Sunday, 12 August 2007

Thoughts on Parenting Philosophy

While pretending to work - I'm supposed to be writing NEWS, I stumbled across this quote.

"Next to the right to life itself, the most fundamental of all human rights
is the right to control our own minds and thoughts." ~ John Holt

I think it speaks for itself, but it's worth dwelling on for a moment, and on what that really means. What that really means for us as a culture, and especially what that really means for our children.

It somehow fit in with the discussion that started my day. In a thread on MDC, discussing a child who is spending a lot of time on the computer, I said this:

It just occured to me; children come up with something that really grabs them, it develops into a passion; often its dinosaurs, or spiders, or nintendo. So then the kid spends "ALL his time" deeply engrossed in X.

When its something the parents approve of, like dinosaurs or mathematics ([Purple] for example was a math freak-kid), they are encouraged, books and materials are bought, lots of smiling and nodding goes on, parents recount with pride their LO's achievements. BUT something "bad" like computers, and the folks are right away worrying about too much screen time, that they want to be on the computer "all" day.

IMNSHO, this just sets the kid up for feeling that his interests aren't worthy; that he's only "good" and "lovable" when he shows interest in the "right" things; that the stuff he's really interested in is 'bad'.

I talked about it with Purple, and of course we got onto Barbies... there's so much hullabaloo about how Barbies are bad, and they set girls up to have negative body images and low self-esteem. But I'm realising more and more, that its not Barbie that gives us the low self-esteem, its being led to feel that our interests/ thoughts/ feelings are worthless. It's not Barbie that leads to negative body images, because any child raised in a TRULY supportive, and open environment, loved unconditionally for who they are, just wont feel that way.


  1. It is so true. But, I think that it is not just kids that do this. I think adults do it too. Take me for example I love to blog, take photos and play video games. I do these things when ever I can. But because I am an adult no one judges me for it. Or tells me that the things that I am doing are "bad". I think our main stream society treats children as second class citizens. It's sad really. Although, it is parents like us that can and are redefining how children will be raised. And, doesn't it feel fantastic!


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)