Psychologist Carl Jung said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Try to keep that in mind on our journey together through the next couple of hundred pages. There are many ways to get to a goal, and you will certainly not “buy into” all of the ideas and techniques that follow. Rather than getting aggravated about a point of disagreement, use the disagreement to think about and perhaps strengthen your position on the topic.
There was a hippie battle cry from the sixties, “I may disagree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In fact, I once saw Phil Donohue (an extremely liberal, progressive thinker) say those very words on his show to Howard Stern (as Stern engaged in misogynistic “humor” that Donohue, no doubt, reviled). Still, the two got along, and they not only kept the dialogue civil, but it even became productive.
There is an undercurrent of politics in the parenting landscape. Are you liberal or conservative in your parenting attitudes and behavior? There are the Liberal Lunatic parents, who applaud artistic talent after their child smears the contents of his diaper in the crib. There are the Cold Conservative parents, who use harsh control and place excessive demands on their children. Then there are the parents who are Loving Liberals and the parents who are Compassionate Conservatives. These two groups of parents are more alike than different.
Although their techniques may vary along the dimensions of communication, control, nurturance, and maturity demands, these groups of parents share similar philosophies and goals for their children. In this book, we have not been governed by “Political Correctness” or ideology, but rather by “Psychological Commonsense.” We hope the tone of Maximum Strength Parenting conveys the moderate, rational, and loving natures of the authors. As you read, use your opinions to challenge and learn about yourself. What do you think? We’d like to know.