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Peter Haiman, Ph.D.


Thinking Outside the Box

Organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, and the American Academy of Pediatrics can no longer remain politically inactive. These organizations have been primarily educational in purpose and isolated by nature. Yet, current child-rearing practices, influenced by changing values and the media, seriously damage child development.

In 1997 I wrote "Cooperation Will Make It Happen," published in the Journal of Psychohistory, which described the erosion of the extended family and consequences for children and adolescents. I announced a meeting of educational leaders to create The Alliance for Children. Although the meeting was held in Washington DC in 1997, and most in attendance viewed the alliance as critical for children and the future of our democracy, no subsequent meetings occurred.

In the intervening fifteen years, child rearing in this country has become more damaging to children. They are growing up less educated, more violent, with less humane values, and less thoughtful and caring of others. Our leaders behave more violently and cannot cooperate. It is time for the above organizations to join together and form an alliance that will improve social and cultural influences on child rearing so the next generation can continue to enjoy freedom in the United States.

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Crying child
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The myths of child rearing

Toilet training and Weaning are best done by parents when their child is very young.

Terrible two behavior is a built in characteristic of children who are one and a half to four years old.

You’ll spoil that child if you pick it up when it cries or meet his/her needs.

Children should sleep in their own bed and room.

Young children should eat three complete meals per day.

Baby talk to the baby is good.

Spare the Rod and spoil the child: prompt and strict discipline from parents is the best way to teach a child to behave.

Anyone may take care of the young infant and toddler.

Sibling rivalry is inevitable.

Certain behaviors of a young child regularly cause their parents to be upset.

Babies should sleep through the night by the time they are three or four months old.

Crying it out at night is a good way to get children to sleep through the night.

It is OK for parents to rely primarily on their own instincts to rear their children.

Children learn best by sitting still and paying attention to what teachers and parents teach them.

Most pediatricians are trained to provide competent, psychosocial child development information and child-rearing advice.

Young infants do not have the ability to remember, think, abstract in their minds, use their intellect to solve problems, and they can not solve mathematical problems.

Children should be told by teachers and parents that it is wrong to make mistakes. Children should be criticized when they do make mistakes.

Peter Ernest Haiman, Ph.D. Copyright ©