Re: Raising children

From: Michael LaTorra (
Date: Sat Jan 27 2001 - 17:05:35 MST

Without reposting anything Barbara Lamar wrote - because I agreed with all
of it -- I want to add my own 2 cents to this thread.

I approach the matter of raising my children like the proverbial sculptor
approaches an uncarved block of stone: I look for (try to perceive
imaginatively) the form hidden within, and then I chip away the obtruding
stone until that form is revealed.

In other words, I try to understand what my children need and want, and then
I work with them to fulfill their needs and to enable them to exercise their

This does not mean that they are undisciplined, however. They know that when
I tell them to do something, I expect them to do it. "I should only have to
tell you once" is my motto.

I spend a lot of time with my kids. We play together, do fun things
together, and also spend a lot of boring time doing chores together. I
believe that the quantity of time one spends with one's children is just as
important as the so-called "quality time" which may not be long enough or
often enough to meet a child's needs for time-with-a-parent.

Because I am so close to my kids, the only form of punishment I have ever
had to use with them is to deny them time with me. If they seriously
misbehave, I tell them that we cannot do something that they had wanted to
do. That's it; no swatting, hitting, or other forms of corporal punishment
are needed. At the worst, the youngest one might have to sit in a corner in
"time out" until she agrees not to hit her old brother (who never hits her
back, by the way).

My kids (ages 15, 8 and 2) were weaned gradually (the youngest is still
nursing). My wife lets them nurse until around age 3, but we don't have a
hard and fast rule about that.

As for sleeping arrangements, the baby of the litter always sleeps in our
room, either on the futon we keep on the floor next to our bed, or in bed
with us. Is this inconvenient for us? Yes, but not terribly so. We can move
her for an hour or so, and we get time alone when we need it. More
importantly, our children are happily well-adjusted intelligent individuals
who have not the slightest doubt that they are loved and supported.


Michael LaTorra
Extropy Institute:
Alcor Life Extension Foundation:
Society for Technical Communication:

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