven book.