A Winning Team

Jerry Seinfeld ideas on parenting!
February 15, 2010, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Seinfeld works hard not to be too indulgent. He bemoans the way some people cater to their children’s every whim. Seinfeld has three rules of parenting, what he calls “the poison Ps.” The first is Praise—“We tell our kids, ‘Great job!’ too much,” he says. The second is Problem-solving—“We refuse to let our children have problems. Problem-solving is the most important skill to develop for success in life, and we for some reason can’t stand it if our kids have a situation that they need to ‘fix.’ Let them struggle—it’s a gift.”

Just as he’s explaining the third P—“Giving your child too much Pleasure”—a woman comes in the deli with her three young daughters and buys them all huge cookies. “Can you believe this?” Seinfeld says, gesturing like his TV counterpart used to. “It’s 5:30 p.m.—when will they have dinner? At 8?”

So why does he think we treat our kids like that? His eyes light up. “Do you want to hear my latest theory?” he asks. “It’s a little far-fetched.” He leans in and explains how children today aren’t as innocent as they used to be. “We feel so guilty for destroying that innocence—which is what we did—so we’re now trying to repair that by creating perfect childhoods for our children.” He laughs, but he’s serious at the same time. “The reason we overdo it so much is because we feel so bad about it.”

Seinfeld also believes that it is best to teach children by example. “Kids are not going to do what you tell them to do or think like you tell them to think,” he says. “Kids are watching how you deal with that waiter or that handyman, and they are probably more likely to imitate you.”

As evidence, he points to his relationship with his father, Kalmen Seinfeld, a sign-maker who died in 1985. “I find myself acting like my dad,” he says. “My dad would never say no to anyone who needed help. He was extremely unselfish. And I don’t even think that’s my nature. But I saw him do that and, wanting to be like him, I do it too.”

Read all:   www.parade.com/celebrity/2010/02/jerry-seinfeld.html by Harlan Coben

I read that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said this: Don’t go overboard in protecting your children from the hardships of life. If you raise your young ones like plants in a greenhouse, sooner or later, when those plants have to come out into the open, they won’t be able to stand the cold. To put it another way—as one of my favorite sayings goes—”Should you shield canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.”


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