Welcome Stoic Parents

Stoicism, as practiced by the Romans, is a philosophy of life; an intellectual worldview informing a practical system of day-to-day and moment-to-moment self-management - towards the end of creating a happy and effective life in an anxious time. Like many other ancient practices, Stoicism is still used and useful today, offering wisdom and techniques that are especially valuable to the parent, as well as a being an effective worldview well worth passing on to your child.

  1. Stoicism simplifies. For example, everything is in one of two groups: Things you can't control, and things you can control. So, you have zero control over traffic, the weather, other people, reputation, the behavior of the markets - really, what happens to you. However, you have total control over your thoughts, actions, judgements and interpretations. Some things are better than others - You are the decider.
  2. Stoicism is full of helpful exercises. It's the basis for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, considered the most robust approach to managing many mental health challenges. In effect, Stoics train themselves to act well when it counts, by keeping a specific awareness and constantly practicing good judgement.

Stoics are calm, resilient and quietly happy - in charge of their own experience, respectful, and good in relationships with others, as they follow their system to live "in accordance with nature." (the Stoic state of Ataraxia is similar to the Buddhist nirvana - only it is found not so much in contemplation, but "out in the world." It offers lucidity and ongoing freedom from distress and worry, all in support of a natural role in supporting family, friends and community.)

I believe that Stoicism, Buddhism, Reflective Practice, Quakerism, Mindfullness, etc all center around the same thing - the "best self" described by parenting author Becky Bailey. The Stoics were practical and direct, and, to me at least, their approach is particularly helpful ... What worked for Roman emperors is handy when dealing with car seats, feeding and public tantrums, as well as the bigger questions of "what do I do," or understanding one’s role in the world.

Rather than layout Stoicism as if in a philosophy course, I've put together a few articles to stimulate you – once you start to develop "the Stoic Lens" and learn a few Stoic “Mind Hacks” you will find yourself apply them throughout your life, to the benefit of your child, yourself, you community, and all of humanity.

All Stoic Articles

Fight the Machines

We gotta help our little kids fight the machines. I could have called this “How to keep living in a F’ed-up world from hurting your child.” Today, we...