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Jordan B Peterson

Parenting
Table of Contents
The Oedipal Nightmare ........................................................................................................................... 3

Do Not Allow Your Children to Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them ........................................... 3

Children Socialise and Amuse Each Other............................................................................................... 4

In Mainstream Society, Children Have A Bad Reputation ....................................................................... 4

The Importance of Eating Communally ................................................................................................... 5

Teach and Help Your Child to Stand Up Straight with Their Shoulders Back .......................................... 5

Do Not Bother Children When They Are Skateboarding ......................................................................... 5

Breastfeeding Vs. Bottle Feeding ............................................................................................................ 5

Playing with Other Children .................................................................................................................... 6

Do Not Let Children Devour Your Life ..................................................................................................... 6

Making Your Child Socially Desirable by the Age of Four........................................................................ 6

Telling Children to Clean Up Their Room ................................................................................................ 7

The Importance of Having a Best Friend ................................................................................................. 8


The Oedipal Nightmare
Do not do everything for your child, because that means that the child cannot do anything for itself.
Kids should be doing whatever they can that is productive and useful as young as they can.

(E.g. You can get a 2-year-old to set the table. Give them a fork, spoon, or knife and tell them to put it
on the table. They will not be able to put it exactly beside the plate, but their level of developing
expertise, also known as the zone of proximal development, will rise and, in turn, make them move
forward.)

Children know they are being taken care of. They have an existential debt to their parents. Allow them
to be useful and encourage them to do things, so that they will be able to pay off that existential debt.
With this they will see that they are contributing members society (be in on a smaller scale, at home,
or a larger one, like their social circle, town, or even country).

Do Not Allow Your Children to Do Anything That Makes You Dislike


Them
Allowing your children to do things that make you hate them should be avoided at all costs. You
might think you will forgive them, but the childs action will eventually lead to revenge on your part,
even if believe yourself to be a saint.

For example, your child has a temper tantrum in the store. Two outcomes are possible:

1.) Your child has a temper tantrum in the store. You pick up the child, you go outside with them,
you stand them up somewhere, and let them have the temper tantrum. They will get sick of it
soon enough. Go somewhere boring and dull. When the child is done, tell the child that you
will stand right there until the child decides to behave.
2.) Your child has a temper tantrum in the store. You are embarrassed, you are turning red,
everyone is looking at you like you are a horrible parent, it is really unpleasant. You go home,
the child forgets all about the temper tantrum. They go to their room and do, say, a little
drawing, they are thrilled and come out and show it to you (and maybe they did a really good
job and even feel a little bit guilty about the temper tantrum), but you are not happy. You
dismissively say that it is nice and return to what you were doing, and you think you got the
little bastard. You might believe that you would never do or even think things like these, but
you are wrong.

Fundamentally, you have got the upper hand. You have got the proclivity for tyranny deeply rooted in
you, so you better be really careful around that child.
When you are not it a good mood, tell your children it would be better if they were in their room.
Children understand this and they are fine with it. This Youre a fine kid. Im not in a good mood,
things are likely to be unpleasant. Why dont you go play in your room for a while. is a much
preferable scenario.

Children Socialise and Amuse Each Other


Children need to hash things out at a peer-to-peer level. They run off and amuse themselves. You have
to be around when they have a problem. Children need rough and tumble play, especially with their
peers (because a lot of socialisation takes places between peers).

Do not put children in front of the TV, iPad, or similar devices all the time. While there is nothing
wrong with these devices, there is something wrong with the fact that the children are not wrestling,
they are not using their imagination to figure out how to turn some weird object into a doll or a fire
truck, or making a blanket fort and playing out the roles of the family. These things are crucially
important.

It is really useful to play physically with your kids. That is how they learn what does and what does
not hurt (i.e. stretching the kids out a bit, tapping them, poking them, so that they know what play is).
You also let them hit and wrestle with you so they can figure out that, for example, that they should
not put their thumb in your eye. This play circuit is essential, for the kids will be using this knowledge
on the playground with other kids.

In Mainstream Society, Children Have A Bad Reputation


In is very rare that you see children portrayed nobly (in Hollywood films, for example). What you
have to understand is that children are incredibly good company. They pay you back for your care of
them by being ridiculously amusing. Children also have an incredible sense of humour. They are
really funny, really playful, and they really, really like you. You can have the kind of relationship with
them that you set out to have.

By the time you are an adult, youve seen so much of the world that you actually do not see the world
anymore. When you walk down the street, there are houses. You dont look at them. You have house
icons in your memory, so you are not really consciously aware of your surroundings. While this is
efficient, it is also makes the world around you sort of dead. However, due to our ability to put
ourselves in other peoples bodies, children revitalise the world for us. The child is constantly awe-
struck, even by the smallest things, and you can see that again.
Children make possible this renewal of the world, a reintroduction to the unsullied paradise of being.

The Importance of Eating Communally


Human beings are social eaters. We have this unbelievably deep need to eat communally and it is a
huge part of socialisation (i.e. sit like a human being, share the food properly, be good company, pay
attention, learn to converse, be grateful for what you have to eat, etc.).

