My article this week on there being no short cuts in life got a lot of traffic and comments, which was much appreciated by yours truly. Two comments in particular caught my eye about what it means to raise children, and particularly boys in a world where the family has become so perverted by outside hostile forces.
From regular commenter Allen:
I’ll approach this from the other side of the coin of having raised three boys. I watch fathers of today and watched many of my peers absolutely fuck up their responsibilities. I put it all down to fear of disapproval. The things boys most need to learn are often unpleasant and difficult to hear, and many fathers have become afraid to do this. It takes a certain amount of “I don’t give a fuck what you think” for a father to raise a boy properly, and frankly most guys just don’t have it.
Damn straight. Being independent of the good opinion of others, also known as the “I don’t give a fuck what you think” rule is the key to all things in life as a man. If you can’t even stand up to the little barbarians that are your progeny then you have no hope duking it out with Bill the bully down at the office.
Back when I was in my early twenties, newly arrived in Sydney on my motorbike with no friends or income in that daunting metropolis, (as detailed in my first book which you can acquire by paying money for it), I discovered a quote in a long forgotten book which went something like this:
Happiness is being independent of the good opinion of other people.
Today I’m not so keen on using the word happiness here – I’d much prefer something like strength or personal power. But the quote struck me, so much so that I wrote it down and stuck it in a prominent place.
It probably took me another 10 years or so to reach a point where I was able to truthfully live that quote without faking it.
CombatMissonary joined in to add something to Allen’s effort:
All of my kids learned early on not to worry about what other people think: I told them flat-out that there are magic words that make other people stop trying to control you: “I don’t care what you think.” They’re all healthy, happy, and focusing on developing their lives into what THEY want. They’re all learning to be hard workers and self-starters.
Not caring what others think of you is probably even more important in the age of social media, or at least the consequences for not following it are more amplified.
I get so sick of parents who try to be their kids’ buddies.
My kids know that I love them and that I’m always in their corner, but that if they’re screwing up, I’ll put my boot in.
There’s a difference.
They’re not growing up to be physically or emotionally soft, or to pin their happiness on what others think of them, or to expect anyone else to provide for them.
One of my most important traits of the modern man is number 26 – The modern man civilizes his children. Trying to be your kids’ buddy is deplorable behavior in an adult. You are there to guide them, to mentor them, to teach them, and to equip them with the skills that they need so as to be able to function and prosper in the modern world.
Attempting to be their friend might make you feel good, but it is a complete abdication of your responsibilities. Not only that but it sets them up for a lifetime of misery as they attempt to undo the damage that you did to them. Picture a young man with no prospects in a flophouse room taping a message to a thin veneer wall.
You cannot teach, guide, mentor, or equip your children with what they need if you also attempt to be their buddy. You may very well succeed in conning yourself into believing that you are able to do so, but the truth is otherwise.
Fathers who attempt the buddy line often do so because their out of control wives pressure them into doing it. By not standing up to their spouse they are then forced to not stand up to their children. There has been a great deal of men not standing up to women over the last 97 years. It’s high time that we did something about it and your greatest responsibility and the first place that you can start is to get your own house in order.