Archive for the ‘children and parenting’ Category

The way to stop violence in America is to stop spanking children

November 15, 2009

The way to stop violence in America is to stop spanking children. Parental spanking promotes the thesis that violence against others is acceptable. Spanking is the first half-inch on the yardstick of violence. It’s followed by hitting and ultimately by rape, murder and assassination. The modeling behavior that occurs at home sets the stage. ‘I will resort to violence when I don’t know what else to do.

Psychologist Dr. John Valusek, in Dr James Dobson, Raising Children, Kingsway, 1987, p.149


in attempting to serve my people, I found that was prevented form fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father and a husband

October 14, 2009

I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found that was prevented form fulfilling my obligations as a son¹, a brother, a father² and a husband³. In that way, my commitment to my people, to millions of South Africans I would never know are meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most.  It was as simple and as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, “Why can’t you be with us?” and the father must utter the terrible words: “There are other children like you, a great many of them…” and then one’s voice trails off.

Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, pp.749-50

1. His mother died while he was in prison and he was refused permission to bury her

2. He was largely estranged from his son and daughters who grew up without him. His daughter, when aged 15, had not seen him sicen she was a baby when he went to prison.

3. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1957 – she was a JW and non-political. His second, to Winniw, ended in divorce in 1996. He married a third time.

Behaviourism will perfect the world

September 21, 2009

For the universe will change if you bring up your children, not in the freedom of the libertine, but in behavioristic freedom … Will not these children, in turn, with their better ways of living and thinking, replace us as society and in turn bring up their children in a still more scientific way, until the world finally becomes a place fit for human habitation?

J. B. Watson, 1930, in Nigel C. Benson, Introducing Psychology, Icon, 1999, p.75

Don’t let ‘intellectuals’ run anything

September 13, 2009

Bertrand Russell wanted to create young people, ‘freed from fear and inhibitions and rebellious or thwarted instincts…A generation educated in fearless freedom will have wider and bolder hopes than are possible to us, who still have to struggle with the superstitious fears that lie in wait for us below the level of consciousness. Not we, but the free men and women whom we shall create, must see the new world, first in their hope, and then at last in the full splendour of reality.’ War, famine, and even death itself, he implied, could be abolished if we brought up our children correctly. Scientific psychology (i.e. behaviourism of the John Watson school) would allow us to ‘train the instincts’ to produce ‘a harmonious character, constructive rather than destructive, affectionate rather than sullen, courageous, frank and intelligent…If existing knowledge were used and tested methods applied, we could, in a generation, produce a population almost wholly free from disease, malevolence and stupidity.

His son, subject to his behaviourist methods, went mad and was unable to hold together his marriage, look after his children or even himself. He became completely alienated from his father during his adult life.

Ray Monk, Bertrand Russell: The Ghost of Madness, pp.9-10

This sentiment may have been part of the problem too: Unless care is taken, the child feels (immensely important)…Do not let the child see how much you do for it, or how much trouble you take…Above all, we should not give the child a sense of self-importance which later experience will mortify, and which, in any case, is not in accordance with the facts.


Children – dishonour

August 3, 2009

(Ghandi’s son, Harilal) fell afoul of the law more than once for fraud; converted from Hinduism to Islam, then back again; descended into chronic alcoholism and sexual philandering in the red-light districts of Delhi and Bombay, and was banished in a drunken stupor from the deathbed of Kasturba, his brokenhearted mother.

New York Times

See also ‘Charity begins but does not end at home’

Child Development

August 3, 2009

The family…feared that Albert (Einstein) might be somewhat mentally impaired because of his slowness in learning to speak. He did not speak until the age of three, and (his sister) wrote that he did not become fully fluent in German until he was ten years old.

Richard P. Brennan, Heisenberg Probably Slept Here, Wiley, 1997, p.47