Raising Children Who Think for Themselves


I recently finished reading Raising Children Who Think for Themselves by Elisa Medhus. The premise of the book is that children should be treated with respect and allowed to explore their world fairly with boundaries that are founded on reason.

This book deals in just parenting. What we teach our children should be taught by example. Threats, sheltering and fear are insincere ways of guiding a child into adulthood. If what you teach your children is honest and real, it should be capable of weathering all that the world has to throw at it without tactics, threats or sheltering. If knowledge and reason can knock down what one teaches a child, then a re-evaluation of what is being taught must be conducted. Once a child grows up and has free access to the information he seeks, the parents will have forfeited the child’s trust and confidence in them.

This book spoke to my childhood and provided me with more tangible angles at which to better approach the parenting of my own children. Here are a few gems I picked up along the read:

– rules should prevent children from harming themselves, their surroundings and others. all other rules are just externally driven ways parents manipulate their children’s thoughts and actions. p.91

– we must guide, then step aside p.106

– use discipline, not punishment (guide and teach, don’t control) p. 90

– we must give our children the right reasons to behave and all consequences must logically follow from a child’s choices (good or bad). p.107

– consequences should be natural and logical according to the situation p. 118

– children should be allowed to fail, as failure is a stepping stone to success p.122

I highly recommend this book for all parents and grandparents.

2010: Pscycology studies suggest that Children learn what rules to disobey and which to follow.


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