The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Tag: parenting

A Word to Parents in the Time of Covid

The pandemic has left a lot of children at home when they would usually be at school, with their parents having to care for them all day.

My parents were alcoholics who loved to argue. Being stuck at home with them would have been hell. But I remember many other children’s parents can think of nothing better, where I imagine it would have been the greatest thing ever.

This is probably the longest stretch of time you will spend with your school age children in their entire lives–and children don’t tend to remember much of the pre-school years.

How they remember this period is likely to define their entire childhood relationship with you. You can view it as a trial and an imposition, as I see so many parents doing, or you can view it as something great; a chance you otherwise wouldn’t have to be with them and to enjoy each other’s company.

I gently suggest you do the latter.

Caring for kids can be a drag and frustrating, I get that, but emphasizing the good parts to yourself will make this period far better for you and for them, and will create a future relationship you treasure.

You don’t want them looking back at when when they spent the most time with you and hating the memory or knowing that you didn’t like being with them. You do want them to remember it as awesome.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


The Sheer Idiocy of Helicopter Parenting

So, we have another case of children not being under constant supervision, some idiot reporting it, and cops treating it seriously:

Last month, the two [parents] were found responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect for allowing their kids, 10-year-old Rafi and 6-year-old Dvora, to walk home alone in December. …

The kids had been playing at a park about a mile away and the Meitivs, both scientists, encouraged them to walk home on their own as a lesson in self-reliance.

Oooh. A mile. I used to spend all day wandering around by myself. I went to the downtown YMCA in Vancouver, far more than a mile away, by myself. My school was about a mile away and I walked there and home by myself. I went out and played street hockey and my parents had no idea where I was; it was usually at least half a mile away.

It’s true that the world has changed, mind you: Stranger-crime afflicting children is way down. This might be because of all the helicopter parenting, I grant you, but there’s no credible argument that America or Canada is now more dangerous for children than it was 30 or 40  years ago.

In fact, if something bad is going to happen to your child, a few over-reported cases aside, it will almost certainly be done to them by a family member, a friend of the family, or another trusted adult. The people who are goddamn scary to children, dangerous to children, are the people you trust, not strangers.

Meanwhile, absent unsupervised playtime, absent learning how to handle themselves around strangers, the children don’t properly develop independence or creativity. (Measures of creativity are now in multi-generational decline, coinciding with the rise of helicopter parenting.)

Keeping children so safe they never learn how to be independent, creative adults who are able to take care of themselves is no favor to them. It’s an indulgence in fear. I was going to school by myself in grade two. I was walking Calcutta slums by myself in my early teens. I was traveling by myself in my teens as well.

And yeah, the bad things that happened to me, I can tell you, all happened at the hands of trusted adults and the bad things I suffered at the hands of other children ALL happened at school, supposedly a supervised place.

Binding children hand and foot doesn’t teach them safety, it teaches them fear and dependence.

If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.

What Every Liberal Needs To Learn From A Conservative Parent

constitution-censoredSara Robinson, discussing the different parenting styles of liberal and conservatives notes that Conservative parenting can wind up teaching that:

they do have boundaries — but only to the extent that they’re personally willing to fight and able to defend them.

Let me put this another way, one you may be familiar with.

“you have only the rights you are willing to fight for”.

This is the lesson that liberals who didn’t have a parent with a conservative parenting style often don’t understand.  There are no such things, as a practical matter*, as innate rights.  They do not exist in the real world. You have only the rights that other people earned for you, usually by fighting, suffering and dying.  And as a group, you keep only the rights you are willing to fight, suffer and perhaps even die for.

Any “right” you are not willing to fight for is not a right, it is a privilege given to you by the powers that be, which can be revoked by them at any time it is convenient to them with no consequence to them.

* Yes, in theory there are innate rights. In practice, there aren’t.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén