Friday, October 14, 2011

Results-oriented parenting or a control freak?

I overheard something disturbing recently.

A dad was speaking to some other parents and said "I will raise these girls way different because I have a different end result in mind."

On the surface I'm not sure why it disturbed me. We all "raise" our kids in the way we think will produce the best results. As if we could ever know which "results" would be "best", or what would produce those results.

But there was some type of arrogance to that statement that really got to me. To think you can have any "end" in mind for your kids- it just seemed creepy to me. Added to the fact that the guy was sporting a semi-military haircut, wearing a T-shirt with a military logo, and going on and on about different Republican presidential candidates without mentioning that they are all authoriturd puppeticians (with one sorta-exception whom he never mentioned) - it all added up to a control-freak authoritarian in my mind.

Maybe I am wrong.

I didn't know the guy and wasn't sitting that close to him. I forced myself to sit and not speak up or snort in derision. It was hard. I've grown as a person.



  1. I had exactly the same response.
    If you've ever read a story, you'll know that deciding what your kids want doesn't work out. Either they submit and never live their own lives, or they rebel and it causes huge fights.
    Naturally, it never occurs to parents to ask. "Hey kiddo, what do you want out of your life?" They think kids exist so they can obey. It never occurs to them that if they really wanted their kids to be happy, they'd be helping not commanding them.

    I want to know if the State comes first, and convinces everyone that you have to be commanded to be happy, or if these parents come first, and lay all the groundwork for a State.

    Consider a kid who obeys. What do they command their own kids to do - who do the new parents obey? What about the great-grand kids, for whom the original commander is dead? If the grandkids run into a novel situation, who do they turn to for orders?

    How isn't it obvious to everyone that the confusion and uncertainty most parents feel is because of exactly this dangling command chain?
    How isn't it obvious to everyone that obedience isn't good training for command?
    How isn't it obvious to everyone that, at some point, you have to command your own life?

  2. I figure the guy will see one of two possible outcomes: the daughters will either grow into mindless slaves to whatever they are ordered to do, or they will rebel and become the opposite of what he wants them to be (not mutually exclusive outcomes).

    Wouldn't it be better to just help them learn to be themselves and help them learn the strength to handle whatever comes their way?

  3. I find it funny, but also overwhelmingly sad, when I see people mindlessly obeying the opposite of who their parents told them to obey. Can you live a more pointless life than that?

    Indeed, I'm very conflicted. It's also tempting because such people are so very easy to manipulate. I've often found myself doing it by accident, even.