Do parents have a plan to raise self-sufficient, practical children?

Let’s look at this Huffington Post article about parenting. (H/T Amy)

Introduction:

When a college freshman received a C- on her first test, she literally had a meltdown in class. Sobbing, she texted her mother who called back, demanding to talk to the professor immediately (he, of course, declined). Another mother accompanied her child on a job interview, then wondered why he didn’t get the job.

A major employer reported that during a job interview, a potential employee told him that she would have his job within 18 months. It didn’t even cross her mind that he had worked 20 years to achieve his goal.

[…][W]hy have parents shifted from teaching self-reliance to becoming hovering helicopter parents who want to protect their children at all costs?

“I think it began in the fall of 1982, when seven people died after taking extra-strength Tylenol laced with poison after it left the factory,” he says. Halloween was just around the corner, and parents began checking every item in the loot bags. Homemade brownies and cookies (usually the most coveted items) hit the garbage; unwrapped candy followed close behind.

That led to an obsession with their children’s safety in every aspect of their lives. Instead of letting them go outside to play, parents filled their kid’s spare time with organized activities, did their homework for them, resolved their conflicts at school with both friends and teachers, and handed out trophies for just showing up.

“These well-intentioned messages of ‘you’re special’ have come back to haunt us,” Elmore says. “We are consumed with protecting them instead of preparing them for the future. We haven’t let them fall, fail and fear. The problem is that if they don’t take risks early on like climbing the monkey bars and possibly falling off, they are fearful of every new endeavor at age 29.”

Psychologists and psychiatrists are seeing more and more young people having a quarter-life crisis and more cases of clinical depression. The reason? Young people tell them it’s because they haven’t yet made their first million or found the perfect mate.

Teachers, coaches and executives complain that Gen Y kids have short attention spans and rely on external, instead of internal motivation.

More:

  • We’ve told our kids to dream big – and now any small act seems insignificant. In the great scheme of things, kids can’t instantly change the world. They have to take small, first steps – which seem like no progress at all to them. Nothing short of instant fame is good enough. “It’s time we tell them that doing great things starts with accomplishing small goals,” he says.
  • We’ve told our kids that they are special – for no reason, even though they didn’t display excellent character or skill, and now they demand special treatment. The problem is that kids assumed they didn’t have to do anything special in order to be special.

I have frequently heard from Christian women who I have courted who hear my marriage plan that children should not be directed in any way toward doing hard things, studying STEM fields and getting good jobs. Although these women are not successful themselves, they are very concerned that I will make my children feel bad by steering them towards fields that are hard, but will make the kids successful. Children have to have good self-esteem, they insist. They have to be allowed to study ballet or art history in college, if they feel like it, otherwise they will rebel and become atheists. Two of the women who told me this had double-digit student loan balances and were still living at home in their 30s.

So you have a man like me, who has a BS, MS, a gapless resume and savings, being lectured by an unsuccessful woman on how to make our children successful by following her plan, which is the opposite of my plan. Why is this an attractive value proposition to a man? Kids cost over $150,000 each, and at least in my case, I expect that I would be the one paying for it because I seem to be the only one with savings as opposed to debts. But there is no humility from single Christian women, in my experience. They want me to earn the money, but they want to make the decisions. And they think that their way will work, even when it hasn’t worked in their own lives.

I just want to point out to those women who are single that “well, I wouldn’t marry you” is not an answer to these concerns. It’s not an answer to a life lived on emotions and impracticality. It’s not an answer to kids raised to do nothing except what makes them feel good. The question is, how do we make successful kids? Do we let men lead, focusing on responsibility, obligation, incremental improvements and practicality? I want a wife who will be a chief of staff to implement my plan. Not someone who doesn’t value and respect my decision making in areas where I am proven to know what I am doing. If all I am getting in this deal is rebellion, then I can just not marry at all and instead use the money for apologetics funding. I am not paying over $150,000 per child (not counting tuition) to have ineffective and uninfluential kids. And it alarms me how easily my concerns are dismissed in favor of a woman’s emotions (sometimes decorated with God-language) during courting, when we know that good parenting is sorely needed today.

