I like David Brooks. Despite his conservatism he is a thoughtful, intelligent man. I’m sure he could make more money being a flaming right wing jackass but instead he toils away as a restrained, polite and likeable gentleman.
A few weeks ago he was on Charlie Rose’s show chatting about a range of subjects when he said something like, “Kids will just be fine even if you are just an O.K. parent.” Rational if not poignant and tinged with a little guilt.
If this is true and it probably is, what are the minimal requirements for parenthood in this dysfunctional world?
1. Don’t abuse them sexually, physically or verbally.
2. Feed them.
3. Show them how to be clean.
4. Encourage curiousity.
5. And by all means insist they be polite.
That should keep you busy enough. Other than genuine affection leave them alone.
If children are healthy, clean and undamaged they will thrive.. If they are curious they will learn and if they are polite all their questions will be answered.
Of all the minimal requirements only manners are teachable. In order to teach manners you must be well mannered yourself. In this respect parenthood would become world changing as the progenitors would become exemplar. If civility was the norm society would become conversant and out of the dialogue progresssion would ensue.
If the goal is toys and money do not follow these guidelines. Teach the brats to be liars, bullies and shits.