I’ve been reading some of John Rosemond’s work lately, and I have to say that I’m a bit shocked that he is as well read as he is. Well, maybe, I shouldn’t be. After all, he’s not the first parent educator to advocate physical punishment and shaming and ignoring children.
It seems his parenting philosophy is centered on making children feel as worthless as possible. That, he says, is the key to their happiness.
He believes that self-esteem, which he says is opposite humility, is a bad thing. That parents need to put kids in their place, back to the dark ages when children “were seen, not heard.” He also believes that ADHD is a product of poor parenting.
Self esteem and humility can co-exist, and they should. Perhaps Rosemond is getting his vocabulary confused, because what he’s referring to instead of self-esteem is arrogance, which is not at all the same. Self-esteem is belief in one’s worth. Humility cannot exist without self-esteem. Humility allows a person to be teachable, to seek out advice, to be open to others, to empathize. Someone with low self-esteem cannot be these things, because they are preoccupied with their unhappiness.
Teaching children that they are not worthy of simple respect because they’re children doesn’t teach humility. It develops low self-esteem, which puts a person at risk for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
One of the criticisms of parenting with attachment is that it leads to children who are too dependent on parents. In actuality, children who are raised with a secure attachment bond turn out just as independent as children who are not – but with an advantage, which can look like dependence on the surface: interdependence. Because they’re able to easily trust and empathize and ask for help, they do. Because they can be depended upon and depend on others, they do. Happy, healthy, responsible people need community to thrive.
If independence is only measured according to a person’s ability to do things by himself, it misses a key element of social development – living and interacting with others – and that requires among other traits, humility and a healthy self-esteem.
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Last reviewed: 22 May 2012