Love, Parenting basics

The flexible Stoic: Solving parenting challenges with rationality

One of my favorite things about Stoicism is that it provides both clear guidelines for living and the freedom to apply those guidelines as each person sees fit. The ancient Stoics developed a very strong rationale for seeking virtue, and a very clear understanding of what virtue is and what it might look like in certain circumstances. But ultimately, it’s…

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A Stoic upbringing, Parenting basics

Wipe Your Nose: Common-sense Stoic Advice for Parents and Children

  Whining. Yelling. Not sharing. Grumpiness, laziness, stubbornness. Does this sound familiar? Yes, these are just a few things that we parents are guilty of. Oh, did you think I was talking about the kids? They do the same things, of course, but they’re just children. We adults should know better. Since I’ve become a Stoic parent, there have been…

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A Stoic upbringing, Parenting basics

Teaching virtue: Teachable moments and good judgment

Stoicism gives us many reasons to seek virtue: living in accordance with nature, fulfilling our rational purpose as human beings, benefiting the rest of humankind, finding eudaimonia. Once you embrace the Stoic way of life, it’s only natural to want these same gifts for your child. But children have a different psychological makeup than adults. They don’t reason and understand…

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A Stoic upbringing, Parenting basics

So be good for goodness’ sake

You better watch out You better not cry Better not pout I’m telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town   He’s making a list And checking it twice Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice Santa Claus is coming to town   He sees you when you’re sleeping He knows when you’re awake He knows if you’ve been…

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Dichotomy of control, Parenting basics

Are you a good parent?

  The world is overflowing with advice on how to be a good parent. Anywhere you look, you can find books and websites on parenting skills, parenting goals, parenting strategies, and all kinds of tips and tricks and secrets. (I even have a few suggestions floating around Apparent Stoic.) It’s enough to induce performance anxiety in any well-meaning mom or…

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A Stoic upbringing, Parenting basics

Shaping your child’s character, not personality

It seems that everyone and everything in our world is obsessed with personality. Your personality type (of which there are many), Donald Trump’s personality, crafting a personality that will help you succeed in business or at cocktail parties. People are deemed desirable or undesirable on the basis of their personality: he’s weird, she talks too much, she’s desperate, he’s awkward.…

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Miscellaneous, Parenting basics

A vacation in your mind

Before I had kids, I loved to travel. Actually, I still love to travel. But as you can imagine, “travel” with three small children is a totally different experience than backpacking around Europe as a young adult. Since Clementine was born five years ago, we have been out of the country exactly one time. And with Freddy being just a…

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Parenting basics

Disciplining your child, Stoic edition

I’ve talked a lot on this blog about applying the three Stoic disciplines (or topoi) to life as a parent. The discipline of desire and aversion, the discipline of impulse and action, and the discipline of assent are essential for anyone who wishes to achieve parenting eudaimonia. I also believe they provide an excellent framework for teaching your kids to…

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Parenting basics

Vanity

Should I buy the anti-aging face cream? I’ve been browsing facial moisturizers on Amazon and trying to decide what the Stoic approach is to face lotions. I know that sounds silly–after all, what do moisturizers have to do with the serious business of Stoic philosophy? But it’s part of a larger question I’ve been asking myself lately: as a practicing…

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A Stoic upbringing, Parenting basics

Stoic cool

The other day, as I was flipping through stations on my car radio, I started thinking about the challenge of raising morally excellent kids in a world in which being cool means not really caring about anything besides yourself. No matter what kind of music or tv shows you like, it’s hard to escape the cultural message that being edgy,…

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