That’s me, reading the “Parenting From Scratch” blog. It reminds me so much of the whole paleo/ancestral food movement (which I love), in all the right ways. Let me ‘splain.
For one, it realizes that people have different needs, based on lifestyle and genetic factors. Your three year old and your 7 year old have different needs and capabilities. It’s nonsense to try to treat them the same way, just as it’s nuts to recommend the same diet for a hard-charging 20-year old Crossfitter as you do to a 70-year old with Parkinson’s. You take the best of what science tells us about behavior, and you apply it as best you can to your own life, even if it doesn’t agree with what your own parents did, or what your friends think you should be doing. You do what works, because you’re trying to reach a goal. For parenting, the goal is a safe, healthy, happy child who grows into a self-assured, responsible, hard-working and caring adult.
This post, in particular, reminds me very much of that similarity: I Didn’t Teach My Son How to Share
Kids under five just don’t share well. I’ve read it countless times and in countless places (Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the Modg entry on it, and it wasa funny one). People try to fight it, they try to train their kids to share by rewarding when they do and punishing when they don’t, but it rarely works very well. Eventually, kids just kinda figure it out. If you’re the jerk who doesn’t share, nobody wants to play with you. Now, once your kids get to a point, developmentally, when they should understand how to share and why to share, and they’re still not doing it? I think it makes sense then to talk to them about it. But trying to force kids to doing something they’re neither emotionally nor psychologically developed enough to do is just asking for frustration. I honestly think that it could even be harmful in the long term.
Picture this: You’re a tiny child. You have a toy and you are having great fun. Suddenly mommy takes that toy and gives it to someone else. She gets mad when you try to take it back. I think this is more likely to create a sense of uncertainty in the child, and make him feel like he needs to work to protect what’s his in the future. People who have things taken from them don’t become more generous, they become overprotective of their possessions. I’m thinking that kids who are allowed to be possessive jerks through their younger years just might learn later on that if they give other kids a chance, then their toy will still exist, or they’ll get another turn on the slide. It’s the same general principle as attachment parenting, and it seems to have some good research behind it. If your kids learn early that you’re always there for them, they develop trust and confidence. They learn that you’ll be there when you need them, and they are more willing to venture away from you. Kids who are kept away from you when they’re young learn that there’s no guarantee you’ll be there when they need you, so they become more clingy and less likely to venture forth. So I’m thinking that if you let kids be selfish when they’re young, they’ll develop confidence that their toys aren’t going anywhere, and will be more willing the share when they get older. Maybe this is a false analogy? Maybe I’m crazy? I guess time will tell. All I can do is what any of us does, and that’s to try to learn as much as I can, love my kids with my whole heart, and do what I feel is best for them based on the best information I have.
Okay, that’ll do it from me for now. Thanks for reading!