My philosophy of parenting: Ferocity required

I was recently asked by a guy on the golf course to sum up my theory of parenting in "as simple terms as possible." He said that he is always curious to find out how teachers parent their own children. Here is what I said (as best I can remember):

Parenting is not for the weak.

There is no room for cowardice, selfishness or squeamishness in parenting.

Your happiness is irrelevant. Parents who make decisions based upon their own short-term feelings and needs fail their children.

Your most important job is to help your child become a successful and happy human being.

This means that you will have to allow your child cry herself to sleep (in her own bed!), fight her own battles, starve when she refuses to eat her vegetables, and suffer when she misbehaves. You will have to deny her wants and desires even in the face of teary-eyed pleading and heart-felt begging.

Parenting is serious business.

If you’re willing to do it with the ferocity that I have described, you and your child will be exceedingly happy in the long run.

If not, your child will, without a doubt, fail to reach her potential.

His response to my answer:


I don’t think he expected such an impassioned response while standing in the tee box.