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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Some parenting advice for Stefan.

Here is some advice directly to Stefan on Parenting.

Here’s hoping that you are like almost all humans. If so, then true parental love has found its way into your heart. And if this is the case, you will come around in time. You will come to see that your theories regarding abusive parents are tragically missplaced. You will realize the horrible things you have said and done. After the pain of this discovery subsides, you will finally make every attempt you can to repair the senseless damage you have wrought. You might want to get started on that sooner rather than later.

It is true Stefan that you are a good listen. Lots of interesting analogies, and observations. You are weak on Objectivism. The anarchy thing is as silly as it gets. But you do have your moments. But by far your most clueless area is the family. Your discussions on parenting have the sing song sound and the simplified logic of a college sophomore psychology major explaining things to her friends in the dorm room. This is likely due to your childhood and lack of children of your own, When I listen to you, I find myself bemused and occasionally curious to talk to your mother. You must have been a hand full.

The thing is this. When it comes to family stuff, and definitely parenting stuff, you are applying logic without love and clearly without any empirical evidence. You carry on about how the accident of sex and DNA do not make love and respect. You are forever carrying on about the child’s right and duty to move out from under the shackles of parenthood. You bring forth trite anecdotes that would work in a TV drama, but don’t really mean much in the real life of parenting. You rarely acknowledge the role of the parent as anything other than a tyrant and source of fear. You insist that any parent that teaches religion is committing an affront to sanity and a crime against the child. You suggest that anything that causes fear in a child is horribly sad, wrong and useless. You say that any teaching of restraint is torture. Any attempt to promote an ‘honest’ appraisal in order to teach a child how to take responsibility for their actions is abuse and only succeeds in teaching them to ‘self attack.’

When I have listened to those pod casts, It is clear enough that you are clueless on the subject. There is no book in print or a video extant that shows the depth of what happens when it is just the mother and the son or the father and the daughter. No one knows the day in and day out parenting issues and concerns except the parent. It is our own private club. You are now a member. As time goes on with your new child, you may see how your own admittedly dysfunctional childhood has led you to this place. I would not be surprised if there is a time in the future, when you have your epiphany and you apologize to all the parents and young adults you have so negatively affected. If you ever do, the parents will all instinctively be inclined to accept the apology. It is what parents do. Forgiveness is in our bone structure.

So since you are so new to parenting, allow me to fill you in. It is delightful in those moments when children are founts of uncorrupted truth and wonderment. When you see them figure something out, it is a pleasure. When you hold them and that embrace comforts them in times of sadness, your heart fills with a joy that cannot be measured. When they are happy, you feel the happiness much more intensely than any happiness you feel on your own. All of this makes up for the huge majority of the time when your beautiful children are pure hedonists in search of their next pleasure fix. They are mostly irrational, highly emotional, demanding, tiresome to the point of exhaustion and all in all very hard to live with. Below a certain age, they aren't remotely capable of reason. Below another age, they are only occasionally able to process simple logic. Our affectionate nickname for my son was Childasaurus Rex. Fortunately for any child, there is a parenting connection that is spiritual in nature. Oh my heavens. Did I say ‘spiritual’? Well; it is a state of being that defies explanation. It is always there. Maybe it is DNA survival component. Whatever it is, it makes for a lot of love and patience from the parents. You don’t spend much time on that part of it. Why would you. You don’t know anything about it. I realize that with your family background your only hope was to have a child of your own. Now you do. You may even have a glimpse of this reality by now.

The love a parent has for a child is unconditional. It does not have to be earned. You do not seek to match the values of your child. I believe a parent’s love for a child is unique in nature. Try and approach birds nest and see what the mother does to protect her babies . The term Mother Lion is not an accident. When I held my daughter and son in my arms for the first time, that love welled up inside of me like a tidal wave coming up from inside a volcano. It has been six months of parenthood for you. Do you get it yet? This is important. It is an easy question. You don’t have to explore your MECOsystem to find out. Do you feel that unconditional love for your child? Now I suppose you do. But if you don’t, look out. If you don’t feel it, I am completely serious when I say you might want to consider adoption before it is too late. If you don’t love your child to the deepest depths of your heart by now, you are doomed as a parent. And your child will be doomed as well.

When you hold your new baby daughter, you are holding a helpless human being that is the result of the DNA offered by you and your wife (and the generations before you). What has your new baby done to earn your love? What values does she possess? Would you voluntarily choose to be in a relationship with her? I am being a little silly but only a little. If you do love your child, you must ask yourself why. I am deadly serious when I suggest that you would benefit from looking inside yourself to try and understand what it is that causes you to love her. If you succeed in that endeavor, you might want to try a podcast on the subject.

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