Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Confused babies… (April 2008)

Posted by Jeff on July 22, 2008

I’ve noticed a particular mentality regarding child-rearing that I’m not sure I agree with. I used to date someone who was very religious, and the biggest issue we had (as far as that was concerned) was the thought of what to do if we ever had kids. I never really understood the issue, but I played along in the interest of not wanting to start a fight. This is not a blog about religion, though.

See, she believed that a child should be brought up free of confusion. With both parents presenting a homogeneous worldview. Apparently it’s way too difficult for a child to be presented with the opposing opinions of the world or existence. Upon thinking about this, I’ve determined that this view is not only faulty, it’s a damned shame. Why are we expected to hide the nature of the world from children? Why is it the responsibility of the parents (according to some) to shelter a child from any and all controversy or dissent until they are “old enough”?

I call shenanigans! I feel that a child should be aware from the jump that different views of different things exist out there. That’s what the world really IS after all – a huge compilation of people espousing differing and non-compatible beliefs. Maybe I’m out of line thinking this way, since I don’t have children, but I want MY kids to question things. I don’t want my child to accept my every word as gospel, or anyone ELSE’s.

I know strong and happy families where the parents’ views are as different as night and day. The kids know full well that mom and dad don’t agree on these issues, so they are forced to (OH NOOOO!!!!) make up thier OWN MINDS! Why are people so afraid of their kids turning out differently than themselves?

To be honest, I’m not even sure what brought on this little rant, but it’s been bugging me. Here’s the thing: “How are we going to raise the kids???” should NEVER be a determining factor in a promising relationship. People are different, and always will be. If we don’t attempt to hide this fact from our kids, I assure you that they will be stronger for it.

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One Response to “Confused babies… (April 2008)”

  1. amayala said

    I agree that it is nearly impossible to shelter your child entirely from differing world views unless they spend their whole lives locked up in the house. Especially, for example, if the parents come from two religious backgrounds, eventually the parents are going to have to say, “Take the kid to your church, but if he chooses to go a different way, then let him.” Or if a kid comes up with a tough question about the Bible like, “How does a person resurrect?” then it’s even more stupid to pretend that you know it all. However, on one level, it is important for parents to support each other’s decisions in areas like discipline and household management and for children to see parents acting as a unit. If parents contradict each other constantly when it comes to raising the kid–(i.e. how late they can stay up, how much junk food they can eat, when kids have to “check in” with the cell phone)–kids really DO get confused about what the expectations are and then they end up making life insane. I think what I have seen to be the worst is parents who encourage their kids to drink at an early age and don’t model discretion in their own alcohol intake. Some things, in my opinion, should not just be left up to the kid to decide.

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