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What Is The Gold Standard for Raising Children? (Part 2)

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In the book, The Noticer Returns, by Andy Andrews, Jones is leading a parenting class. He asks those in the class three questions.

1) “As parents, do you believe that you are doing the very best you can?”
2) “If society’s best parents—the most loving, the most determined, the most concerned parents—are all raising their children by setting their sights on a target called ‘doing the best we can,’ is anyone aiming at the same thing?”
3) “What do today’s parents agree is the gold standard for raising children?”

In response to the first question, most truly loving and caring parents would say that, of course, they are doing the best that they can and then may even respond with their own question, “What’s wrong with that?”
There is nothing wrong with doing the best that you can, but is that good enough? If everyone is truly doing the best that they can, then what is it that everyone is “doing”? Are we all doing the same thing or is everyone just raising their kids how they see fit.
Is there one standard by which everyone parents?

Here is an excerpt from the book that tells us how Jones answers this question…

Suddenly the old man was animated. He rose from the chair and passionately declared the conclusion to which he had come. “You see, my friends,” he said, “by not addressing the issue of an accepted standard, today’s parents have defaulted into an uncomfortable agreement with each other. They have agreed that there will not be a standard for raising our children.
“One set of parents teaches their daughter to say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no sir.’ Another couple contends that standard of behavior to be a matter of opinion.”
“One parent demands her boys dress in trousers that are belted at the waist. Her boys must wear their ball caps with the bill pointed to the front, and those caps are to be removed, with no exceptions, when indoors. That parent’s next-door neighbor, on the other hand, might have entirely different rules about what clothes her children are allowed to wear and how they are allowed to wear them. Meanwhile, society lives with increasingly discouraging results.”
Kelli spoke. “So you are saying there are no standards?”
“Quite the contrary,” Jones replied. “I am saying that there are many different standards. That is essentially why there is a vast array of parenting books published every year, each touting new methods or different ways to measure a child’s success. There are scores of classes—most larger than this one—all being taught by a countless number of people who claim to be experts in the field of parenting.”

Jones goes on in the book with an analogy of planting a fruit tree and raising it. Most trees that you go buy at the store come with instructions on how to plant and care for that tree in order for it to produce good fruit. If you follow those instructions your chances of growing a tree that produces good fruit are much better than if you just stick it in the ground and ignore it.
Those instructions are the standard by which many people came together and agreed would be the best way to raise a fruit tree and get good results.

As parents, we have been given an enormous challenge in raising our kids because when they were born they did not come with an instruction manual. There are many books and lots of different opinions out there, but society has not yet came to an agreement on a single standard by which everyone should raise their children.

About the only standard that I can think of that civilized society has come up with is that parents should send their kids to school for 13 years.

Is that good enough?
Does there need to be a standard for raising children?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

This topic has struck a chord in me and I plan to write more about this in the coming weeks. As parents, the future is in our hands and it all starts with how we raise our kids.

Excerpts From: Andrews, Andy. “The Noticer Returns.” Thomas Nelson, 2013-07-01. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=619416934

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What Is The Gold Standard For Raising Children? (Part 1)

In Andy Andrews’ latest book, “The Noticer Returns”, Jones is leading a class on parenting.
He asks those in attendance what the gold standard is for raising children.
It ends up being a very challenging question to answer and Jones’ response will really make you think.
Before I share his response with you, I would like to give you the opportunity, just as I did while reading the book, to ponder the question and see if you can form an answer.

So, is there a gold standard for raising children? If so, what is it?
In order to answer this question, it helps to understand what a “standard” is.

According to Merriam Webster a “standard” is something that is regularly and widely used; well-established and very familiar; something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.

We have standards for many things in this world…

In sports we have standards for the size of the playing fields or courts.
In schools we have standards for passing class and moving on to the next grade.
There are standards for how to dress in sports as well as some schools and even work.
Science has all kinds of standards by which to test and proof theories.
Think about all the standards in the financial world.
What about all the standards that have been put in place for driving on the roads? (colors, shapes and lines)

There are endless examples of standards that we have created for ourselves and they are needed.
A world without standards would lead to chaos and confusion. Everybody would just be doing their own thing and making up rules as they go.

So, “What is the standard for raising children?”
Is there a well established and widely used method of raising children that has been set by some authority as a model or example?

Should we all just do the best we can and see how things turn out or is there a standard to follow?

In part 2, I will reveal what Jones said in the book and then provide my own take on it.
If you have read the book already, then you may have some idea where I’m going with this and the challenge that has been presented to us. If you have not read the book yet, I highly recommend it.

The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews

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