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Published On: Mon, Aug 22nd, 2016

Dr Leonard Sax calls out parents ‘doing it wrong’

Family physician, psychologist and author Leondard Sax wants parents to know that they are “raising kids wrong.” The author of “Boys Adrift” and “Girls on the Edge” has written a new book, “The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt our Kids when We Treat them Like Grown-Ups.

“Most American parents are completely confused and going utterly in the wrong direction,” Sax said. “There’s a collapse of understanding what parenting involves.”

In his book, Sax offers a scenario in which parents and a 6-year-old child, who had a sore throat, came into his office. When he said, “Next I’m going to take a look at your throat,” the mother asked for the child’s permission, saying, “Do you mind if the doctor looks in your throat for just a second, honey? Afterward we can go and get some ice cream.”

This child refused and ultimately the child had to be restrained to complete the examination and testing.

parental rights advisory photo“It’s not a question,” Sax said. “It’s a sentence: ‘Open up and say, ‘Ahh.” Parents are incapable of speaking to their children in a sentence that ends in a period,” he said. “Every sentence ends in a question mark.”

Some parenting experts told adults that they should offer their children choices instead of telling them what to do and parents believed them, he said.

The hierarchy of parent over child no longer exists, he said.

Instead of parents exercising their authority because they know what’s best, they are focusing on making children happy and boosting their self-esteem.

“They now see their job as facilitating whatever a kid wants to do,” Sax said, adding that a parent’s job is to teach children right from wrong, teach them the meaning of life and keep their children safe.

“In doing that job, you’re going to do a lot of things a child won’t approve of and not understand,” he said. Sometimes, you have to be the bad guy.

According to Sax, parents should focus on helping children develop skills such as self-control, humility and conscientiousness, meaning they think of people other than themselves.

Those things are the biggest predictors of future success in adulthood, he said, not education or affluence.

Sax said this is a generation of parents who are spending more time with children than any previous generation. But instead of spending time at family meals, this generation is spending time shuttling children from one extracurricular activity to the next or spending time doing their work for them.

“It doesn’t help to spend more time with kids if they are spending it in the wrong ways,” Sax said.

In his book, Sax cites numerous research studies that found that a lack of parental authority is why obesity is on the rise, why more kids are on anti-anxiety and attention deficit disorder medication, why children are have a culture of disrespect, seem fragile, and why American children no longer lead the world in education.

Time-magazine-Mom-breastfeeding-3-year-old

 

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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