A Different Way to Raise Your Kids

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A Different Way to Raise Your Kids

Think of your marriage first—not the kids!

If parenting guru, John Rosemond, tells you only one thing, it's this: stop being child-centered parents and train your children to become parent-centered children.

He calls himself the "parenting guru" and will tell you with absolute conviction that he's the expert when it comes to raising kids and everyone else has got it wrong. As an evangelical Christian, Rosemond believes he is on a mission from God. 

It's difficult to disagree with him. Almost everything Rosemond teaches, he learned from his tough-loving mother by the way she raised him during the 1950's. Most of it makes sense. 

Back then, it wasn't uncommon for six-year-old John to go to his mother for help only to have her say something like, "John Rosemond, figure it out for yourself, and while you're at it, go outside and don't disturb me again until I call you in for dinner!" he tells us in his charming southern accent. 

He had a mean mother, right? Wrong.

Unconditional Love and Authoritative Leadership.

In John Rosemond's world, respect isn't taught by treating a child with respect; it's taught by teaching children to be respectful of others needs and by assuming a position of authority over your children.

If your children are disrespecting you, you may have an authority problem. 

Today’s parents are afraid of their kids.
— John Rosemond

Rosemond's message is simple and harkens back to a time when kids were polite, obedient, and didn't suffer from a host of biochemical imbalances.

He, in fact, debunks the biochemical theory as just that— a theory with no basis in reality.

Rosemond denounces the unscientific labeling of behavior patterns such as ADHD, oppositional defiant syndrome, and borderline personality disorder. He states  that they are constructs which cannot be proven because they categorically do not exist. 

You see, to have a biochemical imbalance, Rosemond explains, the biochemical balance has first to be determined, and since there are about 500 biochemicals in a constant state of flux circling the central nervous system, it's virtually impossible to do.

He explains how psychiatric medicines are pushed through the FDA by flimsy standards at best with no sound proof that they are anything more than placebo.

Consequently, doctors prescribe a host of pharmaceutical chemicals that only God knows what they are doing to the bodies and minds of our children.

While the pharmaceutical companies grow richer and richer, we are failing to deal with the real source of the behavioral disorders which, according to Rosemond, is simply bad parenting.

Rosemond convinces us that sound parenting will do away with behavioral problems completely, and he's got proof. 

Long before Rosemond had figured out what was going on in the world of psycho-babble parenting techniques (as he calls it), his son had been given three or four abnormal behavioral labels by his teacher while he was in the third grade.

The teacher told John she would not pass his son on to the fourth grade at the end of the year. 

In response, and after much discussion with his wife Willie, John and Willie decided to ditch the modern parenting theories John had been trained to believe were so true in college.

Parenting is minimalistic.
— John Rosemond

Instead, they adopted the common sense parenting practices of their parent's generation. As John tells the story, their son's abnormal behavior was miraculously cured.

And the seas parted.

John Rosemond's life purpose became clear, and he began his mission of freeing other parents from the psycho-babble trap, so they too could get back to the real business of raising kids.

There was no one better positioned than Rosemond, a trained psychologist who had miraculously cured his troubled son, to debunk modern psychological parenting theories and persuade parents to use common sense and time-tested approaches instead. 

Like Rosemond, I grew up at a time when parents were not best buddies with their children, and it was refreshing to hear someone call it for what it was—short sightedness. Just by referring to yourself as buddy to your child, you put your child at the same level as yourself. 

Children will not respect parents who stand eye-to-eye with them. Rosemond says parents must tower over their kids, both figuratively and physically (no bending down to eye level anymore), so children will understand their place.

Listening to the parent/child relationship as John described it reminded me of playing chess.

The parent is the king, and the kids are pawns in the game of child-rearing. The child is to be well-trained by the parents in the court of becoming a decent human being. 

If he's well-trained, the child will grow up to rule his own kingdom: the kingdom where he is the sovereign of himself and where one day he (or her) will become the sovereign of his children.

Rosemond's 1950's generation was the last generation to be raised with a parenting attitude that produced happy, decent kids. He reminds us many times that mental illness amongst children has increased ten times since those days

In many ways, Rosemond's approach to parenting mirrored my approach to education—going back to the way things were when they worked— which is why I was attracted to his ideas.

Homeschooling parents, in addition to issues with education, sometimes express concerns around discipline issues. In the past, I've always been clear that discipline questions were parenting questions, and I was not a parenting "expert."

But lately, I began to think that I had erred. Raising and educating children go hand-in-hand, and, while I've always understood this, the discipline issue had eluded me. It was time to tackle it. 

And then, I discovered Rosemond’s Vitamin N video. John Rosemond had already figured it out.

After three days in the Bible Belt training directly under Rosemond, I've gained an inroad into his way of thinking. It's clear and direct and boils down to this: 

• Your marriage comes first

• Present yourself as authority to your children

• Disengage from the soap opera your kids create

Instead of being the most challenging thing you will ever do, parenting will become fun and relatively stress-free.

As your children question your authority—as all kids do—you will train them to understand who's who in the parenting court. 

In other words, you and your spouse are looking for ways to checkmate your kids when they disobey. If you do this successfully, not only will your marriage be stronger and survive the vicissitudes of raising kids, but your kids will be happier too. 

John Rosemond isn't for everyone, but his principles of raising kids work regardless of your race, religion, or color.

Children are children.

In cultures where parents have been successful, you'll find the core of Rosemond's simple child-rearing principles present. 

Unconditional love and authoritative leadership. 

This is the recipe for raising wholesome, happy kids.


To read some of John Rosemond's parenting philosophy, start with New Parenting Power!

Elizabeth Y. Hanson teaches parents the secrets and skills to raising "smarter" children with a focus on getting the early years right. She is the founder of Smart Homeschooler™ and is a consultant and researcher in the raising and education of children.