Wise words

So I just finished Muffy Mead Ferro’s Confessions of a Slacker Mom.

This may as well be the book I was supposed to write, the book I would’ve written had I gotten my act together. Then again, I’m not just a slacker at mommying.

Highlights:

  • The example of making-do, photographed here. It’s so true that we parents give so much to our kids, thinking more is “better” – more technology, more toys, more room, more praise (but not necessarily more time or attention). Are we slowly taking away their resourcefulness? Their ability to “make do”, to improvise rocks and sticks into flying saucers and magic wands?
  • Providing more also takes away their ability to share. I’ve always been advised to buy two of everything to minimise fighting, for my peace of mind, to promote fairness. What about teaching my kids the importance of sharing, taking turns? When we assign cutlery and plates, toys and books, rooms, computers, books and cars to each of our children, are we slowly and subconsciously not just enabling the culture of entitlement (“Rae has one, I deserve one too!”), but also the “Mine and mine only” attitude?
  • Lastly, does real and sustainable self esteem really come from heaping praise upon glowing praise on our kids for the tiniest of accomplishments, or should we nurture a sense of self-driven pride and delayed gratification by remaining neutral (i.e. we don’t praise nor do we show are disappointment or criticise if the opposite occurs) unless we are really, truly impressed?

Someone needs to give Ms. Ferro an award, if she’s not already gotten one.