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Jul 07

5 (Alternative) Reasons Modern-Day Parenting is in Crisis

It’s happened again.  A parenting article gone viral, one that has the mainstream masses rising from their seats in raucous applause…. and the rest of us shaking our collective heads.  In the article 5 Reasons Modern-Day Parenting is in Crisis, a nanny (I think that’s important to note. She’s writing it as a nanny, not as a mother) outlines what she believes to be the five worst mistakes being made by us modern parents.   It’s a crisis, she tells us.

Well, she and I do agree on one thing.   There’s a problem with parenting today.  But I believe it’s very much the opposite of the one she describes in her article.   These are her five main points, and how I would re-write them.

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1. She says: A fear of our children. I say: A fear of loving or giving our children too much 

People are so afraid of this myth of the spoiled child, that they’re failing to look at this rationally. Our children are people, deserving of the same kindness, consideration, and respect that we’d give anyone else whom we loved. She outlines the example of a child upset because she wanted her milk in a different colored cup.   She says, “Let her have a tantrum, and remove yourself so you don’t have to hear it. But for goodness’ sake, don’t make extra work for yourself just to please her”  My first thought would be to simply ask what cup the child would like before you poured it, but beyond that:  why shouldn’t the child be able to request a certain cup, and why on earth would you deny a request for something so simple?  Just because you can?  Parenting shouldn’t be about power plays and control.  It should be a partnership.  A dance.  With respect and consideration going both ways. Imagine you had a special house guest.  Without knowing his preferences, you hand him an ice cold Coke.  If he politely asks you for a glass of water instead, would you refuse to give it to him in order to teach him a lesson? Of course not.  You’d simply get him the water.  Shouldn’t our children be treated with at least as much care as we’d give a guest in our home?

At one point in the cup scenario, the author says, “mum’s face whitens and she rushes to get the preferred sippy cup before the child has a tantrum.”   And absolutely, you shouldn’t do things for your children out of fear.    But you should do things for them because you love them.  Because you should give, and give freely, just like you’d do for any other person in your life whom you love.   And finally, a child’s life is so full of decisions that are made for them.  If we want our children to be good decision makers, they have to make decisions!  We need to empower them by letting them make as many decisions as they can….. especially when it comes to something as easy to grant as a blue sippy cup.

2.  She says:  A lowered bar.  I say:  An expectation that children should act like miniature adults.  

Oftentimes, I see people expecting children to act even better than adults.   They’re not allowed to question, they’re not allowed to express displeasure, they’re not allowed to make noise.  They’re not allowed to act like children.  In short, they’re not allowed to be human.  You guys, we’re raising PEOPLE here, not training monkeys. They are young people who are still growing, still maturing, still figuring out how things work.   The author worries about kids learning manners, how to clean up after themselves, and how to wait patiently at a restaurant. And your child WILL learn those things if you expose him!  He will learn good manners when he sees you, yourself, consistently displaying them to the people around him.   He will learn to clean up after himself when he sees you, yourself, consistently cleaning your own messes. He will learn to wait patiently at a restaurant when he sees you, yourself, consistently waiting patiently.  In the meantime, help him navigate!   Use “please” and “thank you” if that’s important to you, but don’t chastise him if he forgets.  Let him help wipe up the spilled milk, but don’t critique his work.   Model appropriate behavior at the restaurant, but order his food early, color with him on his kids’ menu, and commiserate with him that waiting is sometimes hard.   Expect great things from your children, yes.  But don’t expect them to behave like full-grown adults when they’re 3.

3.  She says:  We’ve lost the village.  I say:  We’ve lost a *healthy* village

I don’t entirely disagree on this point.   But where the author and I part company on this issue is how we view “the village.”  I think community is incredibly important, but not in the negative fashion that she describes.  She bemoans, “it used to be that bus drivers, teachers, shopkeepers and other parents had carte blanche to correct an unruly child.”   She talks about the need of other authority figures to “correct” (ie: punish) someone else’s child, and that is not something I can rally around.  More adults to befriend children, to talk to children, to take children under their wing, to mentor them, to treat them like people?  Absolutely!   My uncle recently moved from the east coast to retire in Arizona, and it’s neat to watch the relationship he’s formed with Spencer (17 at the time of this writing)  They both love engines, and machines, and figuring out how stuff works, and have bonded over their shared interest. Family and friends who are supportive in this way are invaluable, to be sure, and it is no small thing to have a network of people who enrich your life and the lives of your children through friendship, and through kindness and compassion…. NOT through “carte blanche to correct your unruly child.”

