Parenting was invented by mental health professionals. Childrearing was made possible by God. Guess which is easier.ParentGuru: Better Parenting Starts Here
Hello and welcome to yet another exciting episode of Because I Said so the only podcast on the entire worldwide web where you will hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about psychology, the mental health professions in general, children and what is now called parenting, which ought to be child rearing. To be honest about it, I'm your host, john Roseman. For more about me and my mission slash ministry to families, you can go to parent guru dot com or johnroseman dot com. And please remember that I've also got a weekly sub stack which you can find at sub stack dot com. So the contemporary narrative concerning the simple act of raising a child, which God endowed us with the common sense, intuition and biblical direction to do properly, and which human beings seem to have done without great angst or hoopla for millennia, is quote raising a child is the hardest thing you will ever do. And quote raising a child is the hardest thing you will ever do. John Hannity says so. The gals on the view say so must be true. No, it is not the hardest thing you will ever do. Take it from someone who's done it is stay happily married for 55 years and counting. Why is that so hard? Because staying married for life requires self denial, which is the hardest of challenges for a human being. Why do so many people think child rearing is so hard? I'll answer that for you in a moment, but first ponder this your great grandmother probably raised two, three and possibly four times as many children as you are raising. Do you think she thought it was the hardest thing she had ever done, or whatever do? No, she did not. I've spoken to a good number of women, your great grandmother's age assuming you're in your 30s or 40s. I've asked them Did you feel, and did your female peers feel, that raising a child was the most difficult thing you had ever done or would ever do? The answer from 100% of said women and I've talked to hundreds was no, john, it was just something you did, or words to that effect. Just something you did. The women in question did lots of things. They did wife, they did friend, they did sister, they did neighbor, they did volunteer work, believe it or not, many of them did jobs outside the home and they did mother. However, unlike so many of today's mothers, the women in question women of my mother's generation and before did not allow mother to consume them body and soul. In most cases they were wives first, mothers second. I call it part-time parenting. They were part-time moms. Today's moms are full-time, even if they work outside the home. They're full-time moms. They can't stop thinking about their kids. That's why they are called moms who work outside the home. That is that's why they're called working moms. Most of you out there in listener land don't know that when my mother was raising me as a working single woman, a woman with children who worked outside the home was called either a working woman or a working wife, not a working mom. Furthermore, and along the same lines, a woman with children who did not work outside the home was referred to as a house wife, not a stay-at-home mom. Both of those terms working mom and stay-at-home mom are post-1960s terminologies. In the 1950s and before, women with children were house wives and working wives. Are you getting this? Today there's stay-at-home moms and working mothers Once wives, now mothers. When did that turn of phrase occur? In the early 1970s, that's when. And when did raising a child suddenly become the most difficult thing a human being would ever do? In the early 1970s, that's when. Isn't that interesting? Yes, it is Most peculiar. Mama, as John Lennon once said. What else happened in the early 1970s. Well, I'll tell you, american parents began listening to psychologists and other mental health professional types. That's what, when it came to the rearing of children? Correlation doesn't prove cause, but in this case, correlation and cause are one and the same. In the early 1970s, american parents stopped going to their elders for child rearing advice and began seeking it instead from psychologists and other people with capital letters after their names. The advice people got from their elders was common, sensical, it was easy to understand. The advice people got and still get from psychologists is often theoretical, hard to understand and difficult to translate into action. When elders were the go-to when it came to children and the strange things they sometimes do, elders reassured and cause parents to feel a greater sense of confidence in their authority. Psychological advice is often confusing and causes parents, moms especially, to feel inadequate and even guilty. I've gone into the bogus nature of psychological testing, psychological diagnoses, psychological therapies and psychiatric medications in previous episodes of this exciting and provocative podcast series, so I won't repeat those herein. Suffice to say, seeking child rearing advice from psychologists and remember I am one has been a train wreck. Part of the train wreck, the good amount of it, in fact, is the stress, the anxiety, the frustration, confusion and anger that today's parents so often feel concerning and toward their children, especially today's female parents, who are under tremendous peer pressure to conform to a completely, utterly ludicrous set of standards concerning what it means to be a good mummy and what is required in order to be a good mummy in the eyes of the other mummies, who are constantly watching and evaluating and whispering to one another about one another, as if they all live in the former Soviet Union. If you obtain your child rearing advice from psychologists or other mental health ding-dongs, you're likely to worry about your children constantly. Psychologists make everything sound apocalyptic. They're experts at making mountains out of molehills and then, after making