Saturday, January 12, 2013

Perspective: Train a Parent, Spare a Child

Bruce Feiler has an interesting article in the New York Times about parent and child interaction:  "Train a Parent, Spare a Child."

That title caught my eye.  

It would be an apt one for advocating new parent education to prevent acts of abuse.

While the article covers more common ground - whether should parents bribe kids in the tween ages to induce behavior - it does point up the need to educate parents about the parentchild (no space intended) interaction.

That includes educating parents about the consequences of their choices not just for the two people involved, but for the interaction between them.

The article's worthwhile reading for those of us with children who've taken the first steps across the threshold of free will.

It's also worthwhile to consider how it applies to parents in the period between birth and preschool, when children aren't able to state their intentions, let alone negotiate behaviors.

That's when training a parent to respond appropriately to frustration may indeed spare a child.

NB It will also be interesting to see how parenting styles and parent personality traits inform the comments on the article.  When articles in the Times discuss parenting styles, the commentary becomes quite the Rorschach test....