Susan Sontag’s parenting advice.


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It’s so funny, when I was a few months pregnant and starting to wrap my mind around what being a mother would mean – one thing that crossed my mind was: Susan Sontag was a single mother – how did she handle that?

That probably sounds weird but she is one of those people who crosses my mind from time to time so it wasn’t a strange thing to think about – though I never thought about saying it aloud to anyone. I should probably start saying some of this stuff because other people are thinking it too – one morning I accidentally came across her short list of advice on the Parenting magazine website:

  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.

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