2015 April 25 Saturday
Generations Of Free Range Parents Not Being Held Accountable

Free-range vs. helicopter: What does it mean to be a good parent?

Parenting decisions that were commonplace a few decades ago are now cause for 911 calls and visits from a police officer or someone from child protective services.

Nazi war criminals, even minor figures, have been prosecuted decades after their crimes. But so far I've seen no move to go back and prosecute grandparents for the neglectful ways they raised their kids in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Tens of millions of parents neglected their kids for decades and are living free today without even being socially stigmatized.

Look, almost all living parents committed child neglect by letting their kids walk around unsupervised. To make it easy to bring them to justice how about holding all parents automatically guilty if their kids came of age before the year 2000? The odds are that even if they aren't personally guilty of failing to supervise every moment of every day of their own kids they were silent about extensive child neglect all around them. So mass guilt is the order of the day.

We could start by arresting all the major political families that are known not to have used nannies every year of upbringing of their offspring. I figure the Bushes and Clintons should all be arrested along with Mitt Romney and all the Mormons. Chances are they are all guilty of child endangerment. The big Kennedy family of course should be arrested. Governor Brown of California could take over the Presidency since he never had any kids.

This calls out for development of time machines so child neglect law enforcement can be carried into the past to capture all the people who escaped justice by dying. This can't be allowed to stand. Just about every parent for almost all of human history (until the moral enlightenment spreading in the last 10 years) has been guilty of child neglect. We should not let these people escape justice just because they live in the past.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2015 April 25 02:47 PM 

Florida resident said at April 25, 2015 7:25 PM:

When our daughter was in High School, we (my wife and I) were _not_ Free Range Parents.
I repeatedly told our daughter:
"If I will die before you finish your education,
you must take LINEAR ALGEBRA course, and then do whatever you want with your life."
Alas, she took it twice (both times successfully).
So now I feel free to die.

Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Randall Parker said at April 26, 2015 9:12 PM:

Florida resident,

Of course you would say that. You never let her walk by herself to visit a girlfriend down the street? Never let her get out of sight at Disney World? Never left her at home alone while you went to a store? You always had her in sight when she rode a bicycle? I find your protestations of innocence hard to believe.

Florida resident said at April 27, 2015 6:40 AM:

Thank you, Mr. Parker.
Yes, I am guilty, not innocent.
We are guilty for letting her go to "lefty" Cornell, in which she graduated from Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
She still has lots of "lefty" Cornell classmates, and this saddens us --- my wife and me.
Subsequent UCSF and atmosphere in SF did not improve the situation.
Oohh times, oohh morals (probably there is a Latin phrase for that; I did not study Latin.)

Seth W. said at April 27, 2015 4:04 PM:

I remember when children used to learn how to swim by being thrown into the pool -more or less- I mean by being forced and disciplined into the activity. Which was good.

I remember when a parent -usually the father- used to advise his teenage boy: "Get laid every time you get a chance, if it's with a female school teacher, even better!" I think that's good advice for a boy who's struggling to become a man.

I remember when a parent would agree without any problem to let his 5-year old have a sip from his beer, just for a taste. I believe that doesn't make a boy an alcoholic. Repression does.

I remember when a father used to say to his son while watching a whimp on television or out on the street: "Hey, look a that queer" And both'd be laughing at the sight.

Whenever -or if- I have children, I'll be like the above. Maybe I'll contribute a litte to slow down the pussification of our society. I'd teach him not to be so timid and frightful. I'd teach him to stand up to the bully and "kick his ass" or at least try and defend him before the idiotic school authorities and "pussychologists". I'd teach him not to have so much vanity and that acne is part of growing up. I'd say "YES" if he asked me if he could climb a tree, "just be careful".

Children and non-children are in danger since they are born. A baby can drown in its own vomit in the craddle. What's a parent going to do, whatch the f*ck out of his son every second?

Living means being in danger, danger of falling on your ass when you learn to walk, danger of tripping while playing a sport, danger of being made fun at, danger of "not fitting in", danger of being in "sin" after he/she jerks off... We have to let them deal with all those discoveries and they have to learn to survive them. It's an idiocy for any parent to try to "protect" or "supervise" his son/daughter every minute of their lives. That's parental HARASSMENT for god's sake!

When kids are brought up so overprotected they fail to develop their preservation instinct thus making them more prone to danger. Besides, I don't believe any government naturally cares more for children than their own parents, unless we're talking about some irresponsible sickos who should get real therapy before having kids. Specially women as they are the ones who get pregnant, many times unilaterally.

