Google+ Authentic Parenting: Should We Ignore a Lesser Evil?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Should We Ignore a Lesser Evil?

Upon reposting an article about praise, I got a very heated discussion on my Facebook page on the validity of raising the topic. Surely, one of the commenters argued, there are better things to spend our time and attention on as something as trivial and harmless as praise.

Imge: Dreamstime
I won’t get into the details of the praise argument, as I have discussed that topic at length in said article, what I wish to address is the following: It is a fact that there are many things in parenting that we could and should change, to the betterment of ourselves and the living situation of our children. Some of the things advocated in the Western world are proven over and again to cause serious negative effects, on your child’s brain, on their behavior and on their physical being. I’m thinking of physical punishment, or Cry it out, child rape... You name it, the world is full of horror when it comes to parenting.
Should we spend more time highlighting these topics, raising awareness, offering advice and working towards prevention, and overlook ‘minor offenses’ until we have actively eradicated them.
I beg to differ.

I blog 365 days a year (unless the internet gods are against me), with only one day where I post a rerun. The rest is generally (again with the grace of the internet gods) new content, by me or guest writers. I think I spend lots of time and effort highlighting everything hat is wrong with parenting, and I also spend lots of time writing how we can change this. I think it is safe to say the same about my fellow internet parenting writers, at least the ones I read.
Should we dismiss topics just because they cause less harm?

I beg to differ.

It would be a shame to leave things unlighted if they are negative to our children’s mental of physical health. Even if they’re just a little bit bad.
If you as a parent wish to focus your energy on the things that are really wrong with your parenting, and you feel there is no room left to tackle as little an issue of praise, that is of course your good right, and probably a good strategy. One cannot desire to change from mainstream parenting to radical unschooling control-free parenting. That would be unimaginable. Change like this, which infuses life and your every preconception about it, takes time.
I did not find all of this out by reading on book, I did not change my parenting on the lecture of one article... Change takes time and effort and thinking and coming back to something and reading some more and rethinking stuff. It takes time to integrate things in your behavior pattern, especially if you are trying to change behavior that has been deeply ingrained.

But it doesn’t hurt to know what else you can change. Sometimes it takes reading about a ‘lesser evil’ for a bigger pattern of ideas to reveal itself.



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