Dear Jody:

The other day I re-blogged a post from a foster child:

a day or later I got a follow from another former foster child. Her site and writings are well worth a visit. Here is one of her posts:

Like a lot of things in our society and culture, foster care needs more attention and resources. Indeed, we all need to pay more attention to how it is managed and how children are raised by this system not to mention how children are raised by natural parents. I remember a time when the common wisdom was that it takes a village to raise a child.

My late son, Kirk, and I used to respond to questions about how to raise a child by referring to the “Father’s Manual” (the one no one gave us when our children were born). Somehow from remembering what our parents did, watching others parent, even extrapolating from fictional accounts (television, books and the like), and just by guessing, we were supposed to figure out how to handle situations as our children presented those situations to us: injuries, swearing, sharing, hurt feelings, maturation issues, beliefs, values, and the list goes on. Then too, sometimes our spouse or other relatives would create situations that also needed to be handled for the sake of the child. While I am sure some would argue that the various ways parents handle situations presented by children as they grow and learn, I am equally sure, some of those ways are harmful to children.

I generally look to larger issues in society to find areas where we might present a village with common values in which to raise our children. Three that come to mind in today’s set of circumstances are racism (equality), charity (sharing), and honesty (empirical fact sets). While I do know people who were raised by racists who eschewed that and accept others as equal, I know far more who were so raised and while they do not think they are racists, they are at least behaving as if they are. While I know people who were raised by sharing, even philanthropic parents, they themselves are not. And while I know people who are pathological liars their children may or may not be. So, I know it is not easy to address the problems that parents, including foster parents, have and do or do not pass on those problems to the children that they raise. Nonetheless, I still think looking to larger societal problems is one way to narrow into a discourse on how to parent (raise children).

I wish I had some answers.

Nancy sends her love. Stay safe and healthy. Love Ed

PS rain again today, so here is an image from earlier times.

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About democratizemoney

Retired University Professor
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6 Responses to Parenting?

  1. Gah! Parenting! I was a rubbish mother I realise now, but loved my kid so much. I could write a book on how not to be one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is always a tough call. I suspect those who say they were good parents never quite knew what they were doing at the time and those who say they were bad parents, had the sense to evaluate what they did. Kudos for being able to criticize yourself warranted or not. Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eddy Winko says:

    By the time mine are old enough to give judgement on our success or failure I won’t be here!
    The one thing that has stood out most is how much individual personality children have at birth, I now firmly believe that we are only guiding them, not molding them, that was cast a long time ago.
    And Happy New Year 🙂 I seem to have missed a few posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have found children all have personalities of their own regardless of from whence they came. It has been fascinating and delightful to watch their personalities develop and grow (blossom) despite all that is going on around them (especially the parenting). You may be surprised at how long you will be around. I never expected to be a great grandfather either :-).
      Happy New Year to you and your family. Warmest regards, Ed

      Liked by 1 person

  3. beetleypete says:

    I have never fathered any children that I am aware of, so leave parenting to those that have. My main experience of watching others is that there is no set way to bring up children. Also that some seem naturally inclined to do a good job, whilst others should really have never had any.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You show restraint. My first wife had three maiden aunts who never missed an opportunity to tell us how to raise our children–they were most specific and prolific in their “advice.” You are, however, right about how parents seem either to be naturals or rather bumbling at it. Warmest regards, Theo.

      Liked by 1 person

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