Friday, December 10, 2010

Essential reading for any parent

I am not a parent and will never be one. But I was once a child and I spent my career among young people. I think Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen may be a very good book for parents of young children and for those who will be.

From the Amazon description:
Play dates, “helicopter parenting,” No Child Left Behind, video games, political correctness: these and other insidious trends in child rearing and education are now the hallmarks of childhood. As author Anthony Esolen demonstrates in this elegantly written, often wickedly funny new book, almost everything we are doing to children now constricts their imaginations, usually to serve the ulterior motives of the constrictors. ....

Much like The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls, and The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child confronts contemporary trends in parenting and schooling by reclaiming lost traditions. This practical, insightful book is essential reading for any parent who cares about the paltry thing that childhood has become.
The National Review Book Service provides chapter titles:
  • Method 1: Keep Your Children Indoors as Much as Possible (or They Used to Call It "Air")
  • Method 2: Never Leave Children to Themselves (or If Only We Had a Committee)
  • Method 3: Keep Children Away from Machines and Machinists (or All Unauthorized Personnel Prohibited)
  • Method 4: Replace the Fairy Tale with Political Clichés and Fads (or Vote Early and Often)
  • Method 5: Cast Aspersions upon the Heroic and Patriotic (or We Are All Traitors Now)
  • Method 6: Cut All Heroes Down to Size (or Pottering with the Puny)
  • Method 7: Reduce All Talk of Love to Narcissism and Sex (or Insert Tab A into Slot B)
  • Method 8: Level Distinctions between Man and Woman (or Spay and Geld)
  • Method 9: Distract the Child with the Shallow and Unreal (or The Kingdom of Noise)
  • Method 10: Deny the Transcendent (or Fix Above the Heads of Men the Lowest Ceiling of All)
Amazon.com: TEN WAYS TO DESTROY THE IMAGINATION OF YOUR CHILD (9781935191889): Anthony Esolen: Books, National Review Book Service: Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen