Be A Better Parent Through Blogging
It is a little past 1 am and John Michael Montgomery is singing I Can Love You Like That on the fabulous iTunes shuffle.Â More than a few hours ago a 6.5 year-old girl told me that a boy in school tried to kiss her. I made a very stern face and told her that I am going to have to punch him in the nose. It had the desired affect as she suddenly burst into laughter. The dark haired beauty was quite pleased with herself because she fooled daddy.
I didn’t tell her that I am serious- one day I might punch one of these boys the nose and boy won’t they all be surprised. Damn boys, only have one thing on their mind and don’t tell me otherwise. They all want more Legos- just ask my son.
Been watching with some amusement the uproar over the Chinese Mom and her philosophy on raising children. I gather that more than 29,000 posts have been written about this topic generating more than 210,983 comments. Most of those came from outraged mothers who said that they would never raise their child in that fashion. Ok, I have no idea how many posts were written or how many comments came as a result of this Wall Street Journal column. I don’t know if the woman wrote it to try and promote her book or if she really believes it but I do know that I don’t c are what she thinks of my parenting skills.
I mention that because I have seen quite a few comments from women who really were upset by her statements. Frankly I don’t understand why someone would be upset by some stranger but that is me.
But the good thing about her column is that it generated more thought and introspection about parenting and that my friends is how we reach our title, be a better parent through blogging. While the headline might sound like link bait, don’t be fooled there is truth in it. Blogging provides you with an easy way to write down your thoughts and feelings about life. It provides a handy dandy corner where you can share your beliefs/philosophies about life.
And if you are truly introspective this provides you with an opportunity to read aloud what it is you think or feel. There is value in that. You might not realize it, but most of us make decisions based upon feelings and or arbitrary decisions that are not necessarily based in fact. We don’t always act logically. Not that logic is required to be a good parent, but sometimes we aren’t really aware of what it is that we are doing.
The act of writing it down provides a simple way to measure and understand. ItÂ provides an opportunity to conduct a more careful analysis. Blogging isn’t just a chronicle of the life of your child, but a place where you can come to nifty realizations about what is happening at home. And by that I am not suggesting that bad things are happening, but there might be areas that you are concerned about. You might want to try to provide a healthier diet or work on improving study skills. Blogging can help you do all of that and more.
And now if you’ll excuse me, Our House by Madness is playing on iTunes and I promised myself that I would go to sleep when that came on regardless of whether this post was finished or not.
Mitchell January 20, 2011 at 11:51 am
Couldn’t agree more, Jack. The reflection on my own parenting that has come since starting my blog just a few months ago has been so valuable. I am a better dad today because of my blog.
Jack January 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm
It is one of the distinct benefits that is provided by writing down your thoughts, feelings and ideas. It provides a way of measuring your progress.
otter321 January 18, 2011 at 12:12 pm
Blogging definitely helps me do some self examination. Often I find myself no living up to what I write. Then I at least realize my faults rather than just carrying on without any knowledge of my shortcomings.
Jack January 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm
Writing certainly makes it easier to track our thoughts, feelings and progress or lack thereof. I too pay attention to what I write and in that manner I can identify where I fall short.
Aidan Donnelley Rowley January 16, 2011 at 6:39 am
As you know, I wrote about, and responded, to the article. It is an interesting and inflammatory topic, yes, but I agree that this is much more about US than it is about one Yale Law prof mom and her tactics. I believe and wholeheartedly that only in asking questions, and in fumbling for answers (on blogs, in our lives) do we truly become better parents. Whatever that means. Great post!
Jack January 16, 2011 at 9:39 am
The process of asking, engaging and considering what we do and how we do it is very important.
subWOW January 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm
My feelings are conflicted towards that article. I grew up Chinese. (That sounds weird I know…) My parents were not like that: I was the one that pushed myself to study till 2, 3 am every night because my family was not wealthy, and I knew the only way for me to get ahead was to do well in school. My mother HAD to work and I remember quite a few mothers raised their eyebrows when they found out I was a latchkey kid and proceeded to forbid their children from playing with me. You see: working mother = unparented kid. I knew quite a few kids who were not allowed to do anything that did not contribute to academic advancement. One girl was not even allowed to read newspaper because her mom said, “The tests are not going to ask you what’s in the newspaper.” (And I did NOT make that up)
Jack January 16, 2011 at 9:37 am
I never believed that every Chinese parent was like that. There are clearly differences among people. From my perspective that drive that you talked about has to come from within or it doesn’t really matter anyway.
