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Tag Archive | "Parenting"

What happens when you let your children have it all their own way?

Like most children, my own brood complains constantly about my style of parenting. ‘You’re always saying “No”,’ they complain, as I tell them they can’t have yet more mayonnaise on their dinner.

By Lucy Cavendish

18th May 2011

‘It’s bad for you,’ I say. ‘So, no, you can’t.’

‘You say no to everything,’ says Leonard, aged eight.

He and his younger siblings — Jerry, six, and Ottoline, three — then list everything I have said ‘No’ to since they got home from school. Sweets, playing outside with their uniform on, biscuits, getting stuff out from the dressing up-drawer, painting …

I’ve always considered myself a pretty easy-going parent, and yet here they are telling me I’m a nay-saying harridan.

According to the currently fashionable idea of ‘free parenting’, though, what I should be saying is ‘Yes’.

There are various blogs and websites devoted to the notion that we should give our children free choice, and, in this way, encourage their development while at the same time teaching them responsibility.

Only this week, Dr Bryan Caplan from George Mason University in Virginia, U.S., said parents should ‘cut themselves some slack’ and stop trying to control every aspect of their children’s lives.

He called for a relaxed and fun style of bringing up children — dubbed ‘serenity parenting’ — which involves us taking a backseat role.

Source: DAILYMAIL

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Tiger mothers v serenity parenting

Cassandra Jardine weighs up two poles of parenting and settles somewhere in the middle.

By Cassandra Jardine
17 May 2011

That’s it then. I shall unlock the door to the room where my children have been practising their musical instruments for five hours a day. Emerging blinking into the sunlight, they can now slob in front of the television eating pizza for all I care because, the latest parenting guru on the block is telling us that none of that pushy Tiger Mother stuff makes any difference.

Children, writes Bryan Caplan in Selfish Reasons to have More Kids, will turn out to be how their genes, not their parents, intended. In that case, he argues, we might as well stop wasting all this time and money on helping them to succeed. It won’t make a blind bit of difference, even to their teeth, if we nag them. Oh really? So the five-year-old who used to live next door to my cleaner had no front teeth because it was in her genes, not because every time I saw her she was clutching a bottle of fizzy drink?

It’s only a few months since Amy Chua told us in her Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother that her children were playing the piano in Carnegie Hall and top of the class purely because she had shown no mercy to slackers. When her daughter came second in a maths test, she made the child practice 2,000 sums that night so it would never happen again. It’s the Chinese way, she explained, failing to mention that she and her husband and herself were both Yale law professors which might have something to do with her children’s ability to succeed.

Personally, I would be thrilled to have a child come second at maths, and would be delighted to hear any of my offspring play the piano at home, if not Carnegie Hall (too far; too expensive to get there). Occasionally I wonder what might have happened if my brood had been adopted by a tough woman like Chua who would not allow sleepovers, social networking and all the other time-wasting activities – which, after all, serve a vital educational purpose in that they teach children how to rub along with other ratty, critical but essentially endearing people of the same age.

Source: TELEGRAPH>> Read full article and comment

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Let them eat pizza: Parenting guru’s recipe for bringing up children

Children should be allowed to eat pizza and watch more television, says a parenting guru.

By Kate Loveys
Last updated at 11:57 AM on 16th May 2011

Dr Bryan Caplan believes parents try too hard when bringing up their offspring and advises a more relaxed approach. He claims ‘investment parenting’ – music lessons, organised sports and educational games – does not make the slightest difference to children when they become adults.Instead, the academic says, parents should ‘cut themselves some slack’ and stop trying to control every aspect of their child’s lives. He calls for a relaxed and fun style of bringing up children dubbed ‘serenity parenting’ which involves parents taking a backseat role.

Source: DAILYMAIL

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Teenagers are pushing the boundaries and parents don’t know what to do

The tragic death of Isobel Reilly sparked anguished debate about liberal parenting but shouldn’t we have sympathy for parents trying to cope with today’s confident young teens?

By Barbara Ellen

How moving it was to see the friends of 15-year-old Isobel Reilly hold a vigil for her in west London, releasing balloons on the green in her memory.

Isobel, a student at Chiswick Community School, suffered a cardiac arrest and died at her friend’s house party at the home of academic Brian Dodgeon and his partner, charity manager Angela Hadjipateras, in the early hours of 23 April. She and others at the party are understood to have taken drugs, thought to include ecstasy, ketamine, LSD and amphetamines.

