Day 129 – Hard line parenting

Yes, we’ve all been there.  Do we spare the rod and spoil the child?  Do we nurture and encourage or drive and demand?

I’ve always shied away from the routine/discipline/driven approach and believed that a creative and caring environment will win out in the end.  A little discipline is not a bad thing, but not necessary on a day by day, hour by hour basis.  But from the sidelines in an International school environment, you couldn’t help standing back and admiring the drive and enthusiasm that Chinese/Japanese parents and their family-driven focus produce in terms of results.

Then I read this, and began to understand, at what cost……. but ultimately what gain!

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior – -The ultimate Tiger Mom!

Either head to this article yourself and be scared (seriously), or take a step in this direction and bemoan the consequences that we are currently producing in the western hemisphere, for our children.

There is somewhere, a happy medium, not possible by text book practice, or total ignorance.  Listen, learn and adapt.  Some things are relevant for some families, some kids and some forms of education.  But one part I wholeheartedly agree with (and it has taken a few days to sink in), is that we praise and admire our kids way too much.  Every little achievement is mirrored by praise/celebration and even presents.  But do we really admonish, do we really discipline, do we really bring our kids up to realise that suffering and unfairness is just part of life, and that aiming for your very best (and achieving it in your own field) is what brings inner peace, direction and satisfaction to your own life?

For the sort of ‘Bill Gates’ version on this (which was doing the rounds on email from a good friend a couple of weeks ago), check out Some Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School.  Great rules to give to your almost teenager, in my book.

Sometimes it helps to come back to your own life.  When I lost my goal, I lost my focus.  I know when and where it happened.  I lost focus of my dreams and my ambitions.  I’ve wanted them back for a long time, but now I actually accept that I needed to re-evaluate them along the way, and redirect myself, and that’s what I’m working on.  But what do our kids want now?  Fame and Fortune? Football hero or Pop star?  And what should they want in the future?  What happened to the Architect, Doctor, Lawyer or Teacher? (like the Entrepreneur/PR guru/Marketeer/and City Banker of the 80’s).  We should be flexible and fluid, but have at least a firm belief on what we want to bring to the table of life.  Save or convert? Build or create?  Something I hope that can be useful for future generations and business, mixed with an element of saving the environment.  And above all, for our children, something they love and believe in…….

One Response to “Day 129 – Hard line parenting”
  1. nrhatch says:

    Good points.

    I’m not a parent, but I see kids with a sense of “entitlement” to “the best” . . . no matter how minimal the effort they choose to put into something.

    I don’t think getting tropies for “showing up” makes sense.

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