Not child rearing, mind you, but parenting...it's wacky.ParentGuru: Better Parenting Starts Here
Hello and welcome, or welcome back, as the case may be to, because I said so, I'm your host, john Roseman. This is the only podcast on the entire World Wide Web where you will hear the truth about America's mental health industry, and you will hear the truth about children and child rearing From a psychologist. Yes, the theme of this podcast ongoing is simply the mental health industry in America has made a train wreck out of child rearing. They have turned it into something called parenting, which is a complete and utter disaster. No way, anyway, you look at it, last week's episode episode, is that the right word for this? The episode Last week's episode dealt with the dysfunction known as parenting today, today, in this episode, I'm going to expand upon that theme by expanding. Expanding by expanding on the psychosis of parenting. And yes, parenting is both a dysfunction and a psychosis. It's a mess and it's crazy. The example I'm going to use to illustrate my point concerns putting children to bed. Putting children to bed what an interesting topic People never really talked about up until recently. Why? Because once upon a time, not so long ago, putting a child to bed was no big deal. My mother, who was, by the way, a single parent from Moe's to the first seven years of my life. My mother, for example, simply, when it came time for me to go to bed, told me to get ready for bed, which is something that even a three-year-old ought to be able to accomplish without help. Yes, even brushing teeth. I mean, where brushing teeth is concerned, folks who cares if a three-year-old does it properly, like it matters, all of his teeth are going to fall out anyway. When I'd finished my preparations for bed, mom would see me to bed, read me a short story, tuck me in, say a short prayer, give me a kiss, say sleep tight, see you in the morning and leave my room, turning out the lights as she departed. And about the story she read me, if it went on for too long, she would close the book after five minutes or so and say I'll read the rest tomorrow night. And I did weep and wail with an Olympian mightiness. No, I'm just kidding. I went to sleep. I did not weep and wail, nor did I invent reasons to get out of bed multiple times, asking for this or that, wanting to share a thought or one more kiss. I did not wake in the middle of the night and seek my mother. I went to sleep. I slept soundly and I rose the next morning a complete basket case because of the trauma of sleeping alone, just kidding. And I woke and like most kids, I was raring to meet the new day. I never gave any thought to the fact that there was a bedtime and when it was bedtime you got into bed and you went to sleep. I mean, I just never thought there was any alternative to that. Back in the day, before the psychosis, a child's bedtime was no big deal, it was no drama. Mothers didn't lie down with their children until they were asleep. Children did not wake up at 2 am and get into their parents' beds and begin kicking them. There was no weeping, there was no wailing. And then, around 1980, for a variety of reasons, all equally stupid the parenting psychosis of bedtime began. I won't go into the details but from all indication it began because of a book titled the Family Bed, written by a bored housewife in Minnesota named Tyne I guess that's how you pronounce her name T-I-N-E. It's a Minnesota name Tyne Sevenin Both of those names are great Minnesota names. Tyne Sevenin, sevenin proposed that children who were made to sleep in their own beds felt abandoned. Children should sleep with their parents. She said thus the title of her book, the Family Bed. Sevenin maintained that a child's mental health depended upon it. Funny that I never felt abandoned when my mother left my room and turned out the lights. I don't remember feeling anything. In fact it seemed rather natural and commonsensical to a young John Rosemond. Notwithstanding that Sevenin had pulled her pseudo-psychological take on bedtime out of thin air, her book caught on and spread like wildfire throughout the country, like woke propaganda from MSNBC, when children began sleeping in their parents' beds. To be clear, when I use the term their parents' beds, I am referring to the marital bed. Suddenly, many marital beds across the USA contain not two people but three, four and even five people. One couple I counseled told me they had pushed two king beds together to accommodate themselves and they're four children. I didn't make that up. Truth is stranger than fiction. When the husband in question simply would not agree to having a child or children sleep in the emeritole bed, the mother in question would lie down with the child or children until he or she was asleep. Often times, when mom thought a child was asleep and mom got out of his or her bed, said child would wake up and begin screaming and mom would end up spending the night in the little tyrant's bed. As you might imagine, marriages came apart over this. Sometimes a marriage in question came apart, but no one mentioned it and people just kept living together. Children must have started talking with one another about this, because it wasn't long before bedtime. Once a rather unremarkable affair Became a full-blown psychosis featuring screaming children, children who wouldn't stay in their beds, children who wouldn't fall asleep until midnight. Emotionally exhausted parents, crying mothers, fathers, angry fathers, who began yelling at the tops of their lungs around ten pm, and barking dogs more intelligent dogs just hid under furniture. I seem to be holding mothers responsible for all this drama, don't I? Well, mostly I am. My vast experience says that for every nine mothers