If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Wednesday 15 August 2012
Read gnomica 1-50 here!
Before I got married I had six theories about raising children;
now, I have six children and no theories.
John Wilmot (1 Apr 1647 – 26 Jul 1680)
This witty wine-bibbing Restoration poet and reprobate friend of Charles II (1630-1685) was something of a rake and a ‘player’ in his day. All indications are that he lived hard and he died fast (at age 33), and he did leave us with this quite memorable observation, memorable not only for its sentiment but also for the striking chiasmus in which it is decked out.
His position is perhaps a bit extreme … no theories?
But by the same token I note that the only people who ever gave me their sincerest suggestions about how I should raise my three children were couples (or individuals) who had no children of their own. Hence their great and certain wisdom in the matter!
My father (who of course did have children) used to say that when it comes to raising children you can do a thousand things wrong and a thousand things right and then pray, and no matter what – once the kids are grown up you are no longer responsible for how they turned out, whether it was for bad or for good. I think he may have had a point. One can after all control only so much in one’s own life – much less so in that of one’s adult – or minor — children.
There are probably as many theories of child-rearing as there are parents and the eras in which they lived, and those children, thankfully, given their endowment of raw material as it were, for the most part turn into reasonable human beings.
I for one have few real theories at all in this area. And though I may deplore a screeching child in a grocery cart at the vegetable bins, I just bite my tongue and move on to the fruit offerings to select the yellowest bananas and the rubiest grapefruits.
And I am in actuality quite relieved.
For I am noisily assured that no matter what parents do the species will abide.