I recently read an article that advocated that parents ignore current parenting ideas and parenting experts and just rely on their common sense. I find it hard to believe that some people would reject years of studies and surveys and rely only on their own thinking.
Where does your common sense come from? It originates from the way you were brought up and from your own life experiences, your successes and your failures and what you learned from them. Would it replace years of knowledge that has been accumulated about child development, our brains and bodies, and the way we interact with others?
If your car breaks down, do you try to fix it yourself? Are you able to do your own dental work or heal your broken leg? We live in a society of specialists. No one knows everything about everything. And no one is an expert on parenting just because he or she is a parent, common sense or no common sense. What worked for your parents may not work for you. Not only that, many people decide to raise their kids differently from how they were raised. I know that I was one of those people. I decided not to spank, not to strap my kids’ hands with a leather belt, not to constantly criticize. When I discovered the approach that helped our family so much, it was as if a whole new world opened up to me. I’m passionate about encouraging others to have open minds and to look “outside the box”.
It’s important to be up-to-date on the latest ideas that come from experts who dedicate their lives to helping children and their families. Not only that, but children have changed as they have become products of the changes in our society. They no longer respond to punishment the way they used to. By the time they’re approaching their teen years,they know their rights and aren’t afraid to stand up for them. Social media has vastly changed childhood, thrusting decisions upon our kids that weren’t even conceived of years ago.
Yes, there are a variety of approaches to parenting and different schools of thought. Just as you pore over catalogs and websites to make buying decisions, you can shop around for a parenting approach that seems to resonate with your way of thinking, and a coach who would be able to guide you through some difficult times. One may be too “far out” for you, and one may seem to be on your wave length.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for basic common sense. Of course there is, and, teamed with a well thought out approach to parenting, it makes a winning combination. Parenting, in today’s world, is fraught with fear and guilt. Are we doing the right thing? Did we make the right decision? It’s important to make an informed decision. Parents simply don’t know everything about raising kids and they never will, but they can start learning by taking a course in the neighborhood or online, or reading a book on parenting. As they begin to put new ideas into practice, the positive results will encourage further exploration.
So, don’t turn your back on the reams of knowledge that are out there for you, and reject them because someone says you just have to use your common sense. Let your common sense tell you to get the help you need!
I invite you to examine the approach to parenting that I used in bringing up my four children. I’ve written about it in my blog posts and in my soon-to-be published book, Parent with Confidence – Power Tools for Bringing Up Great Kids. It has worked for me and for thousands upon thousands of other parents over more than half a century. Please have a look.
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