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Childrearing - Family or Community

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by onejayhawk, Aug 1, 2003.

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Who should rear the children?

  1. One father and one mother is best and should be the standard

    17 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Anything will work well, provided financial security and community support

    13 vote(s)
    38.2%
  3. Forget the concept of "family" and form creches for professionals to do the job

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Use giant radioactive monkeys

    4 vote(s)
    11.8%
  1. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    This has come up in the gay marriage debate, so I'll throw it out to the wolves and see what they do with it.

    My personal opposition to gay marriage is based on the concept that marriage is not primarily for the couple, but for the children. Much of the law and tradition stretching back into prehistory has to do with providing a home for the progeny.

    However the recent rise in single parenthood, coupled with the availablity of divorce, has changed this basic structure. Some people have gone so far that they advocate a preference to fostering the children in some fashion. Hallary Clinton refers to it as "The Village", seeing it as preferable to any type of nonfunctional "traditional" family.

    Others, predictably conservative, place a great deal of the blame for rising crime, lowering education standards, and incresed drug usage to this disintegration of the traditional one man one woman core family. It might be easy to lable these people as religious reactionaries. Easy but wrong.

    Some, eg Bill Bennett, author of Moral Compass, Book of Virtues look to religion for core values, but argue from the effect of those values on societal dynamics, rather from concepts of right and wrong. Others look to tradition as the unifying factor. Some of course argue the opposite, claiming that the nuclear family is outdated and that parents are more often the problem rather than the solution.

    What do you think.

    J
     
  2. Gothmog

    Gothmog Dread Enforcer

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    You left out love, IMO that is the only prerequisite for raising a healthy child.

    I do think that two parents are better than one, and it may be that three would be even better - but I also have never seen humans capable of being in committed loving three way relationships. Doesn't mean it's not possible though. It is good to have more than one parent so that one can be at home with the child in it's infancy and beyond, as well as to provide aditional financial security if times get tough or one parent passes away.

    That is why my personal support for gay marriage (and by extension adoption) is based on the concept that marriage is primarily for the children. A committed loving gay couple is better than a single parent, or being a 'ward of the state'. I will note here that adoption is not the only way for a gay couple to have children.

    I think a supporting community is a nice luxury but that primary responsibility for a child lies with its legal guardians.
     
  3. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Wasn't a "child-rearing community" tried in the Soviet Union, and it failed miserably?

    I think that a kid needs a loving family to do best. Whether that's a mother and a father, two of the same, grandparents, an extended family environment like the Native Americans, it doesn't matter. Children being raised collectively would work if the caretakers truly loved their kids, but that's just not possible, because it's a natural instinct to love your kids more than any other kids, and there wouldn't be true love between the caretakers and the kids.
     
  4. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    Its a combination of alot of things.

    The parents have to love their child dearly and look out for his well-being without being too protective. They have to give him freedom but guide him in the right way at a young age.

    I think the community comes in for a diversity of opinions. One needs to "grow up" which, IIRC, is what school is for. There you meet kids who are the antithesis of what you taught, you meed kids like yourself, you meet people who aren't of your race, religion, or viewpoint, and you learn.

    Overall though, being raised by a "community" shouldn't come from the start, IIRC. The family should raise the child when he is young, and then the community should come in to help the child learn, grow, form his own opinions, and show him many different people that he can learn from.

    Only one problem happens with a gay family. The child will grow up seeing his father and father/mother and mother love each other and do the things parents do. The child will probably begin to accept these as normal, and then if he is heterosexual, will begin to have alot of problems. And then he'll go out in the community and see that gay parents are the minority, not the majority, and that it is acceptable for him to be heterosexual - but this may be too late, and he may have already given up on liking the opposite sex and tried to imitate his parents.

    [The vice versa obviously applies to straight parents raising gay kids. But remember that homosexuals are a minority, not a majority, and not equal numbers...]
     
  5. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    @cgannon64: I seriously doubt kids would imitate their parents in terms of orientation. Did you start liking girls because you wanted to imitate your parents?

    They might learn that it's an acceptable thing, but that is good thing, isn't it?
     
  6. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    No, but I think I remember hearing that at a very early age a child's sexuality isn't totally determined yet*. So seeing his gay parents every day might influence him.

    * Now that I'm thinking back to a time like that, I was neutral about girls - neither liked or disliked. And I don't think it was my parents that influenced me to liking them...I think you're right WillJ.
     
