I'm not a parent, but plan to be. How I want to parent my children is a topic I think about once or twice almost every day. Whenever I'm around kids, I often take mental notes of how I want to handle similar situations with my future kids or how I would like to change things. I observe parents and how they respond to temper tantrums as well as children who are well behaved.
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Reading his article, I thought that Thompson was tough on his kids. I mean, making them build their own computer, build their own car, start chores at age three... what parents! Of course, my parents had me do chores and laundry, but they would never make me cook dinner or change the oil and especially at such early ages!
Who can keep up with all that study time, all the chores, all the car parts, the sports, the clubs, the community service! Those kids had a lot of work to do!
But the result is amazing.
The Thompson parents did their children a huge favor by raising them "the hard way". Their kids are the type of people who employers want to hire. They can think critically, study hard, work on difficult projects, and build machines. If they don't know how to do it, they'll figure it out. They've been solving problems for years!
In addition, they have had to serve others: their younger siblings, their entire household, and the community. They have developed an empathy for others.
The Thompson kids also had to learn financial responsibility. They weren't handed fancy cars and vacations. They had to work, earn, and save for them.
Reading their story, it made me glad that I'm already grown and my mom and dad can't get any ideas. Seriously, these tasks and requirements look so daunting.
But the result is worth it. The Thompson's have raised self-sufficient, problem-solving, hard-working, and empathetic kids.
As parents, I'm sure there were many times when it would have been easier just to call it off and solve the problems for their kids, or excuse them from a chore, or cut down on all the commitments. But for the most part, they stuck to it. They parented all 12 of their children "the hard way".
Is there a "correct" way to parent?
Would you change anything about how the Thompson parents did parenting?