PALO ALTO, CA -- A new book from a team of psychologists and sociologists out of Stanford University is recommending parents replace a sense of personal responsibility regarding the behavior and character of their growing children with generalized anger at the intolerance of the world.
"The book arose out of a lunch meeting I was having with a colleague at my home, at which my seven-year old son was present," said Lisa Forsheim, one of the primary authors of the new book, Heaven Forbid My Child Be A Child Around You. "When I tried to explain to this professor that my son was really artistic, and we encouraged him to express himself, even if that meant using a guest's soup and tie, he rolled his eyes at me."
"When I explained that the smell was due to our son's being emotionally not quite ready to potty train, he actually snorted. He'll say it was allergies, but I have a background in women's studies, and I know a derisive snort when I hear one."
Ms. Forsheim said the idea of the book came to her that very day, when her guest left abruptly, without finishing their discussion over departmental budgets.
"I knew the problem wasn't my child, who was just acting out normal, age-appropriate behaviors in a caring environment, or my parenting, which is based around a core belief that my child is the center of my, and the general population's, world. If it wasn't my or my child's fault, the only logical candidate for blame was everyone else."
Enlisting the help of several members of her department who also had young children, Ms. Forsheim managed to draft the book -- which includes sections such as "Your Dinner Isn't More Important Than My Child's Need To Express Boredom," "Do You Really Think A Five-Year Old Can Sit Through An Entire Plane Flight?" and "Yes, I Realize You Were Here First, But If You Didn't Notice, I Have A Child With Me" -- in a matter of just a few months.
"I'm not trying to brag, but once I had that 'Eureka!' moment, when I realized the problem is everyone else's unhealthy and cruel attitude towards my child, the rest of the book just wrote itself," Forsheim told reporters.
Ms. Forsheim is currently in talks about a sequel, Forget Merit, My Child Deserves This, Too.
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