I understand the concern about latchkey kids- I wasn’t one but I knew several. We sometimes played together after school. When my mom found out she was concerned, but that is because they had a swimming pool and we were unsupervised.
Vincent January 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm
Parenting, as many of you well know, is an evolving process. Writing about one’s experiences helps the introspection and keeps the constant search for answers in the forefront. It also helps to be open to other ideas. The methods of parenting described in the Chinese Parenting WSJ article may or may not provide useful new insights. But I am thankful it allows for an open discussion. As of this writing, I am fairly certain that no culture in existence has a lock on the perfect form of parenting. We are and always will be human, a work in progress.
Vincent | CuteMonster.com
Jack January 16, 2011 at 9:34 am
Love the ending, very “Spock-like.” You are correct, we are constantly going to be adjusting our style and method of how we handle situations because our children will force us too. As they grow and change new challenges arise. It is a good thing.
Bruce Sallan January 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm
I didn’t see the Chinese Parenting WSJ article, but I’m sure it was interesting! Blogging, though I personally dislike that word, and prefer “writing,” is an “awesome” way to air your thoughts and get feedback about everything you care about and/or do. So, why wouldn’t it be great to help “you” with your parenting! Excellent point. At the very least, by writing about your parenting issues and struggles, you’ll get to think about them a bit further, let alone the feedback you might get that will help you be a better parent! That’s why my “A Dad’s Point-of-View” column and Facebook page strives for – for me and my readers. Nicely put, JB!
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm
I am very appreciative for all that blogging has brought me. It really has helped me focus on some issues that I wouldn’t have as well as made me consider things that might have slipped by me otherwise.
SeattleDad January 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm
I haven’t read the Chinese mom thing yet either, but I do agree with you. I think a lot more about my parenting because I am blogging so ofen about it.
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm
If I didn’t blog about parenting I would definitely miss things. It just forces me to pay more attention to what is going on in my life and most importantly, my children.
Nina January 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm
I absolutely agree! Blogging forces you to analyze your beliefs, articulate your values, and take a stand. Facts be damned. 😉
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm
Analyze, articulate and support- sounds like you just provided very powerful formula for blogging.
Clark Kent's Lunchbox January 14, 2011 at 11:57 am
Blogging is what made me so conscientious of my role as a father in the first place. Without it, I may have missed a lot and taken it for granted. And on another level, it keeps me accountable to a certain extent. I’m putting myself out there and I can’t be anymore fake about what I’m writing than i can in my parenting. I can’t go through the motions in either area and expect my kids to see me as genuine. One day, they may even judge me by the words I publish.
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm
We already judge you by the words you publish and those you don’t. 😉 But you are right about accountability- writing things down drives a sense of accountability to yourself. It is a reminder to own what you write and who you are.
subWOW January 15, 2011 at 11:10 pm
Very well said. Nicely done!
Cathy January 14, 2011 at 11:38 am
I couldn’t agree more – that writing helps clear the mind, organize your thoughts and the opportunity to be introspective. I think blogging makes you a better parent because it affords the opportunity to connect with other parents. I was thinking last night, I wonder what people prior to the age of technology (and I mean even motor vehicles), survived without so much social context. The loneliness of woman at home on the farm – did it exist? Where did they get their support. And everyone knows that parents NEED support.
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:40 pm
The connection with other parents is nice and for men it is something that we tend not to do much of. Fathers are less likely to ask for help or admit that we need it. Blogging provides an unobtrusive way to do it.
Galit Breen January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am
Love this post, Jack. Writing=therapy. & Outrage? Not so much.
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm
Writing is most definitely therapeutic.
Jared Karol January 14, 2011 at 8:28 am
haven’t read the Chinese woman’s post, but I agree with you about blogging. I wish I had more time, energy and ideas to blog more. I know, just an excuse. . . 🙂 thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts. Jared
Jack January 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm
Time is the hardest part to come by. Energy and ideas, well those can be found. Some of it is just practice.