We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Where did that middle-class term "parenting" come from? And is gardening a useful metaphor for raising kids?
Our approach was to try to set good examples in every way we were able given our imperfections, to make parental praise rare and valuable and parental disapproval painful, to forbid TV with rare exceptions, to indulge their interests, to expose the kids to as many experiences and opportunities as we could and try to prevent them from being killed or maimed while allowing enough space for initiative, adventure, and failure. We had no better ideas than those.
Seems like parenting with a goal in mind has been around for thousands of years, with both references in the Bible, and the point of Oedipus Rex was that parents who abandon raising their child will suffer humiliation from it.
The author is a fool and reminds me of Prov 17:24.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure why parental approval should be rare. Seems like it's the easy reward to give when deserved, and one that strengthens the ties that bind. I realize that scarcity leads to value, but if you withhold earned affirmation, you get discouragement and rebellion.
As for exposing them to as many experiences and opportunities as possible, that is the 20th C parenting issue. Rarely, if ever, in history did this even cross the minds of parents, let alone was it something they pursued. Moreover, just because we now can do this, is it sensible to do so? Why not observe your kids and see what their inclination is, and let them have ready access to those opportunities? To do otherwise just subjects them to the tyranny of choice.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Deut 11:19 You shall teach them [commandments] to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Prov 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.