In the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Letters to a Parent is a collection of letters by parents for parents concerning the philosophy and practice of raising kids.
It started when I found a talk given by my great-grandmother Elsie, the mother of nine daughters. “Especially ease up on the oldest one,” she said. “My, we expect a lot of the first one. ” Reading her words inspired me as much as any of the parenting handbooks I had read or research I had done. As my children have grown (they’re now 14, 12, and 9) I’ve continued to seek the wisdom of other parents I respect.
Since I couldn’t assemble all of the great parents I’ve known in one room, I started asking “what have you learned? how did you do it? what do you believe about parenting?” via e-mail and letters. This blog arose from the answers to those questions concerning parenting in all its ages and stages. We parents have a lot of wisdom to share with each other. Although there are specific pieces of advice included, the collection is intended to address the philosophies and approaches to parenting from a big picture view–sometimes from the thick of it and sometimes in hindsight. (In addition to Rilke’s work, this is also inspired by the This I Believe project…a kind of “this I believe” for parenting.)
And who am I? I am a parent of three children, a writer & doctoral student in Child Development in Boston. If you’d like to submit a letter or nominate someone you’d like me to invite to write for Letters to a Parent (or if you’d just like to say hi), I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.