[LMB] OT Children and overkill - was Pre-adult sexuality

Whit Johnstone whitinohio at gmail.com
Sun Jan 9 16:13:16 GMT 2011

I didn't put ages with my suggestions because I'm not actually a parent, so
I don't have any concrete experience about what responsibilities should be
given at what ages.  I'm sure that varies from kid to kid, anyway.  I just
know that the "wrap them in tissue paper and keep them in a drawer" style of
parenting really did not work in my case.  I'm struggling in graduate school
because I have no idea how I can motivate myself to study, and I have no
idea of how to keep track of due dates- my mom always took care of that for
me.  My apartment used to look like a pigsty because I was used to my mess
magically cleaning itself up.  And at work I am unable to take any action
without getting my boss' permission first, since I was always punished if I
just did something and took responsibility for it as a kid.  I learned that
my way was always the wrong way, and that any actions that I took would have
no real consequences.  I don't want to raise my kid that way.  I know from
experience that you need to learn about the consequences of failure before
you really want to succeed.  

What's worse, this helicopter parenting did nothing to shield me from
physical or emotional bullying at school- indeed, it deprived me of the
strength I needed to fight back.  Mind you, I'm not advocating a return to a
"boys will be boys" attitude toward such things, or a return to the time
when a boy who falls out of a tree is told to man up and dust himself off
rather than being taken to the emergency room to check for broken bones.
Kids do need to know that their parents will back them up if they are in the
right, and that their parents care about their welfare.  But if my kid wants
to play video games rather than doing his or her homework while in middle
school, I would let him, so that he will have learned that this is a bad
idea by the time he leaves for college. After all, in primary and secondary
school, repeating a class is free and there is no such thing as academic

-----Original Message-----
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk
[mailto:lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk] On Behalf Of Gwynne Powell
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2011 9:21 PM
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
Subject: Re: [LMB] OT Pre-adult sexuality - and wardrobe

> From: "Whit Johnstone" whitinohio at gmail.com

> Kerry, by " I really do think that "childhood innocence" needs to be
> attacked- though not in that way" I meant that children are ready for more
> responsibility earlier than we generally give them in the US and Great
> Britain today. Is there really any reason why children cannot, for
> be taught how to pack their own sack lunches and then expected to do so or
> buy cafeteria food out of their allowance? Or to get themselves to school
> everyday on their own- with Dad checking to see that they got there
> via cell phone but no other supervision? Or to make sure that there are
> enough clean dishes for every meal? Children used to do such things
> routinely, now they're almost tantamount to child neglect! And that, in
> turn has created the most neurotic generation of young adults ever. 

I agree that children have gone from productive members of the family
to luxury items. Children who do chores around the house get self-respect
and self-discipline (I've seen way too many kids who have a massive sense
of entitlement but have earned nothing, no respect, no real achievements.
They find reality very challenging, when they finally hit some r/l barrier
they can't pout and whine out of the way.)
I would have liked you to put general ages with your ideas. I've known
who iron their own school uniforms - I'm not sure that I'd trust most kids
that age
 to do that. But kids as young as 5, even a bit younger, can do simple tasks
- pick 
up their toys, help set the table, etc. I know a 10-year-old who has his own
 business on weekends. He does garden maintenance - he even has is own
cards. This isn't some little pretence with the family, he has a full client
list and 
makes an amazing amount of money. 
Kids can certainly be expected to do more, and be more responsible. I live
a rural area, so I see a lot of kids who work on the farm, care for animals
are more independent in how they get around. Most of them get the bus to
school, as young as 5 years old they'll catch the bus with no problems. And
there's a big difference between the ones who take responsibility, and the
who have parents who do everything for them.
Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to whitinohio at gmail.com
Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk

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