4. She says:  A reliance on short cuts.  I say:  A reliance on the way things have always been done

This was a strange one.  She starts out by chastising the parent who uses technology to keep a child busy while waiting at a restaurant (Caillou, by the way, is spelled C-A-I-L-L-O-U) but quickly moves in to advising parents to let their babies “self-soothe”, and not to help their toddler who’s raising his arms to be picked up after he falls. Modern technology is its own issue, and for the record I find nothing wrong with letting a child quietly watch something on a phone or tablet when he’s waiting for something.   But far more concerning to me is this idea of being a hands-off parent.  Yes, your parents probably left you to cry-it-out.  Yes, lots of parenting books still advocate “sleep training” and “self-soothing.”  Yes, many parents will tell you you’ll “spoil” your child if you respond to them too often.   But what does your  instinct tell you?  Do you listen to it? Instinct tells us to go to our children when they cry.  Instinct tells us to pick them up when they want our assistance.  Instinct tells us to comfort them, to love them, to be there for them.  It tells us to pick them up when they cry.  The first time and the thousandth time.   Babies NEED their parents.  They need touch.  They need connection.  They need to be heard.    Parents fear that if they hold their children too much that they will never separate, but it doesn’t work that way.  A need that is met breeds confidence and self-assurance and feelings of wholeness.   A need that is not met never really goes away…. it just resurfaces later in some other form.   Don’t rely on “baby training” because a book or your mother or that internet celebrity tells you that’s the way it’s always been done.  Your child is a person, and she needs you.

5. She says:  Parents putting their kids’ needs ahead of their own.  I say:   Parents putting their own needs ahead of their kids.  

None of your children asked to be born.  Let me just start there.  Children come into our lives as our invited guests.  It makes no logical sense to me to invite these little people (with big needs) into our lives only to then expect to go about business as usual, expect to continue putting ourselves first, expect them to conform and compromise and go without according to our own desires.   Your life changes the moment you bring a child into the world, and it should! Particularly when they are very little, your kids’ needs should come first.    And before I’m accused of it, I’m not suggesting martyrdom here.  YES, make self-care a priority. It’s important. But it should never come at the expense of your child.

The author gives the following examples of “mistakes” parents are making in this area:  ”Often I see mums get up from bed again and again to fulfill the whims of their child. Or dads drop everything to run across the zoo to get their daughter a drink because she’s thirsty. ”  I’m not a fan of the negative-sounding “whims”, but if your child has a need at night, help them meet it! And if your child is thirsty at the zoo, for heavens sake…. get her a drink!   I think we’ve lost sight of “doing unto others” in the name of not spoiling our children, and THAT is the real problem with parenting today.  Not giving too much.  Not the lack of a village. Not picking them up when they cry.   We’ve forgotten that children are people – cherished people, deeply loved people – and that they are deserving of all we can possibly give them.

And finally, the author closes in part by saying, “So please, parents and caregivers from London to Los Angeles, and all over the world, ask more. Expect more. Share your struggles. Give less. ” Every time I’ve read this article those words, “give less” haunt me.  Give less?  No. No, no, no.  We need to give more.  More to the people around us, more to our children, more to ourselves.  We need to give freely.  Abundantly.  Selflessly.   We need to give of our hearts, our time, our attention.  Yes, we need to give more.

And when we lovingly give to our children, they in turn, will become adults who give to the people around them.

 


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  1. June Park

    Amen, Jen!

  2. Sarah Leighanne Stilwell

    I am so glad that you wrote this. :)

  3. findingtheearth

    thank you! thank you! I am always saddened to see how much parents justify not being responsive to their children. If one of my friends fell, or hurt themselves, or needed help, I would not be rude to them, ignore them, or tell them to get over it. I would help them, I would see if they needed help, I would tend to them the best I could. Why would I not do this to my child?

