On Parenting

Quick update. I decided to check out what randomly linked from last post. It turns out one of them is to a parenting blog and that children should be taught strict manners. Clearly, I’m in general opposed to this (of course, children shouldn’t go around terrorizing, but teaching them to blindly follow rules that have no justification is a scary thought as well).

All I have to say is that posting some of my views in the comments was not a good idea. Lots of scary moms started yelling at me that I had no idea what I was talking about. How dare I criticize when I don’t have any children. I find this slightly ironic considering the post. It seems to me quite impolite to dismiss someone’s opinion because they approach it from outside your little group. I actually find that the opinions I value most come from outside the group. They have a fresh perspective I haven’t thought about before.

Also, this is a scary attitude to have. The “You can only have a valid opinion if you have an invested interest” attitude. Essentially they are like when a tobacco company does research on the health effect of smoking. Of course, when you don’t go outside the group all your data is going to fit your predetermined conclusion. They seem to think that parents that raise their kids to be polite turn out polite and parents that don’t instill some sort of military-like rigid manners will turn out to be these horrible people. In my experience there seems to be very little correlation.

I wanted to write: a child grows up, and the character that person becomes is more than the sum of its parts…erm, I mean, is more than the sum of one part: parenting. There are: brain chemistry, early psychology developed while at school and with friends, hormone alterations, genetics, mass media. That is just a tiny list, too. How could a parent possibly have that much impact with so much out of their hands? I’m not saying that parenting isn’t important. It is one of the parts, but it shouldn’t be considered the sole factor in how a child turns out as these mothers seem to think.

I just had to get that out there. I couldn’t do it on their site. Is this really that unreasonable?


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