Dr. Jordan Peterson has a remarkable breadth of knowledge as well as an ability to distill his scholarship into practical advice. I believe his insights could be useful and potentially transformative for anyone willing to listen. The problem is, when you combine that much wisdom into one person – it takes awhile for him to impart it to the rest of us. Therefore, I am attempting an index, of sorts. This is my first of a series of posts for people who are intrigued by Jordan Peterson’s ideas but can’t (or don’t want to) sort through the hundreds of hours of videos online to find the content that interests them. I am focusing on short clips, most under 8 minutes. Due to the wide-range of his ideas and expertise, I will do several posts in the coming weeks, each focusing on a particular theme or topic. If you are already a Peterson “fan” this may be a good resource for you to share with those you think would benefit from JP’s ideas.
We will start with six short videos I believe would be extremely helpful for all wives and mothers. At first glance, some of these videos may not seem to directly relate to motherhood/marriage, so I briefly break down why I think these ideas are important for us to hear.
- Perfectionism as a hindrance to development. (5 minutes) We mothers need to admit our fragility and weakness, and that of our children and spouses. Accepting fragility means recognizing and appreciating our differences and unique roles to play. I see many mothers who hold on to the idea of perfection and, as JP demonstrates, become bitter and envious. When we fall into this trap, we are unable to progress as a person and help the world at-large.
2. Destructiveness of Overbearing Mother (6 minutes). In another clip JP explains that if we have to choose between safety and competence for our children, the correct choice is always competence. This is going against our very nature so we must be conscious of our proclivity to shelter and protect children and choose to strive for the greater goal of instilling independence. “You can’t protect people, you can only make them strong.” (This is the topic of my next blog post.)
3. Mary as model for Ideal Mother. (12 minutes) Rather than fall into the trap of over-protection, Mary knew full well the reality of the suffering her Son would face, yet she faced it voluntarily. We need to face the reality of suffering and rather than protect our children from it, prepare them for that eventuality.
4. Lie of Career and Family as a Supreme Goal. (12 minutes) “Young women in today’s society are not told the truth about what their lives are likely to be like.” We need to change our society’s outlook on the optimal life-path of young women. Life is long, there is time for career but there is a short window in which to have a family. Let’s start being honest about what will really give women’s life meaning and purpose.
5. Raising children: “Do not do allow your children to do anything that makes you dislike them.” (8 minutes) This sounds harsh but there is truth in this statement. I do believe this is a complex topic that I hope to break apart in future posts. I think it is important to be honest about this issue. We need to be aware of how we react to our kids misbehavior and how others react to them. “We have the proclivity for tyranny.”
6. Changing behavior in children and spouses through positive encouragement (4 minutes). Lasting behavior modification in children comes from looking for the positive in their behavior and reinforcing it. This requires parents to be extremely cognizant of when our children make good choices and reward them appropriately. “You have to keep your relationship with your kids pristine.”
*If you are interested in more videos on these topics, there are many. Jordan Peterson’s interviews with Dr. Oz, Joe Rogan (beware of profanity), and Dave Rubin all cover a breadth of issues. His university lectures on his YouTube channel can give detailed information on a particular topic. There are thousands of videos online compiled by fans of his work. However, if you need help finding specific content please contact me and I may be able to help. Also, please follow The Philosophy of Motherhood on Facebook or this blog if you would like to be notified of posts.
**I highly suggest this article written by one of our readers, Nikita Coulombe. The amount of research that went into this is truly staggering. It systematically dismantles the idea of the modern-day feminist “utopia” free from the burdens of family life.