  7. Shadylookin

    Shadylookin master debater

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    I think it takes more than 2 people just to raise a kid. 1000's of years ago a child that had a grandparent was much more likely to survive as opposed to one who didn't. raising a child is more of a family thing that just 2 people(not that it's impossible to do it without family)
     
  8. Gothmog

    Gothmog Dread Enforcer

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    @cgannon64: Is this your fantasy or have you actually known a number of kids raised by homosexual parents?
     
  9. thestonesfan

    thestonesfan A Client of Ron Kuby

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    A good community will occur naturally if it is composed of good families.

    People resent others telling them how to be parents, and rightly so. A good family has little use for a community aside from a means to acquire goods.
     
  10. Lostman

    Lostman Thread Killer

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    I'm a conservitive Republican, so I say family. I have my own set of values that I want instilled in my children. (I have 3) I don't need somebody else undoing that.

    As far as the Gay deal, I don't think it's time yet. The people of today may have loosened up, but not that much.
     
  11. allan2

    allan2 Gone Fishing

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    A good friend of mine had a gay father, and after he and his mother divorced (due to him being gay, among other things), his father had primary custody. He is quite straight, and married, today--and at the same time he loves and respects his father for who he is, as well.

    ***

    You forgot "extended family" as an option--this was particularly common several generations ago. Grandparents, aunts and uncles would all have significant roles in raising a child, although mother and father were still more or less primary. Today, grandparents get sent off to nursing homes to be more or less warehoused and forgotten, when they can no longer be completely self-reliant--which is sad, to me--whereas before, they were more or less assured of a loving place to stay when they grew feeble, in an extended family, where they could also care for and pass down their wisdom to the grandkids, and thus still contribute value to society.

    I would say, a combination of family (parents, and extended), along with a friendly community (this is one reason I think smaller towns are a good place to raise kids, although a city neighborhood COULD be that way if it wanted to--and some are), will do well to help a child start through life. But the family itself is most important--blood is thicker than water. Provided of course, that the love that SHOULD be there, is. (Edit: by "blood" I certainly do not rule out adoptions--my father adopted me, and I consider him my "blood" just as any kid considers their father "blood", in the sense that really matters.)

    EDIT: I would agree with whoever said "love" is the most important thing. In our mobile, industrial (or, post-industrial) society, "extended families" are hard to keep together--if a job can't be found where your parents are, you have to move to where one can be--so we have the nuclear family, and we have to make that work as best we can since our future generations depend on it. Single parents, same thing. It's not WHAT it is, but the love and effort put into it, that makes a family, in whatever configuration, work, or not.
     
  12. FearlessLeader2

    FearlessLeader2 Fundamentalist Loon

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    It takes a mommy and a daddy to raise a child. The only thing a village can raise is an idiot.
     
  13. John-LP

    John-LP Libertarian

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    I am of the opinion that Giant Radioactive Monkeys would be best suited for the job of "childrearing".
     
  14. Mario Feldberg

    Mario Feldberg Emperor

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    Kids need money (food, etc.) and somebody who shows them how to live in society. Nothing else. Maybe add someone to love them, but only if you want to raise a sensitive rotten pinko. The cold-hearted right-wing bastard doesn't need any love. You know all this "children need love" stuff is a pretty new 60s concept, my grandparents were still raised using the old "children need a good beating if they don't obey"-style. And no this was no "different kind of love", this was no love at all. I mean if a mother would really "love" her child would she try to kill it because it did something wrong? I remember reading the story of a palestinian gay. After his familiy found out about his sexual orientation his own mother tried to kill him with a knife. That's typical for an old-school child-parent relationship. Parents had no problems killing their own kids if they didn't obey (the Bible suggests that you SHOULD kill your child if it refuses to obey more than once) . And I refuse to call this kind of relationship "love", "brutal slavery" would be a more fitting description IMO. Still it worked quite well for the last 5.000 years 'cause children don't need "love" (which is a rotten pinko concept, at least parent-child love).
     
  15. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    No I didn't. That would be option two.

    Supporting community can be many things, and extended family is a common one. Raising a small child is a full time job, and without someone to watch the baby while a single parent is at work, or both parents are at work for that matter, problems occur. Parental concern and involvement is the one thing I have found liberals and conservatives are unanimous about. That is not the issue. The issue is where to find it when a parent is unable or unwilling. That is where the politics diverge.

