May 27th, 2008

Thoughts on Parenting

As a parent, I want to do well by my children, and help them to become adults with the best-built self and the best set of tools for it to use we can manage. Basic problem is that the world now changes fast enough that all the information I have is likely out of date, even if I just researched it last year.

My own children have had a medium-severe case of assuming that Parents speak with the Voice Of God, and must be absolutely right all the time. My eldest has since mostly outgrown that, but even he slips back into it from time to time. I'm trying to communicate to them that I'm providing the best information I have, and also help them learn how to tell for themselves how good any given bit of information is. A big part of this, of course, is "go look for yourself," combined with "here's how to look, and here's how to tell if someone's trying to mislead you."

Speculation: Perhaps one of the reasons for the cultural invention of Gods is so Daddy could say "No, that's not me, that's Him?"

Further speculation: It might have been easier for my own kids if I made more of a fuss about being wrong. My own attitude is I want to be right, but the way to achieve that is to not get attached to my opinions or judgments. You have a better idea? I'll adopt it (after testing, of course). From the kid-observer's perspective, this might look like I'm attached to *right being ME*, rather than me having the best available set of opinions and perspectives selected from what's available or can be made.

It's very easy to get causalities reversed, and this is a problem for adults as well as kids.