Silence is an underrated tool in the arsenal of parenting

Silence is an underrated tool in the arsenal of parenting

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Silence is an underrated tool in the arsenal of parenting

I am trying something that is extraordinarily difficult for every parent. I plan to cease and desist from all parental instructions; or at least reduce their volume and frequency quite significantly.

I am what I would call an involved parent. My kids have another pithy word to describe my modus operandi: nagging. Completely untrue, I might add.

While I don’t consider myself opinionated, I have thought through things and developed views about how to do things—the right way and the wrong way. I am also a champion of the teachable moment, which could be, if you think about it, every waking moment that your child is with you.

When we walk to school, I point out trees and talk about networking and the tree of life. When we are stuck in traffic, I tell them about how meditation can help them unwind and spark creativity. When we go to the grocery store, I “discuss” nutrition and food choices.

As my daughter says, “It is exhausting.” In return, I ask: what does she have to be exhausted about? After all, I am the one coming up with sprightly thoughts and sensible advice. All she does is roll her eyes, with yellow earphone wires snaking out of her ears.

So far, I saw nothing wrong with this maximalist approach. After all, our children are in our purview for just 18…