That sounds really mean, doesn’t it? Hear me out as I make that case that sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.
“Children Are Anti-Fragile”
In a broader discussion of what he calls the vindictive attack culture on college campuses, Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist and professor of business ethics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says:
A carton of eggs is fragile, if you bang it around it breaks. But bone is anti-fragile. If you bang it around it gets stronger, and if you don’t bang it around it gets weaker. Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. [bold added by me]
I’ve been thinking about this in terms of parenting, adoptive parenting and modern culture.
Continue reading I Want My Kids to Struggle
When I’m dissatisfied with someone, I can often trace the feeling to a dissatisfaction with myself.
So, if I could truly love myself, would I more easily love those around me?
I’m critical. I may get that from my dad. He always wants to make things better — a good trait. But here’s what would happen when I showed him a school project or essay. Continue reading Perfect Imperfections
A man feels a burning desire to paint. For 25 years, he studies art, makes art, works menial jobs to pay the bills, and calls himself an artist,a painter. He never sells a painting. He stays focused on his internal flame, even in the complete absence of any external fanning of it.
Does this dedication, this focus, this single-mindedness make the man a winner or a loser?
Your best friend fancies herself a dancer. She has unwavering dedication to her practice and to her dream of becoming a professional dancer. However it seems clear to you and to others that she has neither the physique nor the talent to achieve her goal.
Would you support her best by encouraging her in this dream or by gently helping her to see other options for herself?
Continue reading Too Much of a Good Thing
Question: Everyone says that adoption is different now than it was in previous eras.
Is it really? Is it actually different for adoptees? Even with open adoptions, the adoptee will still have to process all it means to be adopted. Are the adoptive parents really ready and willing to do this alongside their son or daughter?
I see posts from adoptive parents that show they can’t or don’t want to deal with issues of rejection or low self-esteem or the whys of adoption. They don’t say that, of course. Instead I see them congratulate themselves for helping their child stop feeling those feelings, but it seems to me that they’re really stopping the child from expressing those feelings.
The adoptee’s needs cannot be met when adoption is hyped as solely a positive event. Until parents treat it as a neutral fact of how they build their family, and until they deal with their own stuff and acknowledge the complexity of adoption, the adoptee experience is not much changed.
Really. Tell me how adoption is different these days.
Continue reading Is Adoption Today Really Better than Before?