  4. Grant N Sophia Weston

    Thank you for writing this! Sharing it around. GIVE MORE!

  5. Cyndel Jones

    Thank you!!!
    That article bugged me SOOOO much!
    I’m so pleased to see a thoughtful articulate answer to her.

  6. Jolinda Kohl

    Standing Ovation!! Woohoo!

  7. Amy

    Such a beautiful rebuttal. THANK YOU! Lovely.

  8. Kat

    Thank you! I love your response to that terrible article.

  9. amburina

    yes yes yes!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Andrea

    This is a fantastic response to this article… well done!! couldn’t agree more.

  11. joy

    thank you!!!! you put the ball of feelings I was having in response to the original article very eloquently into words.

  12. Rox

    Love! Where at in AZ are you? We live in Tucson.

    1. pathlesstaken

      Thanks! We’re in the Phoenix area.

  13. mum to two rays of sunshine

    Thank you !! Even a lioness nurtures and protects her young. I feel it is an honour to be a mother to my children. If an invited guest needed a drink, an eldery family needed help doing something which other times they have managed do do by themselves, we would not berate them, An extra blanket because they are cold or to be held when hurt is something all of us need no matter our age. Why not for a child?
    I know the pain of not being held or helped by parents ..i can say for a fact my parents did not have any physical contact with me from the moment i could dress and bath myself apart from the odd clip around the ear… a child not nurtured, loved or respected will seek it elsewhere.

    1. Lisa Tulak

      And they will seek it in inappropriate ways which can lead to exploitation by those who seek to take advantage of emotionally neglected kids

  14. Lisa Easterling

    I think there is merit in both authors. No need to polarize. :)

    1. Chris Klaus

      Actually, there is a need to polarize. There is a desperate need in our society to call stupid, destructive ideas what they are. Everything is not equal. Just because another human being had the wrong idea doesn’t mean we all need to give equal merit to the bad ones.

      1. Lisa Easterling

        It’s likely that not everyone agrees with your idea of “destructive” and “stupid”. I just like to leave room to learn from other people rather than decide my thoughts are the only ones with merit.

        1. Chris Klaus

          That sort of thinking can spiral into chaos. Of course not everyone will agree with my view! But if I’M not a passionate advocate of my own viewpoint, if I don’t believe in it enough to call other ideas incorrect (and then prove why using well thought out arguments), then what good is my opinion? If it’s nothing more than wishy-washy, “well, yours is as good as mine” we reach no conclusions at all. Everyone feels happy, but remains confused.

          1. ChristieBurdek

            I think she has her own ideas but doesn’t spew them all over a public forum or judge others. She opts to keep her own counsel and she has a right to without being chastised for it.

          2. Chris Klaus

            I’m not sure I follow you. What part of me disagreeing on a public forum is judging, spewing, or chastising? Were you under the impression that there is some sort of attack happening here? Your reaction suggests that you are racing to someone’s defense, but I was unaware that I’d attacked.

          3. ChristieBurdek

            Well-thought-out arguments, and even peer-reviewed clinical studies, do not “prove” anything. They either support or fail to support an idea.

          4. Chris Klaus

            I was using prove as in “to produce proof” not to irrefutably prove.

            prove
            pro͞ov/

            verb

            1.

            demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument.

            “the concept is difficult to prove”

            synonyms:show (to be true), demonstrate (the truth of), show beyond doubt,manifest, produce proof/evidence;

        2. Sharon Angelina Stefankiewicz

          If you can ‘hear’ the nanny’s view in an optimistic tone, then most of what she’s saying is pretty right on, actually. I’m not sure what Jen found so awful about it. I don’t agree with most “self soothing” techniques for babies, but she also didn’t specifically say “let them cry it out.” That was about the only point of hers I didn’t agree on, and I’m an A.P., home birthing, extended breast feeding, co-sleeping, SAHM. I also teach an extracurricular art class at a private school and I can tell you, when you are responsible for a group of kids, you can’t always take each troubled kid aside with angelic kindness. Brace yourself—I have to “correct” the ones that act up! I’m not harsh and unfair, but if I didn’t scold and correct them, my class would be utter chaos. The nanny, it seems to me, was writing about parents who are ruled by their children, so to speak. I see them all the time. The kids are truly the center of the parents’ universe, never get told “no” (the sippy cup test? I get that.) and have no idea what it means to work through a problem. The parent is constantly paying for and shuttling them to an endless stream of activities–piano, sports, dance, karate–because they can’t let their darlings miss out on one little thing, or stay home for an hour and make up a game or just play. My own step daughter is never told No at home, nor has any responsibility. She’s coddled and pushed through each grade, her mom rushing to school to yell at the teachers for giving homework that’s “too hard” while telling her the answers to her homework at home. It’s absurd. Children do need respect; they also have to learn to earn it.

          1. louisa

            Thank God, the voice of reason. I agree wholeheartedly with you and also the nanny. My husband’s kids are a mess and spoiled rotten. They get everything they want and are showing major signs of dysfunction and problematic behavior. I have asked to be left out of this situation altogether as my views are ignored. Not in my house thank you very much.

        3. ChristieBurdek

          You go girl.

    2. Sharon Angelina Stefankiewicz

      I get what you’re saying, Lisa. I kind of agree. I don’t entirely agree with everything the nanny writes, and some of it seems like spectator preaching (since she doesn’t have kids herself), but while I agree with the spirit of Jen’s story, I also don’t resonate with some of what she said.

      1. Lisa Easterling

        Thank you for getting what I was–and was not–saying. :)

    3. pathlesstaken

      “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

      1. Lisa Easterling

        When it is a clear choice of good and evil, I agree. I just don’t happen to believe everything the original author said was purely evil. Diff’rent strokes. I realize it isn’t politically correct to allow others to see a topic differently and express that in public, but I’ve never been one to care much for political correctness.

        1. pathlesstaken

          To me, the article was clear-cut childism, and worth speaking out against. Not everything is as clear-cut; I agree with you there. Lots of shades of grey.

      2. Stacee

        I don’t know if you can compare parenting methods to the holocaust…

      3. ChristieBurdek

        Within this post, there is no description of a tormentor nor an oppressor, no victim, no suffering and no humiliation… In other words, that quote has no place in this thread, lol.

    4. Crystal

      I completely agree! I agree with some points from each. Not because I am an “oppressor,” but because I believe there is merit in each.

  15. Nicola

    Absolutely brilliant piece of writing and fantastic, logical comebacks. That original piece made my blood boil. Your critique of it hits the nail on the head. So thank you x

  16. Mom Who Thinks

    Thank you. I really did not like the original article at all. And I told her so. She very much misunderstands normal psychological development and what children actually needs. They’re not pets, they’re not another species, and they’re not mini-adults. (How often do adults “behave poorly,” honestly? A lot! We forgive it though, even though they ought to know better…. But we don’t extend the same courtesy to children.)

  17. Michele Kendzie

    Well said! It seems so simple to me. Children are people too.

  18. Atlas Educational

    Keep in mind she’s a nanny for the children; not a parent. Speaking as a classroom teacher I was much more removed from my children’s lives than I am with my own children. Now as a homeschool mom, I overrule my own perceptions as a teacher. Different goals cause us to have different perspectives.

  19. Doppel Ganger

    “On Children – Kahlil Gibran
    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

  20. Erika

    I just love it when an author says EXACTLY what I am thinking!!!! Thank you!!!!

  21. Leah Perez-Lopes

    Excellent response! Thank you for your thoughtful writing, I appreciate this so much. We can never love or respond to our children too much. My daughter is bright, loving, and well behaved not because I come down hard on her or ignore her; rather, because I believe she deserves my respect and it is my job to make a meaningful, loving connection with her.

