Re: Raising children (was GUNS something)

From: Chris Russo (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 16:54:52 MST

> >Why would you say that I "wish" them upon my child...
>Because you said your child needed hard realities, and it's common
>to wish for one's child's needs to be fulfilled.

My child "needs" immunization from the measles, that doesn't mean
that I "wish" to see her stuck with needles.

> >I dare say that I love my child every bit as much as I'm sure you
>love yours, so let's avoid maligning each others' motives, okay?
>I'm assuming you love your child. I think you're mistaken, not evil.

Ah, yes, I'm mistaken.

> >Are you surprised to learn that we do it because we love our
>children dearly and want to make their lives easier?
>No, not surprised at all. I just think you're mistaken in believing
>that you can use force to help someone learn. Force results in a
>change of behavior, but it doesn't show the child how to learn and
>to think for herself.

Yes, I'm mistaken. I got that earlier. How does learning things
that you need to learn preclude learning to think for yourself?
Ideally, my child will be able to function reasonably well in either

I'm not talking about military discipline here. I'm talking about a
balance. I don't want to raise a mindless soldier and I don't want
to raise a whiny cry-baby unable to cope with life's unrelenting

>And how would this relate to disciplining a child? Are you saying
>you'll arrange situations in which the child is thwarted so she'll
>know how to achieve goals?

No, usually, it's about letting her work past day-to-day difficulties
herself, rather than assisting her. Naturally, there's a balance to
be struck: we don't want her to become overly frustrated with tasks
that are just too advanced, but we also don't want her to rely upon
us to do tasks that are within her ability.

> >Yes, when our daughter cried upon being put to bed at certain
>times, we let her cry for a bit before going to bed. Training her
>to go to bed >at a certain time early on means that she's now very
>reliable about knowing her limits concerning bedtime.
>There's no doubt you can train a child into certain patterns of
>behavior. Surely you did the bedtime training for your own
>convenience though, rather than for the child's benefit?

You seem like a nice person, Barbara, but I just don't understand why
you continue to malign my motivations.

Bedtime training is mostly for her benefit. Discipline isn't just a
tool for parents to maintain order. It's a gift that you give a
child that she can use her whole life to help her to reach her goals.

>Somehow I don't see anything so horrible about *still* rocking a
>little 3 1/2 year old child to sleep. One person's whims may be
>another person's important issues. I don't want to put words into
>your post, but it appears to me as though you have the attitude that
>simply because you're older and bigger, your way is the right way,
>and the younger, smaller person's preferences don't count for

Can't you even begin to assume that my motivations are noble and that
actions I take or don't take are for her benefit above all?

> > The kid has an absolute panic attack if she isn't there when he
>wakes up from a nap. You were mentioning "independence"?
>I hardly think 3 1/2 years is an age at which we should expect human
>children to be out on their own.

Who's talking about their being out on their own? I'm talking about
not seeing mommy in the room and panicking.

> Do you really think a person should be independent at such an early
>age? In the usual course of childhood, independence is gained
>gradually, a step at a time, and full independence doesn't come
>until 14 or 15 (in our culture, of course, we typically prolong the
>period of dependence until 18 - 22)

Yeah, but you were talking about lack of "coercion" leading to
self-confidence and independence. I'm just pointing out that my
experience is that your philosophy leads to the opposite, a lack of
independence and a lack of self-confidence. Making excuses for that
3 1/2 year old doesn't change the fact that our daughter seems to be
*far* more independent and self-confident at a much younger age.

> >>I think rather than more discipline, what's needed is for people
>to understand the learning and thinking process and to acknowledge
>that >>learning and thinking cannot be forced.
>>When I was an employee at a company, and my boss said, "We need to
>>implement this totally different X with this new technology Y."
>>>You bet your sweet bippy that I did some forced learning and
>>thinking. That's the way life normally works, and to shield
>>children from being >trained in methods of coping with that is a
>>tremendous disservice to them.
>Good training for followers of orders, to be sure. But how about for
>creative, independent thinkers?

How does being able to follow orders preclude being creative and
independent? I've been an employee, and I've owned my own successful
corporation. At some points I've needed to rely on my ability to
follow orders, at some points I've needed to rely on my ability to
think creatively to charge out into new markets. Since my parents
had fairly similar child-rearing philosophies to my own, I'd say that
they were rather successful at raising a creative, independent
thinker who has a great deal of self confidence and a cheerful
outlook on life. What more could they have wanted? :)

Yes, yes, I know. I'm mistaken.


Chris Russo

"If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought 
or deed, I will gladly change.  I seek the truth, which never yet 
hurt anybody.  It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance 
which does harm."
              -- Marcus Aurelius, MEDITATIONS, VI, 21

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