It used to be said that religious and political beliefs were the topics to not discus with people. These topics lead to tension and to conflicts. So they were banned from polite social conversation. A new topic has been added to the list of no-no’s: how people raise their children.
Parenting disagreements are leading to the breakup of even close relationships. Alienations within the extended family are the results of such conflicts. Ask any school administrator or teacher about how often parents unquestioningly take their children’s sides when it comes to discussions about when and how to discipline the child. Sex and money are still cited as the leading causes of divorces, but parenting disagreements are now third on the list.
There has been a growing popularity of radical parenting philosophies. These include: attachment parenting, extended breast-feeding and parent-child co-sleeping. These philosophies are not always agreed to by both parents, leading to parental confusion.
There are complaints of fathers playing second fiddle to the kids. Others complain that fathers come home to undermine the mothers’ attempts at keeping the children under control. Marriages are now threatened by the very children that were once the purpose of getting married. We can read daily about celebrities breaking up over child-rearing philosophies. In the past these philosophies tended to revolve around religious traditions.
Fifty years ago Dr. Benjamin Spock changed the American thoughts about child rearing. A general consensus developed around his theories. But we now see parents relying more on the advice from experts who can’t agree among themselves. This includes major differences in the most fundamental of parenting matters. Mental health professionals do not accept any traditional perspectives.
The very survival of children is threatened when the parenting traditions of a culture break down and disintegrate into parental anarchy. Once parents raised their children to sustain and strengthen America. Now parents, by and large, wear blinders and have tunnel vision. The forest is now ignored in order to fuss over the needs of individual trees.
There was a time that the only parenting advice someone received was from relatives and close friends. Now disinterested third parties are telling parents what to do, what not to do, and when to do or not do it. There is no dialog between the advisor and the parent. Books, DVDs and YouTube videos don’t respond to questions.
We encounter people who have never had children who are convinced that they know more about raising another person’s children than the actual person does. Time will tell if parenting through anarchy will add to or with subtract from the American culture.
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