This month has been a battle with colic in its various forms. And we have been working through reflux, thrush, eczema, allergies, and the myriad other causes and cures that multiple cultures have come up with for colic. And more to come, recognizing every culture on earth probably has more candidate cures then the standard length of colic. So we have about another month of this to go. While my wife and I are both marathoners who have proven endurance and ability to endure pain and suffering, the in-laws who are with us and take care of T when we are working are not. And my wife and I are considerably better at calming T down when he is wailing away then they are. A case where the skills are mismatched to the need.
The big controversy in parenting around now is Amy Chua's book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" that just came out. Chua writes as an advocate for "chinese parenting", meaning being strict with the children, letting them you know you believe they can achieve, and not letting them settle for less then their potential. There is a lot of commentary on the book, from those who are agast at it and those who defend the way described as the way to do it.
My wife and I are listening to the book on CD. And we agree with Chua's daughter's comment in the New York Post. The book is retrospectively funny. There is not a chapter where Amy Chua is in fact taking herself seriously. And everything is laughing at the fact that she was so strident at the time.
That said, there are things that we want. We want our son to know that we believe him to be capable of being great. We want him to realize that this is not because of giftedness or being a prodigy, but because of hard work and grit. That we expect him to be capable of things that are hard, and thing that are hard are worth the effort needed to accomplish them. And that it is worth respecting and emulating competence and wisdom where it can be found. These are not widespread beliefs. And it is hardly guaranteed that he will