I wrote a book titled The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting. In it, I detailed my strategy for how to handle parenting duties on the weekends. I’d recently gotten divorced, and the divorce decree stated that I would (or could, I don’t remember how it was worded, but it didn’t matter so much because my ex-wife and I could communicate effectively and we both put the children as our top priority) have them every weekend.
Well, hidey-ho! What does a weekend dad do when the kids get dropped off at 5 pm on a Friday? As I developed techniques for keeping the kids occupied and at the same time on a good learning curve as well as teaching them how to play (this is a valuable skill that I think gets overlooked in the parenting milieu), I began taking notes and it turned into a book.
Well, here’s my question. If a Ph.D. student were to compile a list of authors of parenting books. I would like to know the success rate of these authors with regard to parenting. Of course, that’s a difficult thing to measure, but we can establish at least a few ground rules.
– the child is not in jail
– the child is not living in the basement at a parent’s house – the child is a contributing member of society
– the child call parents for advice
-the child’s siblings are all on speaking terms
then, the parents have accomplished a good deal of their parenting goals. But here’s my point. It takes a lot of chutzpah to put out a book that claims to lay out a strategy for raising successful children. I understood that. And to see my children blossom is wonderful and an affirmation to the parenting ideas I put forward in my book. I mean, what parent would love to boast about having one child earning a Ph.D. in physics, another about to earn a Ph.D. in education, and a third child about to earn a B.S. in social studies and work toward bettering the lives of the disadvantaged?
So, I’m wondering if some Ph.D. wannabe could analyze the data, see which parenting techniques work on the basis of feedback from the authors of parenting books (and other investigative techniques), and provide some insight as to which parenting techniques are unquestionably good (playing in sandboxes when they’re young) or unquestionably bad (giving kids uninterrupted screen time). Of course, that leads me to a question which might well be a topic of this blog down the road; namely, if such a blueprint were published and accessible, would it make a difference? Would parents be receptive to being told how to parent?