The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.



mouse's picture mouse

I agree completely. The connotation of "management" suggests some sort of clinical control that is just not at the heart of parenting.

In trying to come up with ways to help Scooter, I have been most appreciative of reading those experts who, at the core of their suggestions, recognize that no matter how much preparation one has, no parent can be 100% ready for what comes next. It's a welcome change from those who seem to treat children like a closed system: input x, output y, if your results vary, you're doing something wrong.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You've put it perfectly, mouse. Yes, it does imply a sense of clinical control. We've run into this type of language before in things we've read about how to deal with children with Asperger's or ADHD and while some "management" techniques are helpful, in the end it's more about parenting and being able to react appropriately to the situation (which always varies from moment to moment) than it is about responding in some set, formulaic way. This goes for how we should parent all children, not just kids with special issues.

the_tars's picture the_tars

Manage doesn't seem the right term at all...though, I think for some parents, the idea of "managing" the children makes it somehow more feasible. It isn't a task to be completed, though, viewing it that way sells everyone short.

Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Seems like they could've come up with a better name for the class - yeah? I mean, there's behavior management, anger management, but child management? Sheesh. I agree with everything you've said here, 100%.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I wonder if they'll think about the wording at all--but I bet there might be many parents out there who will latch onto the phrase "child management" and feel that some classes on the subject will solve all their problems.

gillie's picture gillie

"Management" is a really horrible mindset for parenting, as if children's behaviour was actually something we could control, thus setting ourselves up for failure every time our children adapt, rebell, or have a really bad day.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I really felt so repulsed by that notion of "child management"--you're right, it sets the parents (and the children) up for failure.