a mountain out of a molehill, they tell you that you can only climb and get over the mountain if you rely on their guidance. Well, consider this. Since American parents began taking their marching orders from mental health types, the mental health of America's children has deteriorated by a factor of at least ten. Where, oh where, is the evidence that mental health professional advice has improved the mental health of children? There is none. Zero, nada, zilch. The raising of a children is, in truth, a relatively simple matter. It's not as simple as tightening a nut on a bolt or putting one foot in front of the other and walking down the street, but it's far less complicated and mind-boggling than the experts would have. You believe I happen to know the secret to raising well-behaved, respectful children while retaining complete control of one's sanity. Are you taking notes? Are you ready? Because here's the secret in five words, and I'll repeat them so that you who write slowly, can get them all. Here is the secret of raising well-behaved, respectful children while retaining complete control of your sanity. Here it is, five words Act like a superior being. Act like a superior being. To elaborate act like you know what you're doing, even when you don't Act like you don't need a parenting roadmap, even when you do. Most parents these days don't act like they know what they're doing. They act like their children know what they should be doing. They ask their children questions like are you ready to go home yet? And where would you like to go on vacation? And what would you like for dinner? And how about let's pick up these toys together, okay? A superior being would not ask questions of that sort. Superior beings make statement, they declare, they assert, they affirm, they make pronouncements. So superior beings would say we're going home now and for our vacation this year, we're going to donate our time to building homes for the poor in rural Mexico and we're having roast beast and shiitake mushroom gravy for dinner and you're picking up these toys and no, I'm not helping you, I have enough to do. That's how superior beings speak. They speak with authority. I call it alpha speech. Alpha speech, followed by because I said so, is how to get children to obey. Yes, you heard me right, because I said so. When you begin using alpha speech, your children will ask why and why not? They will ask those questions. They're fake questions, actually, because part of Alpha Speech is not explaining yourself. When you don't explain yourself, your children will ask for explanations. Why will they ask for explanations? Because they've learned that if they can get you to explain yourself, they can get you into an argument, and children always win arguments with parents. They always win arguments because parents who allow themselves to get into arguments with children have lowered themselves. They have diminished themselves, and when you diminish yourself, your children have won Period. Under the circumstances, it doesn't matter what the outcome of the argument is. You've lowered yourself. You've lost the Alpha Speech method of answering children who ask why and why not, is because I said so. Another characteristic of superior beings is superior beings keep their cool at all times, even under fire. I was talking with a woman the other day who told me her fourteen-year-old daughter speaks disrespectfully to her in front of the younger siblings. I asked said mother how she reacts and she said she becomes upset and sends her fourteen-year-old daughter to her room. Has that worked? I asked. No, the mom told me it may have even made matters worse. Then why are you continuing to do it, I asked, to which she had no good answer. Remember, the operational definition of irrational is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. Folks, in the first place, there are some problems that consequences will not solve and may even make worse, and this was one such problem. The problem with this girl's sassy mouth had started when she was three years old. It had been going on for eleven years, during which time the mom in question had sent her to her room hundreds of times. At fourteen, the girl was immune to being sent to her room. Mom needed a new approach. I told her to stop using consequences when the girl was sassy Instead of sending her to her room, I said simply ignore her sass and go on with whatever you're doing. Then later, maybe when you're putting her to bed, say something like you know. I need to tell you that, talking the way you talk to me this afternoon in front of your younger brothers and sisters, it just wasn't good. You're the oldest child and, whether you like it or not, you're a role model for them. They look up to you and you need to be setting a positive example for them and just leave it at that. Will that approach solve the problem? I don't know. I flunked fortune-telling in graduate school, but I do know this. That approach because it isn't combative, it isn't retaliatory, will not make matters worse, and I also know this. Sometimes something you do as a parent doesn't begin working for months and perhaps even years to come. Case in point my daughter Amy, who is 51 years old and manages my business operations. She's told me that when she was a teenager, she absolutely hated me for some of the things I did Like, refusing to sympathize with her when I thought she was engaging in drama over some minor disappointment. She has since told me that every single one of the things she hated me for way back then was the right thing for me to have done. The moral of the story the manner in which a child reacts to a decision you, an adult, make or an action you take, is rarely indication of the appropriateness of the decision or the action. And that's a wrap. You've been listening to Because I Said so. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you'll join us next week and the week after and enjoy it again and again and again. In the meantime, folks, as usual, keep on rockin' in the free world.