“Noble and Benevolent” Parenting

“Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing. You don’t put kids under surveillance: it might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.” -Garrison Keillor, U.S. humorist & radio personality (1942- )

Think of all the stupid things you did as a kid. How many harmless mistakes did you make that actually taught you something, or at least serve as fodder for laughter now that you are grown? Don’t your kids deserve the same luxury? It would be an awful existence to have someone watching over your shoulder, evaluating not only what you are doing, but why you are doing it. If you really want to give your kids a great childhood, practice what Keillor calls “noble and benevolent” parenting; leave the micromanaging out and give your kids room to be kids. Above all, avoid the urge to ask them why they did something stupid. Chances are, they won’t know, and if they do, you won’t be pleased with the response.

-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting and ScreamFree Marriage