    J
     
  16. Gothmog

    Gothmog Dread Enforcer

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    "Anything will work well, provided financial security and community support"

    :hmm: this doesn't say anything about love... I am trying to read between the lines but I still don't see love mentioned here. I see anything, and financial, and support, but not love.

    "Forget the concept of "family" and form creches for professionals to do the job"

    Does this one imply love too?

    I don't think anything will work equally well, even provided love, financial security, and community support. As I said in my post I think it takes a family, that is two people who love each other (could be more in theory but the social dynamics are basically impossible) and who love the child in question. I don't think kids benefit from communal rearing, they need individual care of the kind only a parent can give. They need someone to feel selfish about and for them.

    One parent can do it too, they have the love part no question. But it is better with two for the reasons I state in my post above. Also, I have known many people raised by one parent and that relationship can get a little too dependent (the parent on the kid).

    Both parents can work and raise a child, but I think that is only marginally better than a one-parent household (until the kids go to school full time, then both can work without any compromise).

    I know I am somewhat conservative in that way, I really think one of the parents should be at home with the kids until they go to school. It isn’t always possible, but IMO any reasonable sacrifice should be made.

    So what do you think onejayhawk? Is it better for a kid to be raised by a monogamous committed loving homosexual couple (say by artificial insemination) where one stays home with the kids, or is it better for a kid to be raised by a heterosexual couple where both parents go back to work just a few weeks after birth?

    Also, I don’t want to push here – just don’t answer if you don’t feel comfortable – but could you elaborate on this a bit “my personal opposition to gay marriage is based on the concept that marriage is not primarily for the couple”, why should it be more for the couple in a homosexual marriage?
     
  17. Lostman

    Lostman Thread Killer

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    Man, if only Rush Limaugh can hear that, he'd be laughing his ass off! (and he'd probably agree with you)
     
  18. Pontiuth Pilate

    Pontiuth Pilate Republican Jesus!

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    Undecided, but so far Gothmog has been very convincing. As long as the parents love the child, who cares what their sex is? I bet their IQ has a much larger impact on their ability to raise a child, but you don't see anyone going "Oh, let's only let smart people have children". That way lies fascism, folks. Outlawing ANY sort of marriage, including gay marriage, is to my mind a step on the same path.
     
  19. Pongui

    Pongui Deity

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    All I Really Need

    From the United Nations Rights of the Child:
    Each child has the right:
    to affection, love and understanding
    to adequate nutrition
    to learn to be a useful member of society
    and to develop individual abilities
    to be brought up in a spirit of peace and
    universal brotherhood

    Refrain:
    All I really need is a song in my heart
    food in my belly
    and love in my family

    All I really need is a song in my heart
    and love in my family

    And I need the rain to fall
    And I need the sun to shine
    To give life to the seeds we sow
    To give the food we need to grow
    All I really need is a song in my heart
    and love in my family

    (refrain)

    And I need some clean water for drinkin'
    And I need some clean air for breathin'
    So that I can grow up strong and
    Take the place where I belong
    All I really need is a song in my heart
    and love in my family

    (refrain)

    -Raffi, children's singer

    It's rather touching when children sing it.
     
  20. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Prince

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    I do believe homosexuality is a genetic defect which affects one's sexual preference. Now, I want to stress as much as I can that "genetic defects" don't make a person "evil" or "undesirable" (if someone believed this, they'd be fascist)... it can make them either ill or in this respect, different. Thus, I don't think that sexual preference is learned (to a great degree) by imitating parents. It's something you already pretty much have. How this trait is passed to future generations is beyond my comprehension... according to my model, homosexuality should die out within a generation as they would be unable to naturally reproduce. Natural mutation rate is unable to compensate.

    Being the morally assertive European liberal I am (as in, I believe that traditionally conservative viewpoints are simply immoral and evil, a deserved inverse of their own argumentation), I find myself a bit at loss in the gay marriage issue. On the other hand, I want to protect the gay individuals' rights at being with each other... on the other hand, I can't help but feel that I would want to protect the random child's right to have both a mother and a father, so that he would have the most complete family experience...

    I can appreciate the "loving family" argument. I also realize that homosexuality isn't "contageous" (and even if it was, so what?)

    I just want to optimize the child's experience according to his (statistical) tendencies... and thus I will favour giving kids to a man/woman pair... I do not even like the idea of single parents getting adopted children.

    Set apart from the child issue, I think gays should have a civil union opportunity which would give them their legal rights. Marriage is a church thing, which is not my problem at all.
     

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