Having trouble raising your children? Join the crowd. There are lots of parenting books, but here’s one you should know about: "Raising Children You Can Live With" by Jamie Raser. He has an approach to parenting that is not about "picking your battles", but about staying out of battles altogether and talking with your child in a way that doesn’t lead to shouting, screaming and anger. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Listen to Jamie Raser talk about his ideas in this episode of The Psych Files.
Parenting is not a series of "techniques" or "manipulations" designed to gain control over another human being. When parents are in control of themselves and [the way they interact with their children], children will learn to control themselves. – Jamie Raser, Raising Children You Can Live With
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select–doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. John Watson, Behaviorism (1930). Thanks to the Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis for the complete quote (see the final sentence – italics mine).
Resources on Parenting
- You can contact Jamie using his email address: jraser AT dpisd DOT org.
- Research showing that spanking children does not work:
- Gershoff, I. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579.
- Kazdin, A. E., & Benjet, C. (2003). Spanking children: Evidence and Issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 12, 99-103.
Although physical punishment may produce immediate compliance – children typically stop the behavior spanking is meant to end – there are a number of serious long-term side effects. For example, spanking is associated with lower quality parent-child relationships, poorer mental health for both child and parent, higher levels of delinquency, and more antisocial behavior. In addition, children who experience higher levels of spanking are less able to develop their own inner sense of right and wrong…Spanking also teaches children that violence is an acceptable solution to prolems by serving as a model of violent, aggressive behavior. – Robert Feldman, Development Across the Life Span