Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Sam L. said...

That's David "I love the crease in his pants" Brooks, IIRC. The Left does not WANT our children to do well; it might make them "exceptional" and proud of it, and that's "just WRONG".

Anonymous said...

Pride is a form of love. It is also a deadly sin.

Sam L. said...

See this take on Brooks:

priss rules said...

Actually, the kinds of parents he's writing about--helicopter parents of affluence--have children who OUTPERFORM the international standards.

Children of affluent parents in NY, San Fran, and etc. are doing better than children around the world, even in East Asia and Western Europe.

US standards are down because of huge black and brown population.

And the extreme case of what Brooks writes about can be seen in South Korea which has the highest rate of youth suicide in the world
There, the parents will tell the kids, 'you no succeed, you suck and bring shame on family. you no good trash.'
It's no wonder that South Korea and some other East Asian nations are vapid, shallow, materialistic.

We need bear parenting. Bears are tough but also warm.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

But, see this post about testing the millennials:


Anonymous said...

Didn't you recently quote Brooks confessing he was paid an excessive amount to bloviate about topics he was barely familiar with,Stuart??

- shoe

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Absolutely... surely when he discovered that it had to count as an epiphany... putting him on the road to grace.

And yet, to be fair and balanced, I have also had occasion--not very often, I admit-- to praise him when I think he is right.

Anonymous said...

So does this obligate Brooks to avoid discussing the topic of 'Shame' or 'Character'?? Or is speculation still allowed? /sarc.


Ares Olympus said...

My head certainly spins reading all of this, trying to sort it out.

The first difficulty is to see there are huge differences in families, now, so upper class, and middle class happily married parents may be more active parents and may be very different from single parents and lower class parents. So any generalizations become uncertain how universal they are.

And the same problem exists for Stuart's monolithic opening "Everyone knows that something is wrong with the way Americans bring up their children." as if all families are the same, equally troubled, and in the same deficits.

And near the end Stuart's prognosis "America’s real problem is an excess of unconditional love, thus, too much mothering, too much protection, too much coddling."

What's a good parent, father or mother, to take from all this divergent analysis?

Here's one quote from Brooks "Children in such families come to feel that childhood is a performance — on the athletic field, in school and beyond. They come to feel that love is not something that they deserve because of who they intrinsically are but is something they have to earn."

I can see some possible confusion. The words "deserve" and phrase "have to earn" both seem unhelpful.

One helpful phrase I found when I was a young teen and feeling rebellious is "I didn't ask to be born" and for me the meaning was "I didn't choose to come into this life and be a part of this family, but I have a choice how to participate or refuse to participate." So I discovered I "deserved" autonomy, which is a different meaning than Brooks was expressing.

And secondly "have to earn" itself contains a sort of resentment, as if kids didn't want to please their parents, and accomplish things.

But then again, I didn't grow up in a family where my parents pushed me, although they did support the activities I wanted to participate in.

I can see I'd probably have rebelled early against a Tigermom, passive resistance or passive-aggressive styles as needed. I bet I could get out of violin practice after one week, and then I'd wonder what she wanted me to fail at next.

But kids are all different too.

Anonymous said...

Just read The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller. Better than anything else ever written about how children are raised by so-called civilized parents and caregivers.

She uses the term "poisonous pedagogy" to identify the pattern where the impulses of the child to seek love, approval, and guidance to develop his or her natural talents, are subverted to the unconscious needs of the adults who cause pain to the child while sending the message it is For Your Own Good." (another great book by Alice Miller debunking Freudian theories of childhood experience).