Parent's challenge: learn what is left out of parenting books

by Aigul Aubanova on March 23, 2010

in Articles for parents

Why is the subject of upbringing considered to be one of the most difficult tasks? Three parts are involved in upbringing: the parent, the child, and the relationship between them. When parenting books address parents they usually describe to parents peculiarities of a child’s development, and tips to improve the relationship between them. But advice from those books may not work because one variable is left out: knowledge about the parent. “What kind of knowledge is it ,” you may ask, “I know all about myself!” Yes and no. Yes, because you know your strengths and weaknesses as a parent. No, because you probably didn’t think of the goals of upbringing, of your beliefs about your child, and many other things, without which you couldn’t understand why some advice worked and some didn’t.

This approach is commonplace, wherein “something works for me, and something doesn’t.” So parents go and look and look for tips and advice and test them on their children, at the expense of their children’s relationship with them. This results in disappointed parents as if their children are guilty. Where in fact the reason of disappointment is that parents were looking in the wrong place.

Parenting is complex. This is something that authors tend to avoid because parents want quick fixes. However instant gratification does not work in the long term.

What knowledge about parents is left out in most parenting books? Here is an example. Parents have their image of an ideal child and very often this image doesn’t fit with the image of the actual child. This incongruency leads to confusion. The way to avoid this is to change the ideal image to fit your real child according to your long term parental goals. Parenting faith is the most important quality of parents for a happy and long lasting relationship with children. What do you know about parenting faith and goals of upbringing? The authors of parenting books assume that you know about this things. Therefore they don’t address it.

Simon Soloveychik in his book Parenting For Everyone states, “It does not matter how high destiny lifts a man, or how low fate plunges him – his happiness or unhappiness is in his children. The older we become the more we understand this.” He gives a very comprehensive explanation of what parents need to learn about themselves, their parenting faith, their conditions of child rearing. With this knowledge parents will be fully armed to face a parent’s challenge.

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