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Hold kids responsible for their behavior
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One of the defining features of today’s parenting mindset is guilt. Mothers seem to be especially susceptible to this psychological virus — today’s moms, that is. Fifty years ago, before the psychological parenting revolution, mothers were more immune to guilt. Back then, when a child behaved badly, the mother
made the child feel guilty.
These days, when a child behaves badly, the child’s
mother is likely to experience
the guilt due the offense.
This has happened because today’s moms believe parenting produces the child. That’s understandable. After all, if one goes to a mental health professional because of some problem, the overwhelming likelihood is that the MHP is going to ask questions about the person’s childhood.
Mainstream psychological theory is hard pressed to explain how a person who grows up with every conceivable advantage takes a hard left turn as a young adult and winds up trashing his life, much less that he keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over again.
The only conclusion: Parenting does not produce the child. Parenting is an influence, but in the final analysis, the child produces himself.
Prior to the age of psychological parenting, parents understood they could only do so much. They understood that no matter how “good” their parenting was, their children were still capable on any given day of doing bad things. In the final analysis, therefore, their children were responsible for their own behavior. Back in those days, when a child misbehaved, the parents weren’t likely to agonize over it, punishing themselves. They punished him.
All too many of today’s parents, in the same circumstances, punish themselves. They agonize. They feel bad. Consequently, children are not being held fully responsible.
I propose that parental stress is due to parents holding themselves responsible for their children’s misbehavior. Much of their unhappiness is because children are not being held responsible for their own behavior.

Psychologist Rosemond answers questions on his Web site:
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