  22. Crystal

    I believe there is a middle ground. Yes, our children deserve our kindness and respect. But they also deserve our honesty, and deserve to have us teaching them appropriate ways to act instead of rewarding bad behaviors in order to divert a fit. In the example she gave, I did not read a child politely requesting a different colored cup. I read a child already on the verge of a fit, rudely demanding a different colored cup, which seemed to be what she was getting at. Yes, if your child politely requests a different colored cup, give it to them. If they rudely demand it, then what are you teaching them by giving in to that? And, I think motivation comes into play. The parent in the nanny’s example wasn’t trying to love on her child. She was trying to give in so as to avoid a fit.

    It’s okay (and GOOD, even) for us to be uncomfortable in life sometimes, and it’s okay for our kids to not get every single thing they want when they want it.

    We can be engaged and intentional in ways that are loving and not harsh or oppressive toward our children.

    1. Lisa Tulak

      Often when children appear rude, they are not necessarily doing it to be rude. They lack communication skills and the tantrum which follows is out of frustration. Its knowing the child and the situation and the intent behind the behavior. I agree with you on modeling appropriate ways to behave, and not coming down on them like a ton of bricks when they make a mistake. We all make them. Showing them grace and empathy works better long term, though it may not show results immediately.

  23. JO

    1) If your kid is throwing a tantrum about the color of a cup then you have a bigger problem. 2) Not only to have to model but you have to enforce what you have modeled. I know plenty of well mannered people with rude children. 3) The way I read this then I stepped for the line on this one the other night at work when I told a little boy to take his hands off of a little girl. 4)Why do kids always need to be entertained? 5) If you don’t think of yourself then you have lost yourself and not good to your child.

    1. pathlesstaken

      1) There are no tantrums being thrown over cups here 2) If well-mannered people have rude children, then there is something going on somewhere else with the child 3) I would certainly hope common sense would tell someone to intervene if someone was being harmed in some way, regardless of age 4) I didn’t say that they did. 5) I agree, which is why I said self-care was important

  24. Elyssa Gooding

    I’m exhausted by everyone’s assumptions made about a moment in time. Just today my 4 year old had a complete and utter fit with thrashing, hitting and biting. This is the third such fit in the last month. He didn’t lash out because I’m raising him to be an undisciplined little jerk, he lashed out because he felt out of control. I’m quite lost on the matter, but I can tell you that it doesn’t happen when our family is on our own, doing fun activities or learning or just doing chores together. This makes me want to retreat, to avoid people who judge those moments. That’s my issue…not his. So, yeah, the nanny who would definitely say I seem to fear my child may be right in that public melt down moment, but those aren’t happening every day. It’s not because of sippy cup (I’m over here judging you for still using them ;P my kids drink from glasses and they can get their own water, for crying out loud.) The glimpses we see of other families are not the whole picture.

  25. emma

    Here here!

  26. Emma

    For those who disagree with the Nanny’s article, are you disagreeing because she is a Nanny or because she doesn’t have her own children? I ask you this. If she had been a child psychologist or pediatrician writing this article, then would there would have been less people disagreeing? More to the point some of the comments on her page in response to what she had written were just plain rude. I find it interesting that although she may not be a parent some people were completely dismissing her because she is a Nanny. Which I find very disrespectful. She is someone who is a childcare professional after all with 20 years of experience. I find it funny too Jen that in your reply to her article that although you think that all people including children should be treated as such – people that you forget to do so in the beginning or all of your statements following. Treat a Nanny not only like a professional but indeed a person. Because I believe you have failed to do so here. There is merit in both yours and her article and hers should not be simply dismissed because she is a Nanny.

  27. Margaret

    Not all children can have every need met all of the time, I think it is a lesson best learnt in the security of their own home. Eventually children will spend time with other people and although we can nurture them sometimes they need boundaries… Imagine a teacher trying to give 30 kids the desks they want to sit at when they might all want the same one… Life doesn’t always work that way. They can’t always bat first or be first in line. Also what happens when there are siblings at both want the same pink sippy cup..

  28. Lelia Wesley Schott

    Excellent response Jen, thank you. I love it!!! <3
    Will share on my little parenting page!

  29. Geoffrey

    I have respect for both authors (admittedly, a bit more for Jen’s more reasoned and rational approach) and the points they make. As a school counselor with experience at all age levels, I have seen the negative effects of both points of view. The only gross error to be made here is the assumption that either side has the corner market on “The Truth about Parenting.”