Teach and Help Your Child to Stand Up Straight with Their Shoulders
Back
It is really important, for children as well as adults, to stretch themselves out and sit/stand up properly,
because it is part of the psychophysiological loop that can start the person on an upward curve. Good
posture helps with confidence, competence, proper breathing, others perception of you/the child, etc.

Do Not Bother Children When They Are Skateboarding


Watch children as they try to become competent. They might be face some danger ever now and then,
but that is alright. Do not interrupt them unless they are putting themselves in danger out of stupidity.
Otherwise, allow them to face danger and try to master it.

Do not shoo them away. They are practising being courageous. They are practising mastering
something in the face of danger.

Whether it is a skatepark or a playground, children will push themselves to the limit of their ability.
Through that they ennoble themselves.

Breastfeeding Vs. Bottle Feeding


Breastfeeding is not just a matter of nutrition. It is skin-to-skin contact, it is eye-to-eye gaze, embodied
rhythm, the beginnings of the establishment of the relationship (that is not to say that you cannot bottle
feed with success), and it tends to produce children who have higher IQs.
Playing with Other Children
The precursor to moral behaviour is the ability to play with others (playing in a technical sense, e.g.
setting up a fantasy world, each child playing their role). The child that does not know how to play can
become tyrannical (You better play my game! Else I wont play with you!) and any sensible child
runs off and finds another play partner.

Do not force your children to play with that type of children, because that would be them learning to
play in a structured environment, and that is not playing. Playing means having to invent your own
games and rules and negotiate about said rules with other children.

Hyper-protected children lack the freedom to be idiot children and to, for example, eat dirt, fall on
their head, and all these things that you have to experience as a child to develop properly and to know
what to do and what not do to in the future.

Stop your children only when they are doing something that is harmful and stupid. Otherwise, you
encourage them. You make them courageous.

Do Not Let Children Devour Your Life


Do not be terrified of having children. As a parent, set yourself up so that you can have both children
and a life. Children can be taught and encouraged to spend a fair bit of time (not when they are infants,
of course) amusing themselves. That is especially the case if you have more than one child, because
they will mutually amuse one another.

Be a more selfish parent. You need to be there when your children need you, but you should not be
there any more than is necessary.

You have a tremendous amount of control over the quality of your relationship with your children and
also the manner in which you choose to disperse your time.

The children do not have to be in charge. Think things through and you can be in charge of your
household and be thrilled to death that you have children and a life outside of them.

Making Your Child Socially Desirable by the Age of Four


What you should aim for when taking your child out in public is for the child to be able to interact
with other children and adults, so that the children are welcoming, smile, and want to play with him or
her, and so the adults are happy to see the child and treat him or her properly.
If your child is a horrible little monster because you afraid of disciplining them or you do not know
how to that properly, then what they are going to experience nothing but rejection from other children
and false smiles from other parents and adults. With this you are throwing your child into a world
where every single face that they see is either hostile or lying. This is not particularly conducive for
the mental health or the well-being of your child.

However, your child can learn a couple simple rules of behaviour:

Do not interrupt the adults too often when they are talking;
Pay attention;
Try not hit the other kids over the head with heavy object any more than is absolutely
necessary;
Share;
Play properly.

Telling Children to Clean Up Their Room


When teaching a child about responsibilities, do not just tell them to clean up the room and then leave
immediately, expecting that you will find a perfectly clean room when you return. Consequently, you
get upset when seeing the room in the exact same state of chaos it was in when you first left.

A child, say 2-3 years old, does not know what clean up your room means. This is way too
complicated for them.

So what to do? Start small. Point at a toy and ask them whether they see and recognise it. Of course
they do, because it is one of their toys. You then pat the child on the head and tell them what a great
job they did for recognising the toy. This gives them a little kick of dopamine, which makes them
happy. Then they smile at you, so you feel pretty good about that too.
Next you ask them if they can pick the toy up. Most of the time, the child will be more than happy to
go and pick it up. Another task completed.
Next you point to the empty space on the shelf (or a box where you keep the toys, etc.) and tell them to
take the toy and put it on said shelf. This makes both of you happy, which, in turn, makes it a lot more
probable that they will do this again, because the child saw that you were happy with them and praised
them for completing the task, resulting in more dopaminergic kicks.

Gradually, you keep increasing the difficulty. Next time, have them pick up three toys. The time after
that, three toys and making their bed, and so on. Help the child go to the highest level of resolution
that they can manage. Eventually, they will learn how to clean their room and will be mostly happy to
do it.

The Importance of Having a Best Friend


By the time the child is old enough to be launched out into social world, all the constraints that are
associated with the playground are immediately placed on that child and that is a very unforgiving
landscape. The last thing a child wants is to not have any friends or, equally seriously, not to have a
best friend.

One of the developmental milestones that children attain (somewhere between the age of 5 and 10) is
that they pick a best friend. With this, the child steps out of their egocentricity, because their best
friend becomes equally as (or even more) important than they are. This is a precursor for adult
relationships where your partner and child(ren) are at least equally as important, probably even more
important, than you are to yourself.