• Parents to physician: We think you're wrong about us

    By: Nicole Villalpando , Austin American Statesman


    Yes, we’re still talking about Dr. Leonard Sax and his new book, “The Collapse of Parenting.” When I wrote the blog about my interview, I thought it might get some reaction, but not more than 6 million views and tens of thousands of shares across Facebook.

    That's right. One single story received more than 6 million clicks across the Cox network in a little more than two weeks' time.

    The reaction was strong, and it was swift. And some of it wasn't all that supportive of Dr. Sax's point of view.

    Here's one comment, for example, from reader David Elmore:

    "If it were possible for a column to be more than wrong, Mr. Sax would have achieved such status.

    "There have been two types of horrendous parents through the millennia: 1) those who effectively abandon any kind of parenting and 2) the authoritarians (a la Sax) who have contempt for children and their minds.

    "The first does not care at all about their kids and allows "license" to run over others, including themselves. These children are the brats, hooligans, bullies, liars, thieves and whiny-babies.

    "However, ironically, they are better than their opposites, who are under the thumb of the Saxes of the world, telling them what to do with their lives, "forcing" them to be obedient, forcing them into mind-bending camps (aka "schools"), squelching their creativity, implicitly (or explicitly) telling them that their lives are not their own to conduct. This type is the hatred of kids for being kids.

    "The result of the Sax authoritarian style is back-biters, habitual liars, suicide teens (and later adults), shattered self-esteem, inbred obedience to others or outright dangerous rebellion, severe anxiety, violent tendencies, simmering anger, spontaneous eruptions, moodiness, and much more."

    Readers were just as vocal on Facebook posts around the country:

    • A lot of people do suck at parenting. The “entitlement” kids really chap my butt. How about earning a living? Ok. Blood is simmering.
    • Yes! Parents are way too permissive in fear that their child won’t like them. It’s time to get back to basics and remember you are raising future adults.
    • Not all parents are like what your (sic) saying. Some of us have learned from what our parents did wrong and are working really hard to make a positive impact in our children’s lives.
    • Babies don’t come with manuals … how can he say parenting was done wrong? I’m sure every parent does the best they know how and many are clueless-that is true. Maybe he should have the hospitals give manuals with each baby that way the instructions will be available at the beginning.
    • Bluh bluh bluh! To each his or her own. No books’ going to tell you how to love your child …
    • A voice of reason barely heard over the helicopter parents!
    • Wouldn’t be the first doctor to miss the mark in his “OPINION” on how to raise kids.

    On Sunday, I asked parents if there is some truth to what Dr. Sax says about parents giving kids too many choices, not saying “No” enough and worrying more about self-esteem than self-control. Watch that video:

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