Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Parenting by the Book" thoughts

I am absolutely engrossed in this book! There are so many excellent points made in this book and themes explored, I couldn't possibly dive into all the things I want to, so let me just choose a few:

Okay, first "OF COURSE!" realization:

Rosemond talks a lot about "self-esteem" versus "humility." He talks about how much parents, teachers, society in general emphasize and prioritize building up a child's self-esteem. Scripture, however, clearly teaches humility:

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

"The last will be first, and the first will be last." Matthew 20:16

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11

It's interesting to note that people who have high-self esteem have low self-control, especially when they aren't getting their way. In the "obvious, but so easily overlooked" tone of this book, I like the point that the higher one's self-esteem, the lower one regard's for the rights of others. Humility is the opposite of self-esteem.

As a teacher, it always sounded good to me, right? "Self-esteem"...sure, I want my students to have high-self esteem, but I never thought of it in such a "picked apart" way..."Yesterday's teachers dealt with the occasional behavior problem; today's teachers deal with an epidemic of kids with so-called "behavior problems" all of which are variations on the theme of low self-control."

Sort of hard to argue, huh?...

A person with high self-esteem tends to feel entitled, right?...

And it's obvious in the workplace too...young people just entering the workplace (and I'm not pointing fingers, because my age group is included in this) have no problem questioning authority and management. "After all, it takes an abundance of self-esteem for a person in his early twenties to tell a forty-something supervisor that he's right, the supervisor's wrong, and if the supervisor doesn't like it, too bad."

"Nor is a high level of confidence in one's own ability necessarily a good thing. Researchers have found that people with high self-esteem regularly overestimate their abilities, to their ultimate detriment. Because they are so sure of their superiority, they are likely to approach tasks, especially challenging ones, without having invested adequate effort in practice and preparation. Therefore, they are likely to perform less well than people with lesser ability and lesser self-confidence who, realizing their shortcomings, do their homework."

"Don't be fooled! Self-respect and self-esteem are not, as many seem to think, synonymous. They are actually polar opposites. Self-respect develops as one treats others with respect and dignity, no matter their situation. As respect is given away, self-respect grows within. This creates a constant 'feedback loop' - as one treats others with respect, self-respect develops, thus enhancing one's respectful treatment of others, and so on. In the vernacular, 'what goes around comes around'"

And connected to this is the phenomenon is the idea Rosemond presents of "Trophy Children." Because skills are associated with high self-esteem (as opposed to manners, suggests Rosemond), parents focus on spending enormous efforts and time dedicated to getting children involved in sports, after-school activities, enrichment in about any kind of activity you can imagine. Now, don't get me wrong, I think a healthy amount of extra-curricular activities is good for a child, but just look at an elementary-age child's afternoon schedule, and you can see it can be extreme.

I saw this firsthand when I was teaching in the form of notes sent to school from the parent asking me to excuse their child from their homework -- even taking a test one time -- because basketball practice had gone until 9:30.

I didn't excuse her from taking the test, by the way...

Anyhow, just a little food for thought. If these words sparked your interest, I highly recommend reading this book. Then, maybe I can talk about this with a human rather than a keyboard :-) No, Jason has added this to his long que of books to read :-).

What do you all think of some of the ideas I've shared???? Do Rosemond's ideas sound "sound" or crazy? Curious to hear your thoughts! I love thinking about these kind of things!

PS-If these ideas seem choppy, remember I'm just pulling notes from lots of different places in the book; I didn't spend time specifically organizing the best way to present the material. Just wanted to get it out there :-)


  1. Corey and I read this book last year and loved it! Seeing you talk about it on your blog has me tracking down our copy (loaned it out) so we can go over it again. We have several of his other books and are constantly seeking advice for discipline and raising humble children. I love hearing your thoughts on it. Another book that was highly recommended to us and we would also highly recommend is "Shepharding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. Our favorite is still probably "Parenting By the Book" though.

  2. I admit - I pretty much read books that don't involve a lot of thinking - James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, etc. - and I really enjoyed your last recommendation - about the working mom - "How does she do it" or something like that. But, I am inspired by your blog to read this book. So I will read it and then we can meet for a glass of wine and discuss : ).