Dodgeon and Hadjipateras had left the house, allowing their daughter Rebecca to have the party. Dodgeon, 60, has since been suspended from his job, and arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs and child abandonment.

Source: GUARDIAN>> Read full article and comment

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Art or exploitation?

Photographer who uses children to re-enact tragic historical events such as 9/11 angers parenting groups.

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 5:42 PM on 23rd April 2011

A photography exhibit that depicts young children re-enacting controversial or tragic events in recent history has drawn criticism of child exploitation. The exhibit, by Canadian photographer Jonathan Hobin and entitled In The Playroom, shows children using toys and props to act out scenes – such as the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the humiliation and torture of prisoners at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in 2004, or the death of Princess Diana in 1997. Hobin says his work is an attempt to reflect on modern events, their coverage in the media, and how those events and coverage may affect children.

Source: Dailymail>> Read full article and comment

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Shared parenting: A disastrous double act

After the birth of their son, Claire Hodgson and her husband opted to split responsibility for looking after him. The stress nearly drove them apart.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Can there be a more perfect solution to the dilemma, and demands, of parenting today, than sharing it equally? It’s a relatively straightforward idea – two parents share equally the four areas of their lives, childraising, housework, breadwinning and time for self. Here in the US, there is a movement towards 50-50 child-rearing, as promoted by Marc and Amy Vachon, who made it all sound attainable in their book Equally Shared Parenting: Rewriting the Rules for a New Generation of Parents. Meanwhile, just published in Britain is Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality, in which Rebecca Asher seeks solutions to the hard fact that having children still polarises gender roles in a relationship. My husband and I became equally sharing parents (ESP) by accident. We always considered Simon the house-husband type, partly because of his laziness (he likes hanging out at home), partly out of a sheer lack of imagination (professionally, he happily followed “whatever came up”). I had a five-year plan, spent occasional weekends at the office, had a job title. Most importantly, as my mother couldn’t help but point out, I preferred books over babies.

Source: INDEPENDENT>> Read full article and comment

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Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality by Rebecca Asher – review

It’s a call for a parenting revolution.

By Rachel Seiffert

As a working parent, with all the juggling and compromise this entails, I’m always ready to hear of a better way to combine work and family.Shattered is described as “a call to arms for a revolution in parenting”, so I was intrigued. The initial chapters are full of women in postpartum shock, incredulous that having a baby can so affect their career and change the relationship with their partner; born in the 70s and 80s, they were brought up to expect parity in education and the workplace, only to find that childrearing is still overwhelmingly the mother’s task.

Source: GUARDIAN

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Are you a Dummy Mummy?

New parenting jargon shows mums are replacing sexiness with silliness.

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 7:31 PM on 30th March 2011

New mothers have a tendency to think that everyone is just as interested as they are in their baby – and talking about little else. And now there’s a label for such women: Dummy Mummy. A worrying study of modern day parenting jargon has revealed that Yummy Mummy has been replaced by nicknames for women rendered brain dead or forgetful by their children.

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Netmums survey: Many Mums given risky parenting advice

Many new mothers are bombarded with contradictory and sometimes even dangerous parenting advice by family members, a Netmums survey suggests.

28 March 2011 Last updated at 23:13 GMT

Two in five of 4,000 mothers surveyed said a relative had given advice they felt could harm their baby’s health. Examples included exposing a baby to hot tarmac fumes to “strengthen its lungs”, and “under ones don’t need sun cream because they can’t get sunburnt”. Mothers-in-law topped the list of people who had given poor advice. More than three-quarters of mothers who responded to the survey – posted on the Netmums website – said they sought parenting advice from relatives.

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Charities plead with chancellor not to cut maternity pay in budget

Source: Guardian >> Read full article and comment

Parenting and women’s groups react to reports that employers with fewer than 10 staff may face relaxed rules

By Amelia Gentleman

Parenting and women’s rights charities have called on the prime minister not to weaken maternity legislation in next week’s budget, following reports that employers with fewer than 10 staff may no longer be obliged to offer the full amount of paid leave.Leaked details of a new “growth strategy” suggest that the chancellor could propose a deregulation drive designed to assist small companies.Maternity leave legislation is one area likely to be affected, and the government is said to be considering giving small employers the right to negotiate maternity and paternity leave arrangements individually with staff.….Continue Reading

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