German Born said at April 27, 2015 5:24 PM:

To Seth W,

You said it. All you say about the pussification of society is so right. Idiots make all these ridiculous laws. Male kids have become such cowardly sissies maybe from all that the media proposes as manly. Just faggot heroes nowadays! The space for a straight manly man has been reduced to nothing. A manly man could be agressive at some point, which is normal, while the soft, gay, overprotected, repressed child becomes a cruel adult. Just look around and see the background of so many pedophile abusers...

You nailed it man! Movies like Convoy, Scent of a Woman and Porky's are a must for every 14-year-old boy. Not the weird sadistic crap films of today. Let'em ride their horny schoolteachers, they need it. Schoolteachers need it too. Let them climb a tree, get into a fistfight at school and cross a freeway just for them to learn how it's done and what it is like. Take them to the hills away from the safety trails and get lost for a while to feel what it's like. Get them off the internet for a while, how's that for a "helicopter" parent? Take'em for a drive around without wearing seatbelts carefully for once. When they do shit like that they'll feel alive again and you'll really be the best dad, regarded aslo as the coolest one. That will not make you an irresponsible parent, whatever dumb asses might say. Just watch out for neanderthal cops who understand about parenthood as much as a monkey understands quantum mechanincs.

Florida resident said at April 27, 2015 6:11 PM:

Dear German Born and Seth W.:
I am all for letting kids gaze at free range. I have 2 sons, one daughter and 2 grandsons.
What I do not understand is why "quantum mechanics" sounds somewhat pejorative in your post (posts.)
To modern scientists Quantum Mechanics helps in better understanding of the Classical Mechanics.
You can't visualize orbitals of electrons in organic molecules without QM.
Remarkable American radio-engineers Manley and Rowe from Bell labs have established in 1955s-1960s
famous Manley-Rowe relationships, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manley%E2%80%93Rowe_relations
But nowadays everybody uses Quantum Mechanics for their derivation and for their understanding.
The original art of Classical derivation, I would say, is almost lost.
Apparently Harrison Edward Rowe (H. E. Rowe) (born 1927) is still alive (see wiki.)
Glory to Bell Labs !!!

Seth W. said at April 29, 2015 4:03 PM:

Florida resident:

I'm very much interested in quantum mechanics and I never said anything "pejorative". I think a child should have a well-rounded formation. That is, a male child should read Stephen Hawking even if quantum mechanics is not part of his studies, but he also should be able to handle tools, dig a hole, mix concrete, clean a toilet, watch "The Theory of Everything" and also Convoy. And yes, climb a tree and chop wood. An intelligent boy should become an engineer or a scientist, but he should be able to kick ass too. Maybe German Born also thinks that you sound like Cliff Huxtable who never takes off his sweater inside the house. That's all.

Florida resident said at April 29, 2015 7:34 PM:

Dear Seth W:
I agree with you 100%.
Right now I am teaching a 12 y.o. son of my friend:
how to use an electric drill to drill holes;
to use jig-saw for cutting particular shape out of plywood,
how to solder wires, how to use digital Volt / Ampere / Ohm -meter for DC and for AC.
It was rather difficult to explain that a battery has non-zero internal resistance,
a Voltmeter has finite (non-zero) conductance.
Best to you, to German Born, and to Mr. Parker.

George said at May 2, 2015 8:49 AM:

Men are sissies today cause they can be. Its as simple as that. Danger creates tough men, safety creates soft men.

It appeals to our emotions to valorize things like courage and toughness, but they are merely functional. Nothing inherently good or bad about them. The spectacle of a society living in utter safety and comfort yet cultivating the manly virtues of toughness and courage appropriate to a warlike age is either ludicrous, a curiosity, or a luxury. It isn't serious. Its like getting dressed for a ball and staying home drinking beer.

Safety and technology are responsible for the way modern men are, and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. Free range parenting made sense when we needed to prepare kids for the danger of the world. It doesn't make sense anymore. Of course, today's helicopter parenting is overdoing it, and getting the law involved is absurd.

Some people say that soft societies like ours will be conquered by tougher societies. This was true in the past, but who today will conquer us? China? The Jihadis? China doesn't want to, and the Jihadis are weak and lack technology. Besides, its enough that our soft society keeps a small portion of its men tough, which it does, and if serious danger once again appears, the entire society will toughen up. These things can happen overnight.

Expecting society to practice the virtues of a dangerous warlike age today is silly. It also won't happen.

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