    Parenting, as you say, Jen, is a dance. It contains balance at every turn. To illustrate from the points in question: 1) not letting your child rule your life, but still responding appropriately to their needs; 2) setting high expectations, but developmentally reasonable ones; 3) cooperating with community members to provide nurturing and support, while still respecting the sanctity of the parents’ rights; 4) trusting a mother’s instinct, but working hard to balance motherly instincts against self-preservation instincts; and 5) engaging in self-care, without giving in to self-indulgence at the expense of the child.

    I found both articles written in a polemic style that I feel downgrades the discussion, rather than enhancing it (with the caveat that Jen’s was significantly less so). Parenting is an extraordinarily personal and emotion-laden minefield as a public topic of discussion, and approaching it always requires balance and perspective (which the nanny’s lacked) as well as a generous spirit toward the best points to be made from the other side (which Jen’s lacked). And indeed, there really are no “sides” here. It is not as if anyone (with any modicum of decency) wakes up in the morning and consciously decides to spoil their children, or to neglect them, or whatever else. Nearly everyone works the best they know how with the materials they believe at their disposal toward the best interests of the child. Along the way, many get lost and discouraged, or stuck in behavior patterns to which they see no alternative. But almost no one sets out to subject their children to “suffering and humiliation.” Characterizing either side as having these intentions or even these effects is likely to be counterproductive for everyone.

  30. Lori Petro

    Thank you thank you for this thoughtful reply to a time-honored tradition of calling out parents for their failures.

    Sharing! <3 Lori

  31. aliceblue

    Interesting that you think that the word “correct” is the same as the word “punish.” If your child spells cat as “kat” and the teachers gives the CORRECT spelling is your child punished? If you really think that telling a child “no, it isn’t nice to pinch/spit on/hit people; we don’t do that” and make them stop is “punishment” you are just supporting the nanny’s comments.

  32. Guest

    Fear our children/Fear of Loving out children too much: I would say that though the mom SHOULD have asked which cup the child wanted…when she forgot that step…I would have asked my child to just accept the cup that was offered. it seem more like how I would expect anyone to act in response to getting almost exactly what they want (the right drink, wrong cup) because in live (child or adult) things don’t always come exactly as you want them and you have to prepare for that as a child. The song lyrics ALWAYS come to mind when this situation arises, “You can’t always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might get what you need”

    1. pathlesstaken

      Yes, absolutely, life teaches us that we can’t always get what we want. I know this. My children know this. What I can’t understand is not fulfilling something as simple and easy to fulfill as a cup preference in order to teach them a lesson. No, we can’t give them everything they want. Life just sometimes dictates that that’s not possible. But we CAN give them some choices and autonomy when it comes to what they drink out of. :)

  33. Rinoa

    Here’s how I see it. Having 10 kids in no way makes you a child psychologist. Being a nanny to a presumed specific demographic in no way makes you one either. To be able to hire a nanny with as much experience that she has… I can assure you she is not seeing the entire picture. It would be interesting to see the income level and parental involvement of the parents that have hired her. I certainly could not afford one.

    People make judgements based on assumptions. Gentle, or AP parenting, in no way means that there are not boundaries, or that a child is never told no. Letting a child choose between sippy cup colors is not letting them get their way…its letting them make a choice.

    I don’t understand how people expect children to grow up confident and able to make good choices and decisions when we don’t let them exercise that right as a child.

    Every parent is not perfect, and everyone has struggles. The nannies article seemed judgmental and lacking compassion. Just because you see a child break down once in a store, doesn’t mean they have a bad parent.

    Children arent meant to be “perfect” either.

    The problem is we ignore primal instincts when it comes to children and let “experts” dictate how we should raise our children.

    1. pathlesstaken

      Well said; thanks!

  34. Lisa Tulak

    Yes we have lost the healthy village and its been replaced by uninformed strangers who dont know us or our situations. They see a half life by whatever is portrayed on FB or casual public encounters. And its sad when parents are more concerned about their childrens image to others than real concern for the emotional well being of the child. Any expression of negative feelings minimized and dismissed as “drama” or attention seeking. Stop ignoring them, teach them to validate themselves. Typical that a nanny with no children passes these types of judgments.

