Parents Who Never Said "No"...

wbwhite wbwhite at MADBBS.COM
Sun Dec 16 03:40:05 MST 2001

"John A. Quayle" wrote:

> With all due respect, Bill, I really don't think Jacoby is too far off
> the mark, actually. Well, maybe "not saying 'no' " is a tad
> oversimplified. However, I'm willing to bet the rent that Johnny
> Walker's parents never took all the appropriate steps to instill their
> child with quality values - and if that's sounds like a left-handed
> endorsement of "brain-washing", it needn't be. However, most liberals
> would also jump on that bandwagon (not to infer anything, here, mind
> you). Alot of parents are extremely touchy about what is and isn't
> proper when raising kids. Having already raised two (raising a third,
> currently) of my own children, I have no qualms about making sure that
> my children are exposed to the kids of values that my wife and I feel
> will serve them well through life. We made sure we knew what they were
> up to, with whom they were hanging out, and so forth. Let's face it,
> someone will leave a lasting impression on your children (truism) and
> it might as well be YOU!

    Jacoby is more than a tad oversimplified.  First, the "not saying
no" formula for child
rearing is egregiously lacking, as a characterization of the
complexities of parent-child
interaction, no matter who is being profiled.  Second, Jacoby's article
presumes to have
access to relevant data drawn from the nuclear family dynamic of the
Walkers.  But
sufficient data just isn't there.  Instead, the subtext to Jacoby's
thesis is an attack on
permissiveness in child rearing - a school of practice, so to speak, and
one that we are to
"understand" has been widely adopted in America and that presumably
leads to such
cultural anomalies as youngman Walker fighting with the Taliban.  Yet,
for all of Jacoby's
broad brush condemnation, we have one really screwed up guy sitting in a
holding tank in
a Marine camp in Afghanistan.  Jacoby's premise does not yield his
conclusion.  His
explanation of how we get Walker from Walker's parents, just doesn't cut

     While I'm riding this horse, let me add this.  Our culture has
increasingly sponsored the notion that everyone ought to have a say in
rearing everyone else's children.  This viewpoint is currently
institutionalized in schools,
government programs, and intrusive laws.  If it is desirable to say
"no," I'd sooner see that "no" directed at the government sponsored
social engineers, the legion of therapists, and their minions outside
the family.  Parents are not just "care givers"; they are authorities in
their own families.  This concept used to be expressed in the old
country song, "Mind your own business, then you won't be minding mine.
It's an ancient Celtic concept.  Call it clannish, call it mountain;  I
like it.


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