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A Plea For Knowledgeable Parenting


In conversation with a good friend, he mentioned how relieved he was that his grandson seems to have reached a contented, benevalent place. He and his daughter had been worried about the child's swearing, boasting, bossiness, telling his Mother that he hates her, yelling at people...I asked him how old his grandson was now. He had just turned five. I explained to him that the behavior was normal and on cue. Four and a half is an age of disequilibrium where out of bounds behavior is to be expected, followed at five by a stage of equilibrium and good fellowship. He was surprised.

These are caring, intelligent parents who, nonetheless, don't have enough knowledge about ages and stages and the complicated growth process. When they are anxious about their child, the anxiety will transmit itself to the child. He may feel bad, wrong, weird. It could affect his self-esteem and cause negative repercussions.

In our ignorance, we misunderstand and misbehave.

Can you imagine going to apply for a job without any education, experience, credentials, knowledge in that area? On the surface, the question seems ludicrous. Yet, every day, every minute, thousands of people are choosing to be parents, are choosing argueably the hardest task in the world, armed only with the biological capability to conceive and breed but no knowledge, understanding, experience, expertise either in what the job entails or how to do the job in all its multiple complexities.

Children, as they grow, pass through a variety of stages. Each stage is marked with different needs, different tasks to be accomplished, different physical and psychological and social milestones to be reached. Each stage is marked with different needs, different tasks to be accomplished, different physical and psychological and social milestones to be reached. Each age and stage requires different handling from the parents, different priorities, different discipline to be executed. Most parents have little knowledge of any of this. Yes, the information is out there but parents are not seeking it and not using it. Instead they are doing what feels pleasurable and comfortable, what was done to them or the opposite of how they were parented or handing their children over to be raised by strangers who also have no real knowledge of how to parent.

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