“I’m Not A Frog-Boiler!”

by Scott Noelle

When you reject authoritarian, coercive parenting in favor of non-punitive, partnership parenting, critics and naysayers will warn you that your child won’t be able to cope in the “real” world.

The assumption is that “it’s a jungle out there” and we should gradually toughen up our kids and get them used to suffering so they won’t be shocked when they venture out into the big, bad world.

It’s like the 19th-century experiments in which frogs put in painfully hot water would leap out immediately, while frogs placed in cool water that was heated very slowly were able to adjust to the excessive heat.

The slow boil seems more humane, but those “well-adjusted” frogs eventually died from the heat! Whereas the non-adjusted frogs’ intact sensitivity protected them from being boiled.

Improve Your Groove

Today, look for evidence that your child’s sensitivity is intact (i.e., reacting to unwanted conditions) and be grateful for it! Tell yourself, “My child will never get boiled!”

Originally published on 2007-03-23
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