Most Parenting Books . . .

 . . . 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.

19 thoughts on “Most Parenting Books . . .

  1. Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 12:55 am

    I’ll never have kids so I only have the disaster of my upbringing to look back on, and those of my peers, equally bad. Most of them where abused, there’s control for you. My dad used to talk to me, encourage me, I wasn’t scared of anything but I really badly wanted to please him, to make him proud so that worked. When he died it was left to my mum, I had no respect for her, she was a snide, narcissistic weak woman, she”d dig at my character, my appearance that failed to do much more than make me feel bad about myself.


    • neighsayer January 31, 2014 / 7:02 am

      comments! nearly my first here.

      THANK YOU!

      I’ll reply later, off to work . . .


      • Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 1:39 pm

        Lol, you’re funny 🙂 It’ll take a while, it took me ages to get going, its like networking here, you have to find people who are into the same topics. Tags are important. It doesn’t help me that I blog when everyone is asleep 🙂


    • neighsayer January 31, 2014 / 6:51 pm

      Well, like it is for a lot of folks, one horrible parent can really serve to make the other one look like a saint or a genius. Not saying he wasn’t, but odds appear to be that he at least had the normal belief in punishing that I’m trying to debunk. I imagine you couldn’t hide from Mom that it was a Murphy’s Law thing for you, huh?


      • Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 7:00 pm

        He never had to punish me, sometimes when I got nasty to people or greedy, he did outshine mum in my mind, vastly.
        Yes, that’s a fair summary of it, Murphy’s law


    • neighsayer February 12, 2014 / 9:18 pm

      A great deal of “merely punished” people have been made to feel bad about themselves, without anyone ever considering that their “normal” upbringings were abusive also. I think folks who were clearly abused have an advantage of clarity over the huge number of “normals” who have no other option but to blame themselves.


      • Scarlet February 12, 2014 / 9:39 pm

        They say things are relative, some people get a bad word from a parent or a slap and they are ruined for life, others take a beating and recover, most don’t abuse never healed anything. Some of us, the heavily abused have to either do something or stay a victim, sometimes that worked for me, sometimes it got worse, I can’t help blaming myself for a lot of things.


        • neighsayer February 12, 2014 / 9:46 pm

          well I think the ones who are ruined by a bad word probably suffered the “normal” all day, every day abuse of punishment. The incident they blame would then likely be a rare case where the unfairness of it was at least clear, it represents one instance where they didn’t believe it was their fault, one instance where they knew they didn’t deserve it.
          A truly loved child should have some resilience.


          • Scarlet February 12, 2014 / 10:02 pm

            I can’t say I’ve known many truly loved children, but if I remember back to when I was a little girl and when my father scolded me, that I could recover from because I knew he loved me.


            • neighsayer February 13, 2014 / 11:48 am

              “an’t say I’ve known many truly loved children . . . ”

              I guess that’s kind of what I’m saying too . . .


              • Scarlet February 13, 2014 / 1:12 pm

                Well you are right, most people have kids to get the love they never had, and what they get is more need.


                • neighsayer February 13, 2014 / 4:51 pm

                  exactly. Most families are so fucked up, that the love flows backwards, upstream.


                  • Scarlet February 13, 2014 / 5:15 pm

                    Big market then 😉


  2. Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 12:56 am

    Nice formatting by the way 😉


      • Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 7:01 pm

        Absoluely! Well done, big star!


        • neighsayer January 31, 2014 / 8:22 pm

          I imagine popularity to require the KIS and S approach. I imagine you try for a level of smarts that is ‘just right’ . . .


          • Scarlet January 31, 2014 / 9:22 pm

            You have to pitch at your audience, if you write something too profound people either give up half way through our go ‘couldn’t agree more’.


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