Welcome to Day #3 of my overview of the philosophies, perspectives and common sense wisdom of family psychologist John Rosemond with regards to parenting. You may not agree with everything that John Rosemond espouses as great parenting, but we have heard time and again that his strategies work for parents who have tried all the modern psychological science and methodologies and come up short when it comes to family stability and home environment.
John claims that parents today lose sleep at night, wondering what we did wrong or what awful errors we made in our parenting. In America, we worship self-sufficiency and when we can’t solve a problem or live up to our own expectations, we feel like failures. We read, re-read and read again more articles about the parents we should be. We believe that we are dealing with an overwhelming force that we can’t handle alone and so the vicious cycle continues of seeking professional help from the people that are “supposed” to know more about raising our children than we do!
According to Rosemond, children (over time) respond best to, and most effectively learn from, parents who display confident, calm and relaxed leadership and authority in the home, balanced with love! Those last three words are KEY! Rosemond’s philosophies are based on the biblical exhortation to “train up a child” which means discipling. Rosemond claims that discipline is the “process by which you transform the ‘little criminal’ (a sinful, self-centered child) into a disciple who will eventually respect you, look up to you and obey your leadership. He states, “We can NOT lift our kids UP without being in a position of authority” and says that parental responsibility is to our society and culture. However, he warns that we are too busy and focused on our children’s individual desires, not only in our child-rearing but to the detriment our marriages. We are no longer listening to our hearts.
Unfortunately, we have become too obsessed with secular chatter and what Rosemond calls “psychological parent-babble” to listen to our hearts. This secular chatter comes to us in many forms especially media, magazines, TV shows, newspapers, books, (blogs!)…we’re inundated. The crux of the matter is that suddenly parenting has become extremely complicated because it is no longer based on common sense. The difference between “psychological parenting” and “scriptural parenting” comes down to the question: who is the authority? Not only the authority in the home but the authority on parenting…and God was suddenly taken out of the equation. (BTW: We do exasperate our children when we don’t bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord! That is how we need to interpret Ephesians 6:4!)
Rosemond wrote a book entitled, Parenting by the Book, (the Book- referring to the Bible of course, which we highly recommend!) In it, there is a chart that breaks down the difference between the Postmodern Psychological point of view and the Biblically-based point of view on parenting. The differences in the two views are fundamental! While the humanistic and behavioral approaches (Postmodern) stressed high self-esteem and behavior modification to shape behavior, the Biblical point of view (to which Rosemond later espoused) teaches that children are fundamentally sinful (did you ever have to teach a toddler to be selfish and self-centered?) and that modesty and humility are much more desirable than self-esteem in the long run. Because of free-will, behavior modification is a losing proposition.
John Rosemond advocated much of the Postmodern Psychological shift in parenting until the year 2000 when his relationship with Jesus Christ changed and profoundly influenced his view on parenting. He realized at that point that parental responsibilities, steeped in biblical foundations, were the most functional parenting paradigm. Our grandmothers had it right after all, and most of the post modern psychologists were trying to “reinvent the wheel”. Rosemond’s goal is to reintroduce the conservative, leadership-style parenting point of view which, in retrospect did work best, until the baby as thrown out with the bath water in the 1960’s! He clearly states that these are not his ideas, but rather old veins of understanding that need to be re-articulated for a contemporary audience of young moms and dads, in a coherent way that hasn’t been explained in over 50 years!
Tomorrow I will be posting about Rosemond’s perspective on how and where we went wrong in our society by adhering to the Post Modern Psychological Community…and then Wednesday through Friday, I will explain John’s Seasonal Model of Parenting and then give some logical conclusions regarding what we are seeing today and why! Join me tomorrow for the last bit of background and stay tuned the rest of the week for a great way to look at parenting! Until then…
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