  35. hilbuk

    I have to agree with the people who have said that both posts have their merits and their flaws. The nanny one was overly dramatic (“crisis”) and overly negative, but in terms of the content and message I agreed with it more than this one. Kids deserve love, respect, and lots of hugs/touching. BUT, they also need to be disciplined starting early on or else they’ll be spoiled and ineffective adults. They need to develop good habits. Parents need to set and stick to boundaries. But still give them unlimited affection and attention, of course!

  36. hilbuk

    I also do agree with this post in many ways, but she lost me on a) thinking it’s ok to park a kid in front of a screen and b) trusting “instinct” over science & medicine. It’s my instinct to give in when my kid is tantruming because I didn’t let him have the toy/candy/dessert he wanted in the store. But I know better than to give in. That said, I do understand that “cry it out” is a controversial subject, even within science/pediatrics, but to just say “follow instinct” every time is a bad argument in my opinion.

  37. Swarm Mariposa

    I am so grateful to read this. The original article that this is a response to really saddened me. it is good to know that this author and others understand that children are indeed human and understand the importance of age appropriate expectations.

  38. LKD

    This nanny’s article frustrated me beyond belilef. I thought the same thing, it’s happening again I had the exact same reaction to it as you, and I was a nanny for ten years before I was a mother! I wrote this post a while ago, and re-posted it in response to this nanny WHO DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL NANNIES! http://hungrylittleanimal.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-challenge-for-parent.html

  39. Renee Dunnagan

    a thousand times thank you! I found your words to be beautiful, elegant, poignant and affirming. Several quotes in there that make lovely mantras. Yes!! May this article be at least twice as viral as it’s similarly named predecessor.

  40. Carol Shaw

    Thank you for taking the time to write this!!!! It is so vitally important that people hear the truth rather than more ranting from another damaged ignored child that has grown into a vengeful adult.

  41. Em

    Thank you! Thank goodness you wrote this response: the nanny’s article was hateful and I found the accompanying ‘applause’ deeply depressing.

  42. Jo

    I knew I didn’t like the original article, I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was bothering me. This sums it up perfectly, I agree whole heartedly. I am bringing my kids up with love and respect, and they are far from spoilt or entitled. They are well mannered, sweet and loving, even though I let them choose the colour of their cups!

  43. Nyda

    I think you are missing the nanny’s point here.
    1) She isn’t saying you never give a child a choice. But sometimes in life we don’t get a choice and we have no choice but to accept that. Our children have to learn to deal with that. And if I, as the parent, make a choice for my child, sometimes he just has to accept it.
    2) She isn’t suggesting that children act like mini-adults. She’s suggesting that we set realistic expectations of our children (based on age and maturity) rather than babying them.
    3) To correct a child doesn’t mean to punish. The village used to correct a child and notify the parent of the behavior. But now parents just ignore the report and defend the child as if he can do no wrong. The village used to be the eyes and ears of the parent when he/she can’t be there. But now parents don’t want to hear that their child is misbehaving for fear of being judged by the village.
    4) It really isn’t all that strange. The point is our children need to learn patience. It’s okay to use electronics to entertain them while they wait but they also need to learn to entertain themselves. We can use the microwave for quick meals sometimes but they also need to understand that every meal won’t be that fast. I think we can all agree that babies need to learn to self soothe at some point, although we may differ in our opinion of when that should happen. And that doesn’t have to mean they cry it out. Toddlers don’t have to be picked up every time they cry. They need to learn to understand that sometimes they have to wait.
    5) She isn’t suggesting that we neglect our children for the sake of our own happiness. But you shouldn’t feel guilty for closing the door and using the bathroom because your toddler is crying outside the door. She will be okay. And of course, get your thirsty child something to drink! But she can wait until we pass a water fountain. Dad doesn’t have to run across the zoo to get it.

    Sometimes the answer is yes. But sometimes the answer is no or wait. And our children need to learn and understand that so that when they are adults they won’t think they can always get what they want. We teach our children love and as a part of that we need to teach them boundaries.

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