Readers! Normally I just tweet the lovely essays that come my way, linked from other sites. This one I have to recommend right HERE, to make sure everyone knows about it. It’s titled, “The Best Parenting Book You Will Ever Read,” which happens to be “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The piece (from Australia!) addresses several situations in a Then vs. Now way, such as:
• There’s a reclusive man living in your street. Widely believed to have stabbed his elderly father in the leg with scissors. Probably kills and eats cats.
What we do now: Sadly the police can’t do much unless someone found bloody scissors or saw a cat in a sandwich, so the next step would be to get the media to investigate. Then we’d get a petition together to have the man moved. Possibly via a Facebook page. Only then would children be allowed out unaccompanied.
What Atticus did: He told Scout and Jem to respect the man’s privacy. Also, they were not to refer to him by his nickname, ‘Boo’ but as ‘Mr Arthur.’ When the kids tried to lure him from his home and were chased by Arthur’s father with a gun, Atticus sided with the old man.
• Six year old daughter complains twelve year old brother bosses her around. She asks ‘do I have to do what he says?’
What we do now: Investigate what is causing the conflict. Is daughter not being given enough attention? Is son being bullied and is therefore exhibiting bullying behavior? Are the children unsettled because their father is a single parent? Are they spending too much time together? Should separate schools be considered?
What Atticus did: He took Scout on his lap and said, ‘Let’s leave it at this: you mind Jem whenever he can make you. Fair enough?’ That gave both kids a something think about.
The rest of the essay is just as good. I loved it. — L.