. . . teach the existing system, the system of total parental control.
In previous decades, or in old-time religious communities, and still in many homes generally, total parental control was or is achieved by outright force and violence, and the parenting advice and the books taught people exactly how to do that, and that it was or is every parent’s duty to do it. Unfortunately for practitioners of this sort of child-rearing, that has gone out of fashion, especially with the police, and now that advice and those books must be provided clandestinely, under cover of darkness. Behind closed doors.
Today’s parenting books, at least in the West, at least the ones that are available in bookstores in broad daylight, are more subtle, but they’re selling the same product: total parental control. Only now the product has evolved, adapted to the environment. Now you get total control of your kids plus you get to avoid embarrassment, shame and incarceration. Forget conspiracy, or being an accessory before or after the fact; they never tell you to hit the kids. It’s all in what they don’t say. They tell you ways to manipulate, ways to make your children feel like they’re making choices, feel like they have some control over their own lives. They tell you how to put your children in situations where they truly have no choice but to do what the parents want, with the added bonus that neither they nor we are aware of the unconscious violence at the core of it.
The older method, the unabashed corporal punishment of children, that was straightforward, simple, even honest.
The new methods are more complex, they are systems, schools of thought, and they are difficult, for good reason. Today’s child-rearing advice and books have a difficult and complex task. They need to show you how to bamboozle your kids while simultaneously bamboozling you that you’re not doing it.