Generation landslide

Bringing up a brood might not be as much fun as they said it was:

Children are a major disappointment in most cases, which is why I say that the modern ideology of parenting is baloney. People who don’t have them aren’t missing anything they really need. They’re not helping keep the race in business, no, but they’re not suffering for it either.

I didn’t mind it so much, but I did a lot of it at a distance, the result of a fragged marriage. Still, this seems true:

I used to wonder why my parents, especially my mother, kept bugging me to have children. Now I know. They were getting even.

The slope goes ever downward.

(Title courtesy of Alice Cooper.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    3 July 2014 · 7:13 am

    Then again, there’s always the saying about “Be nice to your kids; they’ll pick what ‘home’ you wind up in.” And I admit that’s my one big fear about getting old and sick and being unmarried and without offspring: there may be no one near by who gives enough of a crap about me to make sure I don’t die prematurely. (Or worse, wind up in some hell-hole of a “home”)

    It doesn’t help that some of my SmugMarried former friends used to point this out to me occasionally.

  2. McGehee »

    3 July 2014 · 7:15 am

    It would less resemble baloney if it did not involve “parent” as a verb.

    My mom and dad raised my brother and me. They did this by letting us be kids — because they were only too happy to be the grown-ups. “Parenting,” it seems to me, barely treats the offspring as human beings, let alone kids. And “parenters” acting like grown-ups? Fuhgeddaboutit!

  3. fillyjonk »

    3 July 2014 · 9:08 am

    I admit, after having been a grown-up for 25+ years now, that so many kids are so fast to rush into being grownups.

    Kids: “It’s a trap!”

    And yeah, my parents raised my brother and me as well. And had hearty helpings of rules for us to follow, which actually made our lives more orderly and secure-feeling.

  4. Dick Stanley »

    3 July 2014 · 12:59 pm

    All the rules in the world are useless if the child refuses to cooperate, as many of them do. Or simply stall and wait you out. Punishing is very tiresome, especially because it involves cooperation as well. Most other forms, particularly the corporal variety, are illegal. He makes a phone call. You go to jail. You find yourself at their mercy quicker than the childless imagine.

    A good lawyer could help you plan what will happen to you should you become incapacitated for any reason, including old age.

    “Reared!” my grandmother used to say. “You raise corn.”

  5. McGehee »

    3 July 2014 · 4:59 pm

    Most other forms, particularly the corporal variety, are illegal.

    Anyone who wants to make spanking illegal needs to be horsewhipped.

  6. Dick Stanley »

    3 July 2014 · 5:36 pm

    Spanking is not illegal in Texas so long as it’s open-hand, but once they’re adolescents—the age of maximum uncooperativeness—you can forget it.

    For one thing it’s humiliating and they won’t forgive you, ever. For another they’ll fight back. Then you’ll be approaching illegality within seconds, or your own injury if you’re smaller or weaker.

    Friend of mine has an unruly daughter. After she’d slammed her bedroom door a few times, he removed the door. She got worse. So they sent her to a military school in New Mexico for thousands of dollars a semester. She fought back passively, by simply refusing to cooperate, and the school finally called and said they should come get her. She’s presently coasting through a public high school, clandestinely dating college boys. The future is murky.

    Child-rearing always works best in theory, and in the movies, and other media. In practice you’re on your own, competing with a kid who’s at least as smart as you are and sometimes smarter. And a government bureaucracy that is not on your side.

  7. McGehee »

    3 July 2014 · 9:38 pm

    Antagonistic relationships with your children are not inevitable. I wonder about those who believe they are.

  8. Dick Stanley »

    4 July 2014 · 7:17 pm

    Depends on the children. How are yours doing?

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