The New York Times likes to publish a lot of opinion pieces about parenting, it seems. Usually about how much Americans suck at it. (and I might as well throw in a link to this New Yorker article, they are also fans of criticizing American parents.)
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy an intelligent read about why mainstream American parenting is failing our children as much as the next hippie mama…but I’m frustrated by judgement and generalizations, and criticisms that don’t help anything.
So I enjoyed Raising Successful Children because it actually takes a stand for something, not against something. Which I found refreshing. Not to mention I found the thesis itself very helpful. And this line:
One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for.
…sums up everything I believe about parenting, and life in general. (Also why I love the Waldorf philosophy.) The best life I can give Z means me living my best life. It’s all connected.
I also have to share this line:
…the child’s job is to grow, yours is to control your anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of his reasonable moves toward autonomy.
Because…wow, if there were ever any advice that applies to every situation in parenting (I know, there isn’t…but if there was!) that’s it. I really needed to read that.
And now, a few things from my remarkably helpful friends…
I have mentioned before that I’m not all that interested in sewing. I don’t know, it just never appealed to me, it always struck me as too fussy and detail-oriented.
But lately…I feel myself slowing down a bit, and needing to be more frugal, and it has started to seem like something I might want to learn. So I asked my friend Catherine (who I have known since we were bitter corporate-office-workers living in Washington DC–which was at least three lifetimes ago, for both of us!) where to start and she wrote an excellent post in response: So You Wanna Sew, Eh?
Check her out if you are interested in sewing. Or if you like cookies. Or bitching. She is good at all three
Continuing along in the theme of things I need help with…we have been working on a front patio remodel and it means our whole front yard has been re-configured and I’m going to have space for more plantings (yay! will share pictures soon). I want some herbs that have medicinal or cooking uses, and I’m especially looking for ones that stay green in the winter and require very little maintenance.
So! The Neglected Part of Our Farm from Carrie Anne was super helpful. I swear there is a huge market for “neglectful gardening” tips! I would totally buy a book on that.
Check out the rest of Carrie Anne’s blog for thoughtful stories of her adventures living on a farm outside of Seattle.
What about you? Any neglectful gardening tips? Beginner sewing tips? Criticism of American parents?