Monday, May 18, 2015

Parenting and Intelligence

There are some people who believe that they should be hitting children in order that they not be spoiled; and there are other people who believe that violence against all children is taboo. I tend to side with the second group.

My daughter is a very well-behaved child; and I have not needed to use violence to make her that way. I treat her as an intelligent form of life. When she does something wrong, I explain to her why it is wrong, and she does not do it any more.

Maybe I got lucky to have a good child; and maybe some other parents are not so lucky. Maybe there are many children who, as they say in Australia, are “ratbags.” But my experience as a parent shows that one does not need to use the rod in order to get the child to behave rightfully. Engaging the child's intelligence works a lot better, especially for a smart kid.

When I was 5 years old, my grandmother was punishing me corporally for something, and my uncle Lev said, “That's not how you do it with him.” He then proceeded to explain to me why what I was doing was wrong. This left a huge impression on me, and in my own parenting I've used the same methodology. I do not beat my daughter. When she misbehaves, I explain to her why what she is doing is wrong.

Does this mean that she is going to grow up spoiled? I do not think so. More likely, she will grow up to be an intelligent person who knows right from wrong. So far this is the direction in which she is heading. And I absolutely hope that this direction takes her through life.


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