Monday, August 01, 2016

The problem with "being supportive"

I'm moving this here so I can find it again, and so it might be read in a more leisurely way than people tend to read on facebook. I wrote it July 4, 2016:

Bad advice.
Sometimes "support" is the same as very bad advice.
Come on people, we are all doing the best that we can.
You—stressed parent—are doing a great job no matter what, and this is why:
1. No one knows your child better than you
. . . .
You are the perfect parent for your child. You are the expert. Trust yourself.
2. Our kids are going to survive.
. . . .
They are going to be okay—and so are you.
3. We’re all supposed to be doing it differently.

That's from a longer blog post called "3 Things all Parents Need to Hear."

But those things aren't helpful, and they're not true in all cases. Let's not share scare stories, but each of you could think of a scare story—just one, don't inventory all the sad things you know—about a child who didn't survive, about a parent who wasn't ANY kind of expert, who should NOT be trusted.

Anyone who soothes an irresponsible, neglectful, or abusive parent is contributing to that neglect and abuse.
ARE all kids eventually okay? No.

Is it okay to soothe the parents of kids who were neglected and abused?
The author of that blog post thinks so. The 144 people who shared it thought so.

I don't think so.

I'm NOT saying everyone should become unschoolers. Many people should not even consider unschooling. Unschooling's not easy.

What I'm saying is that it's better to encourage other parents to be conscious and careful, patient and kind, than to spread nonsense like everything's the same and no one else can say you could possibly do better.

The writing wasn't considering the kids' point of view. If a child thinks a parent could do better, shouldn't that matter? But this was just parents assuring parents that there is no such thing as half-assed, no such thing as bad parenting. All parenting is equal and all children will survive and be fine.

People who would prefer that message to actual ideas that could help should probably leave this group and find "support" for just whatever, because it is definitely out there.

End of the quote.
I have a couple of pages on my website about "support." One (the second link below) is a random generator of more and more worthless support. The other has those messages in a different format, with commentary following.

Please don't coo and soothe another adult who is harming a child.

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