Parenting with Purpose: Five Keys to Raising Children with Values and Vision
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A few weeks after our phone conversation, I go to Exeter to meet McHale in a hotel restaurant, with four other mothers and their children.
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The five of us talk over tea while the toddlers breastfeed and play in the sunshine. But they doubted themselves, and later felt the sadness of not responding the way they wanted to. There is no doubt that babies thrive when they are loved. And when they got to school, they were given labels like ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].
Does she think their ADHD was caused by not having an attachment? So we started giving parents simple advice, like, sit down with your children after dinner and read to them. They need the connection with you. At times such as these, AP mutates into a form of parent-blaming — the downside of a theory that promises parents total control, and full responsibility, over how their child turns out.
Julie, Sylvie and Martha are members of an attachment parenting group in north London. They are all warm and sparky, and the loving bond they have with their babies is obvious. Sylvie and Julie both opted for attachment parenting because they liked it, or, more specifically, hated the alternative. For Julie, co-sleeping is as much for her as her eight-month-old son. I find it difficult to mix with people who do sleep training, because they get defensive. The judging goes both ways. Then there is the bond they form with each other: McHale had told me mutual support was one of the main appeals of attachment parenting, and this was clear in every group I met.
When I discovered other people were doing it this way, that was a huge reassurance.
But there are times when attachment parenting seems to have made some women feel worse. She was about to return to work, with great regret. Of the dozens of mothers I spoke to, only one had returned to work full-time; Julie was the only one with a small baby considering it. I ask Julie, Sylvie and Martha if they feel attachment parenting is a rejection of feminism.
Absolutely not, they say, with the weary eye rolls of women who have heard this criticism before. So we see this as a maternal feminist issue. We should be able to stay home for three to five years, without being ostracised by fellow feminists and the culture at large. There are times when the underlying message sounds more like emotional blackmail: subjugate yourself to your baby or else.
Although attachment parenting now appeals to the liberal, middle-class woman, it started from an anti-feminist place. As obstetrician-gynaecologist Dr Amy Tuteur details in her punchy new book Push Back: Guilt In The Age Of Natural Parenting , the Sears are fundamentalist Christians with eight children; attachment parenting is modelled on their deeply religious view of the family, with the father at its head and the mother the devoted caretaker. Tuteur tells me why she thinks AP is uniquely retrograde.
Women, for so long, only had birth and breastfeeding, and no one felt empowered. If you want to take power from women, convince them they want to go back to that. Tuteur also objects to the way AP speaks to a limited demographic. A mother of four, Tuteur initially worked nights so she could be with her children during the day, then switched from medicine to writing, again to be with them more.
But there is something very wrong with making your children your identity. That is not healthy for anyone, and it appears we are raising a generation that is helpless; their mother did everything for them, because that was her identity. He had three more good years, followed by a very bad one. He noticed that he was spending a lot of time convincing other people that he was happy, that he had his life put together so nicely. Around the same time, he started reading about neuroscience. He started seeing patterns emerge, and he realized that these brain chemicals seemed to explain the types of things he was already doing in marketing and advertising.
So he got out of his lease and quit his business and thought more and more about why people do what they do. Why we buy what we buy and trust who we trust. Everything, he decided, came down to purpose. We organize ourselves around the people and companies who seem to share our values, the same way our ancestors organized themselves into tribes. The best leaders are the ones who can express their fundamental why.
In the s, the civil rights movement coalesced around Martin Luther King Jr. In his 20 years as CEO of General Electric, Welch increased the value of the company exponentially, making it one of the biggest in the world when he retired in Anyone perceived to be underperforming was fired. And when profits dropped, there were mass layoffs. The entire corporate culture, which has been replicated often throughout the past quarter century, was structured around maximizing shareholder profit, which Sinek points out is a terrible way to lead any group of people.
He tells companies to find employees who share their values and to empower them with trust.
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He tells them to create a culture where their people care about each other the way soldiers care about one another on the battlefield. The more Sinek talked about these ideas around his friends and former business associates, the more people started asking him to come talk about the same things in front of their co-workers and companies.
At first, he says, he thought he was expected to donate any speaking fees. Soon, though, he realized he could make a living doing this, going to companies and convincing them to care more about their employees. The U.
Attachment parenting: the best way to raise a child – or maternal masochism?
Air Force was one of the earliest adopters of his concepts. More and more, he says he sees his concepts replicated and repeated throughout society. It makes Sinek happy to think he might be making the world a better place. He sat down with Tom Bilyeu for a web talk show called Inside Quest. But the discussion about millennials—what was originally a tangent to a different answer—was the part that spread.
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The topic only came up, Sinek says, because everywhere he speaks, he gets a question about millennials. Bilyeu, who co-founded Quest Nutrition, says he was shocked by how far and how fast the clip traveled. It really was nuts. My second thought was that it made sense. Bilyeu says he thinks the video resonated because Sinek succinctly summarizes not only one of the biggest potential problems facing the workforce—the incongruity of younger generations—but he also proposes solutions.
He wants people to put away their phones and talk to each other.
Although Sinek says he just started studying these questions over the past few years—interviewing millennials and their supervisors, reading the latest research—but so much of his career has built up to this. The Millennial Question allows Sinek to test a lot of the theories that have driven him for years: We have millions of disaffected but purpose-driven young people who need to be treated with respect and dignity, who need to be treated as individuals and not numbers. The only apparent solution is the approach Sinek has been suggesting since he quit his marketing job to talk about leadership full time.
As he speaks, he infuses his concepts and explanations with short mini-scenes, conversations he acts out quickly to demonstrate an idea. His confidence is intimidating. The world needs more, not less, of that. Ticket agents who know when to give someone an upgrade. Muthoni Drummer Queen Creativity builds nations.
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