6 thoughts on “Do parents have a plan to raise self-sufficient, practical children?”

  1. How will not being hard on them will turn their onto atheist? That is the most ridiculous thing I had ever read

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  2. Quoted.

    And on to the main issue: the upper class parents are not allowing their kids to be protected but letting them fail a bit earlier (high school) and push them into the more challenging fields — in part because easy is boring.

    But among the less knowledgable, who cannot unpack the mythos of this society, Oprah rules, and her poisonous advice mean kids are held in cotton wool far too long and never learn how to deal with rejection when young, nor how to be resilent.

    It does not help that fatherhood is devalued, for fathers generally advise kids on how to deal with things (including when to fight — verbally and physcially — ahd how to get away with it).

    In the end, it will not matter, for a society based on lies, as with the Soviets, crumbles. But in the meantime we have a duty to correct when whe can and subvert when we cannot the spirit of this age.

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  3. It’s not love to do everything for a person and make them rely on you so they cannot survive in the world without you. It’s true that a lot of parenting has come to be focused on making the children “feel good” and “be happy” rather than be sober and competent in the world.

    Women/ feminism have had a big role in those patterns in the way we live right now, yet the lack of fear of the Lord is the root problem. The way women are and feminism is just a result of that.

    I don’t see how representing the “Christian” women who look so much like the rest of the world is very helpful. I’d encourage Christian men to be like they were made to be– in the image of God. In Christ be righteous and fight for justice and those who are poor and in need– such as unborn babies who are killed across the world in abortions. Be faithful to God and stick to His Word.

    In Ecclesiates Solomon despairs about the meaninglessness of life. Yet he concludes that meaning is found in obeying God and His commandments. As a Christian it can be tough to have hope and find meaning in the work we do of spreading salt and light throughout the earth and spreading the Gospel. If a Christian is doing this faithfully people will hate you and get mad at you for doing this. There aren’t very many people who will stick with you during the tough situations, instead they would probably leave to try to find a “happier” situation. So when a faithful Christian has little to show for their work because everyone hates them and has abandoned them, how could they have hope that what they do matters? They hope in pleasing God, and God alone.

    Ecclesiastes 12:11-14

    ” Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

    13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

    Fear God and keep His commandments,
    For this is man’s all.
    14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
    Including every secret thing,
    Whether good or evil.”

    Be satisfied by God and hope in Him. Follow Him faithfully. It is not helpful to worry too much about those who resist and hate God’s commands– such as how divorce is a sin, abortion is murder, homosexuality is a sin, ect. Just present the Resurrection to them as proof of Christ’s sovereignty, and do what you can to work with them in love and truth. Then just move on if they reject you. It takes thick skin. Christ had to set His face as flint as we hated Him, spat in His face and hung Him on the cross. Yet He was faithful to stick with us and serve many, and then die for us, even though everyone opposed him or abandoned Him for what He did. We are to love others like Christ did.

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  4. Totally agree that you should plan for your children’s education, vocation, and mental health . Any woman who has the “Que Sera, Sera” philosophy is well avoided.

    That $150,000 figure though? I’m very suspicious of it. My parents are raising 7 kids (3 of us have already entered the workforce) on just over $50k a year, and own their land in the city debt free, even though my dad was unemployed for several years.

    We have always had everything we needed, and our parents even managed to travel Australia with us for a couple of years.

    We are socially adjusted, hardworking young people, and while at this stage only my brothers are entering STEM, all the ones working are doing a trade and have a keen layman’s interest in apologetics and science.

    WK, I strongly recommend you take a closer look at the $150,000 figure. You may find room in your budget for raising 10 kids for the Lord, and spending greater sums on apologetics ministry :)

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