WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Smooth Operators "We don't want mothers feeling bad if their kid isn't supposedly up to snuff, just because the child wasn't a prodigy by age five." –Hammond Pyle Something else they have encountered along their journey is kids with bad manners. "This is an interesting time in which we live—most everything is relative," muses Butcher. "It's up to you to set your own standards that you're comfortable with, such as telling your own chil- dren that there are certain words that aren't used in the house, though they might hear other kids using them. " Pyle handles the question of proper conduct by holding a confab with her children in private. "If we've been somewhere and we see a youngster behaving in a certain manner, I tell them at home, 'If I see you acting like that, it's not okay. Just because you see your peers doing that, it doesn't mean you can." Both agree that while you can't parent other people's offspring, you can at least maintain rules in your own home. "If the mother isn't there and something happens under your roof, it's perfectly fine to say, 'We don't do that in our house," Pyle notes. Unpopular Culture Another contemporary peril that is regularly challenged by "Manners for Modern Mothers" is the glut of parenting books that become instant darlings of the mainstream media. Last year's favorite was Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua. The book chronicles the results of the author's decision to raise her two daughters in a strict, Old World Chinese way. "'Tiger Mom' was so shocking," says Pyle. "The only point I found interesting was that the idea that the Asian mother assumes strength in her child. While I do like the idea of believing in your child's strength, I don't think you should be so hard on children. You can demand more and more out of your child, or you can trust them to succeed on their own." Butcher adds, "Our philosophy is that a child's independence is very valuable when it comes to sticky subjects like homework. So standing over your child demanding that they do their homework isn't helping him or her develop a life skill." 128 WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012

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