10 Rules For Raising a Child

Yesterday I came across this list of 10 Rules for Raising a Child taken from the journal of the well known American essayist, Susan Sontag, and it made me stop and just think. And then I reread it. And I reread it again. While her rules are pretty simple, I think they’re quite brilliant and I want to emblazon them in my mind. For it’s the little things we do without even realizing it that influence our children the most (I’m thinking of #2 and #7 especially). Give it a read and tell me what you think:

Susan Sontag’s 10 Rules for Raising a Child:

1. Be consistent.
2. Don’t speak about him to others (e.g., tell funny things) in his presence. (Don’t make him self-conscious.)
3. Don’t praise him for something I wouldn’t always accept as good.
4. Don’t reprimand him harshly for something he’s been allowed to do.
5. Daily routine: eating, homework, bath, teeth, room, story, bed.
6. Don’t allow him to monopolize me when I am with other people.
7. Always speak well of his pop. (No faces, sighs, impatience, etc.)
8. Do not discourage childish fantasies.
9. Make him aware that there is a grown-up world that’s none of his business.
10. Don’t assume that what I don’t like to do (bath, hairwash) he won’t like either.

image: Susan Sontag and her son David, photographed by Diane Arbus

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