Thoughts: Parenting

I had a lot of thoughts while I was pregnant about what kind of parent I want to be, how life with a child would change, whether I want to be a tiger mom. I was sure about certain things, but doubts for many others. Yesterday I finish The Price of Privilege and let me tell you… I feel that I have a much clear idea of how I want to parent Sofia. It’s the most insightful parenting book I’ve read so far! Many thoughts that I have but wasn’t sure about were clarified and explained. I’m sure I will re-read it again and again as Sofia gets older.

Few ideas from the book that I really like:

  • Parents need to reassure their children that they will not “die poor and lonely” if they don’t get into honors math, or go to Harvard. Kids are bombarded with messages about the importance of high performance at school, at home, and in the media. What they really need is to be educated about the values of perseverance and perspective, and to understand that learning and performance are not always the same thing. They need to see that their parents value effort, curiosity, and intellectual courage. 
  • Our primary responsibility is not to gratify our children but to make certain that they develop a  repertoire of skills that will help them meet life’s inevitable challenges and disappointments.
  • Parents help their children develop self-management skills by setting limits, modeling self-control, and being clear about the value of tolerating frustration, delaying gratification, and controlling impulses.
  • A routine theme among parents is their inability to tolerate their children’s unhappiness. There is not a parent who doesn’t understand that self-control is critical to success in file. But if we can’t tolerate seeing our children “unhappy,”, if we feel we have to give them “everything,” then we become incapable of teaching the very self-management skills that our children need to stay out of trouble.
  • The “stuff” we buy our kids, the “advantages” we insist on providing say more about our own needs than our children’s.
  • Chasing perfection is a good way to have your life pass you by. It keeps you focuses on the future, and out of the moment. We need to understand that often, close is good enough, and perfect if far too costly.
  • Stop worrying about whether they’ll find work or how they’ll make a living. These will be their challenges to face, not ours. The “good life” has less to do with money and more to do with the good fortune of finding one’s particular “path with heart.”
  • While there’s nothing wrong with being a tennis-playing Harvard cardiologist, there is also a world of options that we need to let our children know are just as interesting, just as valid, and just as valuable.
  • To mothers: be absolutely certain that you value your own growth and development. Make sure that there is room in your life for the things that give you pleasure outside of the family. Interests and passions help fill you up, allowing you to bring a revitalized, giving, and satisfied mother back into the family.
  • Make certain that your children know every day how much they are loved, not for their grades, honors, or awards but for their striving to be independent, capable, good, and loving people. We need to be certain that our emphasis is on those things the have been shown to contribute to healthy self-development: encouraging autonomy and self-management skills, valuing friendships and reciprocity, allowing space for the development of self-efficacy, and being able to truly see, truly appreciate, and truly love the child who stands in front of us.

If you’re a parent or parent-to-be, I highly recommend you to read this book.


1 Comment

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One response to “Thoughts: Parenting

  1. Sounds like a really good book! I will definitely read it.

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