no credit, no blame: the tao of parenting a high-need child

A good friend of mine recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who seems to be at the high-need end of the continuum for now. Hearing about her adjustment and experience reminded me of an article I wrote for a local parenting newspaper about fifteen years ago:

When I was in college, I came down firmly on the side of nurture in the nurture vs. nature debate. Tabula rasa and all that. It was so obvious . . . good parenting produced good children. Simply hold firm to a schedule and baby will adapt. Oh yes, I knew all about raising children.  Until I actually gave birth to one!


I've been reading 10-10-10 by Suzy Welch, and I'm intrigued by the transformation this method for decision making could bring to parent-child discussions.

Here's the basic idea: When a decision needs to be made, you consider the potential outcome of each option in the future by looking ahead ten minutes, ten months, and ten years. The author explains that the time frames are not meant to be literal, but to represent Now, In A Little While, and Much Later.

Imagine this scenario: you want your teenager to fill out her college applications, which are due next week, and she wants to spend the weekend with her friends at a cabin in the mountains.