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Family physician, psychologist and author Leondard Sax wants parents to know that they are “raising kids wrong.” (Austin American Statesman)
By Nicole Villalpando
Austin American Statesman
Family physician, psychologist and author Leonard 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.”
That led to the child refusing to have the doctor look in her throat to do the strep test and the child having to be restrained to get the test accomplished.
“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,” he said.
Instead, Sax said, 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.