A GOOD ENOUGH PARENT
Whatever happened to Sylvia Rimm? She dispensed child rearing advice on public radio and in the newspapers.
She advised my wife, Alice, and me to subsume our individuality; create a united front to raise our kids. We did that for a few days.
Alice often quoted Sylvia Rimm — whenever Alice wasn’t quoting Freud, Spock, Leach or Brazelton. Alice wanted our kids to gain a “sense of mastery” — skills, basically. For instance, a trip to Disney World was garbage, according to Alice, because the kids wouldn’t learn anything.
Alice was overruled; we went to Disney World anyhow. The kids loved Figment, a Disney character, and went ape for Miss Piggy. And don’t forget the Ninja Turtles. At Epcot the kids spent time on the floor at the Moroccan restaurant, wrestling.
Good times. Let ‘em roll.
Our children took many lessons — ping pong, gymnastics, Hebrew, accordion. We didn’t allow much TV — mostly Mr. Rogers and The Simpsons. (When our kids grew up and moved out, they watched every show from the past 40 years.)
I liked Bettelheim’s book A Good Enough Parent. I liked the title.
My then-teenage son took my car to the SAT exam. I needed the car because my band equipment was in the trunk, and I had a gig! I took my wife’s car to the SAT testing site and swore loudly at my son in the parking lot. An adult, overhearing me, said, “Hey, ease up!”
Was I out of line? Ask Bettelheim, the expert.
Where is Sylvia Rimm? Also, where is Eleanor Weisberger –- another Cleveland child therapist. I think she’s dead. [Wrong. She's 93.] What about child expert Susan Glaser? [She's around.] Does every Jewish woman in Cleveland dispense child rearing advice?
I just Googled “Sylvia Rimm” . . .
Dr. Rimm is a psychologist, director of Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio . . . Dr. Rimm draws experience and inspiration from her wonderful husband; her very successful children: 2 daughters and 2 sons, and their spouses; and 9 vivacious grandchildren.
Rimm shot: her very successful children.
We want Bettelheim! Bruno lied, beat up kids, and had a foul temper. He made the rest of us look good!
I wrote “Taxi Driver.” Check the story out, from today’s CoolCleve.