Our job as a parent, in my view, is to raise children who can think and love well. And by thinking well I mean being able to think through difficult situations and come up with something useful to lead people and communities in a good direction.
At this time in history, it looks to me, so much of what we do to children serves the purpose of fitting them to be untroublesome members of this largely disfunctional society. Drugging children, herding them into overlarge classes [the excuse that we don’t have the resources is well answered by the car bumper sticker “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”], stopping their crying and thereby their ability to heal from their hurts, a prison system punishing people for their harsh childhoods, and on and on, all serve to buoy up a system in which no one’s real needs are met.
On the other hand, every time we kindly set a limit and allow our child to have her feelings about it and stay with her while she has them; every time we follow our child’s lead in play and let her take the more powerful role; every time we ourselves take time to unload our own feelings with a friend so we can go back with some attention to our children and grandchildren, we are contributing to a child who will be able to think.
We need these children, raised without the drag of rage and fear and addictions that befuddle us, to assist in the work of making a society without war, with communities that support all parents, and where parents have the time and resource to do their job.
What do you think?