who got into bed with their kids, there was one father. Why is that? Because fathers, by and large, don't care if children don't like something. The typical father, if his kids don't like something, is inclined to tell them to suck it up and get over it Maybe not in that language, but in equivalent language whereas the typical mother I should clarify, the typical post-1960s mother who has read lots of parenting books written by psychologists that mother, if her kids don't like something, wants to alleviate their psychological pain. In this case, that often means lying down at bedtime with them. The sorts of nonsensical things today's super-psychologized mothers are doing has nothing to do with being a woman, by the way. So don't accuse me of sexism, because mothers in the old school days didn't much care if their children liked a certain arrangement or rule or not. If a child in the 1950s cried at bedtime, for example, both parents just let him cry. If he got out of bed he might have gotten spanking. The spanking might have come from his mother. Mothers were no-nonsense people back then. They were formidable female authority figures. Today, many, if not most, american moms have no spines. Sorry to say it, ladies, and if you don't like me saying you have no spines, then I challenge you to prove me wrong. Most of the questions parents ask me concern one of five things Insane tantrums in children three and older, colliderant defiance in children three and older, children of any age who refuse to eat what's put in front of them, Children three and older who refuse to use the toilet and children who make a drama out of bedtime. In every single case, the parent has caused the problem and then wants me to tell them how to solve it To their credit in most cases, but not all the parents realize they have caused the problem. Here's a true story of a bedtime psychosis that I was, dare I say, instrumental in curing Billy's parents. Billy is not his real name, but it's close enough. Billy's parents called me and told me that Billy, age four, was keeping them up until midnight, coming out of his room over and over again, wanting another story, wanting one more kiss, wanting to tell them something, wanting to ask a question, wanting a different teddy, wanting to know how many days it was until Christmas, wanting this, wanting that, wanting, wanting, wanting, as most parents are. By the time they call me, billy's parents were on the edge of insanity, and sometimes the edge gave way. I asked Dad if he was handy with tools. He was, so I instructed him to cut Billy's door above the knob, cut it all the way across, making what is called a Dutch door, or used to be called. Cut Billy's door all the way across above the knob, turn the knob around, rehang the lower two-thirds of the door and tell Billy that on any given night he could come out of his room after being put to bed. And, by the way, the bedtime ritual I told him was to last no more than five minutes, which was considerably down from the normal forty-five minutes. Billy could come out of his room after being put to bed one time. You know, if he had a question, he could ask the question. His parents would answer the question. If he wanted another drink of water, they'd give him another drink of water. But if he came out a second time he'd be put back to bed and his two-thirds door would be locked so he could see out. But he couldn't get out and it would stay locked until morning. Oh, if they had to lock the door, they would call out we're still here, billy, and life is still good every ten minutes or so. But they would not go back to his room under any circumstances, even if Billy suddenly went from screaming to complete silence. Oh, john, billy's mother said I just don't know if I can do that. Do what I asked. Well, I mean, lock him in his room. Does he have a nice room? I asked. Mom said, and I said do you want this over with as quickly as possible or do you want this bedtime drama to drag on for years, years? They both looked at me and asked yes, years, and that is my most conservative estimate folks, no kidding. I've heard of this taking place with children as old as 13, 14, and 15. Ofre, come together to engage. Read this comic. No, we don't want it to last for years, they said. Then lock his door. He'll scream bloody murder for the first two or three nights and then he'll realize the game is up and that will be the end of it. And however reluctantly— Note, dad was not reluctant at all, because men have no feelings Police parents did what I told them to do and the drama was over after three absolutely horrifying nights. I have a job Because of that crazy little psychotic thing called parenting. It's not a bad gig, actually, and that's a wrap. You've been listening to, because I Said so with your host, john Roseman. More information can be had at parentgurucom JohnRosemancom, my weekly sub-stack at substackcom. On my websites you will find my speaking schedule. In the winter I am going to be speaking in Melrose, massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston. I'm going to be speaking on two separate occasions in fact in Melrose, I'm going to be speaking in California. It looks as if, anyway, that's not actually confirmed and contracted yet, but it looks as if I will be speaking in Southern California. I will only tell you at this point. It will be in the San Diego area and it looks like I will be speaking somewhere close in February to Dulles International Airport. And I will tell you no more than that at this point in time. More details will be forthcoming. Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for joining me. If you enjoyed it, tell all your friends and remember keep on rocking in the free world, because if we don't keep rocking it, we are going to lose it.