"In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock first published his infamous book, “Common
Sense Book of Baby and Child Care,” which was unlike any that came before
it. Instead of stressing the importance of teaching self-denial and respect for
authority, Spock discouraged directive training and emphasized accommodating
children’s feelings and catering to their preferences. No longer did children
learn they could endure Brussels sprouts and suffer through daily chores. Using
Spock’s approach, parents began to feed self-indulgence instead of instilling self-
control – homes were becoming child-centered. As parents elevated children’s
'freedom of expression' and natural cravings, children became more outspoken,
defiant and demanding of gratification. In fact, they came to view gratification as
We, at Forefront Families LLC, believe that a successful home is:
We do not believe in a 'child-centered' home. When a baby comes along, the whole world naturally revolves around the baby and its needs in that home. It can’t tell the parents what it wants, so it cries until its needs are answered. In most cases the child becomes less and less needy and then will need to learn to fit in with the parents' plans. The child does not need to grow up believing that it is the center of the universe.
Before a couple have children they usually only have themselves and their own stuff to think about. It seems that for the next 18 years the parents’ lives are filled with everything their kids want or need, and they think they will never regain those wonderful early years.
WE HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU!
1) This is your home. You are the parent directors of all that goes on within.
2) As children get beyond the toddler stage, they need to learn that they are part of the family not the central feature! Parents, you are part of the family, not mobile robots that hover to answer your children's every whim. No, you need to work towards each family member becoming an equal part of the family operation and sharing the load. It is vitally important that each member of the family is loved and cared for equally and given their moments to shine and be appreciated, and that includes YOU.
3) The older the kids grow, the more they need to understand the concept that life is not all about them. Parents are not purely taxi drivers, restaurant chefs, laundry service proprietors, or money machines.
4) The home is total family orientated. That means everyone in the family get's involved in doing things together as well as doing things for themselves. Parents, you need to keep your own lives and interests intact. When our children were young we both (at different times) completed our university qualifications. We had full time jobs, had a dance band, ran a hobby farm and were very involved in church activities. Our kids came with us to many functions and we attended their school or sports activities as we were able.
5) Healthy families are outwardly focused. This means that they are not only interested in their own stuff, but they care about the community. It is most important for parents to teach their kids to be aware of, AND respond to, the needs of others. This might mean, as a family you sponsor a child from a third world country, or give up some Christmas money to buy a goat or cow for one of these needy families overseas. (We know of families doing this.) It might involve helping an elderly neighbor, carrying groceries, welcoming new folks to the neighborhood with some goodies, doing some baking to give away or volunteering time for Habitat for Humanity or some such organization.
Families who play and do things together remain committed to one another no matter how old they become. These days, more than ever, the bond of the family is priceless.
Written by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC