This post is tied to yesterday’s in what may appear to be a very abstract sense–but to me, it is directly tied to it in a very concrete way through underlying structures.
Instigation of this post came about after reading this post on how “creativity” is supposedly declining in America. The post (for those who don’t want to click away) basically looks at how research on kids shows that as they grow up, they start losing interest in the world which correlates to them not asking questions anymore. It then ties this to declining performance in school. It goes on to claim that the most creative people lived in households that provided stability, but encouraged uniqueness and exploration. That giving kids certain rules that minimized overall existential chaos allowed kids the security to go off and figure stuff out.
My reaction to this claim was an immediate, and very much tinged with underlying fury, reaction of, well no SHIT, SHERLOCK!
What they just described is what fucking BASIC PARENTING IS, IDIOTS. If you want to raise intelligent beings who can handle themselves when they hit a real world that doesn’t really care if they exist, that will try to steal from them and exploit them, that will be filled with predators and insecure parasites just waiting to find a host–then you have to teach your kids to think all throughout their childhood.
We have a house rule–in fact it is generally the only house rule we have.
DON’T BE DUMB.
This rule, obviously, can apply to all situations and its application is not necessarily obvious or spelled out.
But that’s the point.
While having hard fast rules may be more necessary for really young kids, by the time they start approaching 7-8 and definitely when they start becoming teens, you have to start making them figure stuff out for themselves. If they don’t–if they are trained to rely upon you for every solution and every decision that they will ever have to make–then they are going to fuck it up hardcore once they leave your 100% supervision.
This is what destroys so many kids when they go off to college.
So.. make your kids figure stuff out. Make them think. Does this mean that your job as a parent may be harder at times? That you might have to work a bit more? Does it mean that they will sometimes show that they are smarter than you in some things and that you will have to admit that you don’t always know the answers?
YES. But that is what you want, correct? You should want your kids to grow up to be smarter than you in the world that they will spend more time in than you. You also want to show them that you are strong enough to admit you are human rather than giving them an example of how adults really haven’t outgrown high school level emotional development by being incapable of acknowledging and moving beyond weaknesses (and thus turning them into strengths…).
In the end–this just seems to be part of that overall phenomenon that some parents don’t want to work and grow along with their kids. They shy away from the pain and work and try to solve the situation by just taking the easy path of remaining parents to a 4 year old when their kids have moved far beyond them…
They have become lazy.. and that is one of the few traits in people that I will absolutely not suffer in my close associates…
Work, and work hard, or don’t bother trying to get to know me..