Sunday, October 4, 2020

Permissive parenting and Marxists


There are many styles of parenting.

Any style of parenting CAN produce good outcomes. Young humans are amazingly resilient and other members of society can back-fill missing components needed to produce a productive, well-balanced adult.

That said, some parenting styles produce a higher percentage of dysfunctional adults than other styles.

Viewed from a Developmental or Freudian perspective, children have different needs at different ages. From age ten onward, a big part of their job is to forge an identity that is separate from their parents.

In a word, rebellion.

First they push away from the family, then they find an island that is willing to accept them into their tribe. Then they swim away from that island to find the tribe they want to belong to.

Early on, Mrs ERJ and I decided that we would "freak-out" over hair styles. Not a kick-the-kid out freak-out but a get-excited freak-out.

We wouldn't forbid it but we wouldn't enable it.

Mrs ERJ's thinking was that a kid will push until they find something that affirms they are their own person. If, as parents, we say "Oh, that's cool" to everything, the kid will keep pushing the boundaries until they are roasting a puppy over an open fire in the bathtub.

Furthermore, Mrs ERJ's thinking was that hair grows back. Like the old joke says, the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is a week.

Hair gives the kid a lot of latitude for exploring personal expression without limiting future job opportunities; something that you couldn't say about tattoos (that changed a bit since our kids were young).

I wonder how many of the poorly behaved 24 year-olds are stuck at 14 inside because they were never able to get validation that they finally achieved separation from their hyper-cool parents.


  1. We were pretty strict about most things except for the hair. Same thinking- it grows back. At one point our son had the same hair style that I did in middle school, right down to the same color. Creeped me out. All I had to do was stand next to him in front of a mirror, then hold my yearbook pic up next to me. He was horrified to have the same hair style as mom. Next week he cut his hair and dyed it pink. Hubby was kinda ticked at me. They had Boy Scout camp the next week and he wasn't happy about going with Mr Pink. Turned out half the boys had crazy hair colors, and most of them turned orange once they hit the highly chlorinated swimming pool. Good times.

    1. Perfect!

      Belladonna showed her defiance by getting a tattoo. On her ankle. Of her birth mother's name and Mrs ERJ's name together in a heart.

      Then she got another tattoo. This time on her neck. Under her hair. Of a Biblical quote.

      Up. I sure raised some heck-raisers. They showed me.

    2. A Biblical quote? It wasn't that verse out of Leviticus that forbids tattoos was it?

  2. Parent who try to be friends before parents,, Bad recipe,,

  3. Pugsley is like a junior version of me. So, the fights are epic.

  4. Son just displayed yet another tat last night. I may as well go with the flow, because he seems to be well on the way to being the tattooed man.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.