Guerilla Parenting: What do you think?

By Kris Hey

Orlando Sentinel


A new book "Guerrilla Parenting," by David and Jill Fagan, a couple from California with eight children, is generating news and some controversy this week. The children range from age 2 to 17.

The Today show recently did a segment about the book, and one of its authors, David Fagan, wrote a piece for the site explaining their parenting approach.

According to David Fagan, "As a dad of eight, I am all about empowering my kids to be resilient, self-reliant individuals. And as a Guerrilla Parent, that means using unconventional methods in order to reach conventional goals.

That means I don't help them with homework. I don't get involved in their friendship squabbles. And I won't be paying for their college."

Here are some excerpts from the article/book:

1. "Teach self-reliance. We need to teach kids to recognize what they want and truly need, and then show them how to get it for themselves whenever possible.

2. Customize their education. ... It's your job as a parent to help your children discover their talents and to develop them through practice, hard work, and involvement in strategic activities. Help them take the classes and experience real-life situations that will help them grow as individuals.

3. Focus on getting results. More than anything, employers want people who can get results and show a positive contribution. Yes, many places require a degree. Yet even if they get the job, people have to think, act, and get things done on their own. Help your children focus on what information and skills they need to do specific jobs.

4. College is NOT for everyone. Give your kids all the options. Somewhere along the way, colleges and universities started cornering the market on higher education, claiming it was the best chance at giving our children an advantage. I firmly believe this monopoly on education must be broken, and we are seeing the cracks now. We must stop worshiping the false god called college.

5. Let your kids fail. Parent by the natural consequences. If your kids don't do their homework sometimes you have to let them receive the appropriate grade.

6. Don't rescue your kids. No one likes to see their kids be mistreated. Kids will be picked on and bullied by people of all shapes, sizes, and gender. Although there are times to take matters into your own hands, most kids will be better off if you help them learn to deal with being treated unfairly or with cruelty."

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