June 29, 2005
i wouldn't put it that way
I agree with this guy's basic premise, but I don't like some of the anaogies he employs in his argument. I do NOT believe that I owe society anything, other than to pay my taxes and leave other people alone. I accept (most) of society's rules and play by them because civilization is better than savagery or anarchy.
But I believe in the individual, not the hive.
I also do not believe that any school or parent can "teach" self-esteem to a youngster. That's a quality kids learn on their own, through competition, hard work, success and yes... even failure. Sometimes, getting the shit beat out of you makes you stronger than you were before. It's a valuable lesson in life.
"Sparing" children from hard knocks does not prepare them to face life on their own. I want both of my children to be individuals and march to the beat of their own drum, just like Daddy does, but I expect them to understand the rules, too. You can be a maverick, but there are certain fences that you just don't jump.
That's called "discipline," and I don't believe enough children get a strong enough dose of that today. Pure, unadulterated pride and self-esteem are detriments to an individual if those qualities aren't tempered with discipline. Just look at serial killers. THERE'S some real self-esteem for you. But no discipline.
When I played football, I considered myself to be a string on a guitar. EVERYBODY on the team had to be in tune, or we played like crap together. But I don't think that way on my own. I don't see "society" as my team. It damn sure ain't in tune with what I think.
I've always been a rebel and I believe that I always will be. But I understand rules, too, and I understand the consequences of violating them. Sometimes, I'll say to hell with it and take my chances when I believe that the rules are foolish. (Like cooking moonshine on my back porch.) Unlike some others I see every day, I accept the risk I'm taking. If I'm busted, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
I'll take my medicine. I gambled and lost. Shit happens.
You know something very few children learn to say today, even in their deepest, private thoughts? It's "I fucked up."
THAT is "society's" fault. It's the fault of "caring parents." That is the fault of public schools. THAT is the fault of a "progressive" attitude. Teach kids that even when they fuck-up, they didn't REALLY fuck-up and you're gonna raise a generation of fuck-ups who don't see anything WRONG with being the way they are.
That's MY humble opinion on this issue.
I agree with almost everything Rob says, accept for the basic premise which is that you cannot teach discipline. I think you CAN teach discipline by giving your kids opportunities to develop it. Encourage participation in sports/band/drama/etc. This teaches your kid responsibility, because no kid wants to be the one that brings everyone else down. In addition, when your kid screws up, don't blame someone else; instead teach your kid how to learn from his/her mistake and to accept responsibility for the consequences. I see too many parents blaming their kids' teachers when the kids fail a test. I call BULLSHIT. Even if the teacher failed to teach the material, all the other kids taking the test have the same hurdle.
Rob DIDN"T say you can't teach discipline Kuky, he said you can't teach SELF ESTEEM.
And he's correct.
Preach it Rob! You get a Big AMEN from me.:)
That was a good article - thanks for sharing it. I keep thinking of the conditions of the world today, and I believe working together for the betterment of the whole world is priority number one. Everyone figure it out personally, cause self-esteem won't matter if you are dead.
I agreed with Head right up untill his premise that we need to put society over the individual. That leads to communism.
I agree with you on this one A-man.
On a lighter note I don't agree with your attitude about cats.
One can only develop self esteem by gaining confidence in your actions, decisions, and speech. Telling little Joe that 2+2=5, may not make him feel stupid, but it does not change the fact that he is stupid. One can only develop this self esteem and confidence through failure and success. If you learn from your mistakes, you will not repeat them, gainig confidence and self esteem. Any other approach is a joke.
A-Man speaks the naked truth!
My son has a summer job from 6 a.m. to
3 p.m. that teaches him more discipline
than any class possibly could. And he
shows up early!! Best thing that could
happen--and his grades show it!
You CAN teach discipline. That's a parent's job. But you can't "teach" self-esteem. A kid has to learn that the hard way.
That's the hardest things to do as a parent..watch your kid walk into a situation that you know has no good outcome and let them do it anyway because hopefully, as a parent, you have the relationship with your kid enough to 1. Know what he's into in the first place, 2. Know how deep and 3. You can see the lesson he's going to learn and you'll get to watch the lightbulb come on. And, there's no greater feeling in the world as a parent in my opinion, than seeing that light bulb come on, where they really, truly, get it and you realize you've raised a man. A real man.
My momma always told me (when speaking about rearing my children), "Let them experience at least one disappointment a day."
My daddy always told me, "Make yourself do something you don't want to at least once a day."
I think that pretty much sums it up.