Friday, January 21, 2011

The Most Confusing Word in the English Language

It's an important word. It's. The. Magic. Word. It's Please. And it's confusing because of all of the rules surrounding it. I was trying to imagine how I would explain "please" to a child, if I were trying to explain the intricacies all at once.

Here are the Rules of Please I came up with, as I would tell a child:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Grow a Perfect Child

Thank you, Judith Warner, for your level-headed look at parenting trends in the New York Times. Since I read Amy Chua's questionably titled  "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior", an excerpt from her book which I will not be buying, I have read many responses to it. I do not care to judge how Chua chooses to raise her children. I don't care to defend "Western mothers" as a group, mostly because I don't even think there is a well-defined group.

That is why I love what Warner has to say. She talks about this "Tough Mommy" stuff as being a trend, which happens to be convenient for Chua for book-selling purposes. The most important point in Warner's article can be found in the last paragraph, in which she writes:
Through all the iterations of Mommy madness, 'good' and 'bad,' this article of faith always remains intact: that parents can have control.
That is what it's all about: you can (must) control your child's behavior, his environment, his activities. Follow these simple rules, and you can't lose. Almost every parenting philosophy promises results in the form of what kind of person you can make your child into. And each philosophy also demonizes the alternatives and warns of the bad results that are guaranteed if you dare parent your kids any other way.