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Bad Parenting List

This is an incomplete list of some of unacceptable, uncivilized parenting behavior. These are pretty normal in our culture, but should be viewed with horror. They're pretty blatantly intolerable to a reasonable, classically-liberal-minded person.

  • Making children do things they don't want to (e.g. making a baby go in a carseat when their crying indicates they don't want to, or enforcing an unwanted bedtime, or making a child brush his teeth or take a bath when he'd rather not, or making a child go to school). In general anything that causes crying or "tantrums" indicates the parent is doing something wrong.

  • Punishments.

  • Anything that relies on parent being bigger/stronger than child, such as spanking or carrying a child from one location to another when child doesn't want to be moved (which is literally assault and kidnapping – it should be a crime).

  • Rules that child doesn't like.

  • The parent putting his foot down or doing "nicer" pressures and manipulations to get his way. Frowning, having a stressed voice, or being selectively less energetically helpful/friendly/cheerful can be pressuring and controlling. (E.g. parent is "too tired" to do an activity child wants, but would suddenly be available if child wanted to do a different activity that parent cares about more.)

  • Screen time limits.

  • Not getting a baby an iPad and helping them get apps and use it (by around 6 months old, for people who can afford one).

  • Having multiple children. (Parenting one child well is hard enough. Having more kids is much harder. That guarantees more mistakes in the treatment of the first child. Knowingly, intentionally guaranteeing to treat one's first child worse is a betrayal).

  • Posting baby pictures online (privacy violation).

  • Skipping vaccines (scarily trendy lately and literally killing kids), or denying children anesthetics for shots.

  • Circumcision (genital mutilation).

  • Having child to evaluated by a psychiatrist or giving him psych drugs, or letting a school do this. ("Mental illness" is a myth, and psychiatry is an attempt to "scientifically" legitimize the use of violence against non-criminal non-conformists without following the rule of law. People today are imprisoned without getting a trial, with psychiatry as the excuse. Psychiatric drugs literally cause brain damage – as their primary effect, not a side effect.)

  • Giving children (oral) herpes (sometimes called "cold sores"). Herpes is widespread and uncurable, and is often spread by people kissing babies without adequate medical knowledge or herpes testing.

  • Not prioritizing what child wants. The parent's proper role is as a helper to enable the child to get what he wants, not to control the child. That means e.g. helping child get sugar and other foods he likes, and "violent" games and movies he wants.

Read about more details.

Ask questions or add to the list, in the comments below!


Elliot Temple on January 10, 2018

Comments (14)

games

Another unacceptable behaviour: stopping the child from playing a computer game cuz it's "violent".

oh my god it's turpentine at 10:30 PM on January 10, 2018 | #9439
What is the purpose of this list? What problem is it intended to solve?

Anonymous at 7:22 AM on January 12, 2018 | #9440

teeth-brushing

Presuming a lack of teeth brushing will lead to dental problems, it is permissable to get a child to brush its teeth.

Anonymous at 11:20 AM on January 12, 2018 | #9441
> What is the purpose of this list? What problem is it intended to solve?

It points out bad parenting practices. This helps solve the problem of people not knowing those practices are bad.

oh my god it's turpentine at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2018 | #9442

This is all presented without any evidence to support it.

That which can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without it, no?

Anonymous at 11:51 AM on January 12, 2018 | #9443
> What is the purpose of this list?

> That which can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without it, no?

The list is for curious, interested people, not dismissive people who don't care to think. People can ask the reasoning for any point if they don't understand it. Or they can find the reasoning already written in TCS material.

Lots of people read something about TCS and think they agree, or already do it, or their parents already did it. This list helps clarify some concrete meanings of TCS.

Lots of curious, smart people, on seeing this list, even with no knowledge of TCS, would be interested in how someone could believe some of these unconventional things.

The demand for *evidence* in particular is an error. "Evidence" is not a synonym for "arguments". Brief arguments *are* provided for some of the points, and are well known for others (even opponents of human rights have some familiarity with them, with liberal values, with reason, etc).

> Presuming a lack of teeth brushing will lead to dental problems, it is permissable to get a child to brush its teeth.

"get" it how? by force? by voluntary persuasion so that, after you say some things child wants to hear, he volunteers to brush his teeth? methods of "get[ting]" are crucial.

presuming the parent is right, from the outset, is irrational. don't start with the assumption that no error-correction is needed. that leads straight to tyranny.

there are lots of reasons someone might not want to brush their teeth other than dissent about potential dental problems. you should find out why your child objects before you can even try to judge if he's right, and what to do about it. maybe he just needs a different flavor of toothpaste.

have you read dental research? do you actually know much about this? e.g. do you have any idea which of these is more effective at preventing cavities?

1) brush teeth twice a day

2) brush teeth once a day, and rinse mouth out with water after drinking soda or eating candy

what about rubbing your teeth with a cloth instead of brushing? how effective is that compared to brushing? if the downside is lack of fluoride, then what if you supplement the cloth with a fluoride mouthwash?

parents would be more convincing to children about dental claims if the parents actually knew what they were talking about. if the parent made an effort to know what the options are, and how they compare, instead of just being an unsympathetic authoritarian jerk, things would go more smoothly.

curi at 12:25 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9444
The burden of proof lies with you, in evidence or argument, to support your claims. You provide little or none, so there is no reason to believe any of them to be true.

This is true whether your audience is smart and curious or dismissive and naive and true whether the claim is unconventional or well-known.

Anonymous at 12:59 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9445
http://fallibleideas.com/taking-children-seriously

note the links at the bottom will take you to dozens more articles.

Anonymous at 1:06 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9446
pressure to do certain careers (e.g. be a prestigious doctor), have certain life roles (e.g. having a kid so parent can be grandparent).

another bad parenting thing at 1:12 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9447

Perhaps I missed it...

...but I didn’t find any proof in the links as to why it is ”unacceptable parenting” and ”blatantly intolerable to a reasonable person” to impose, in all imaginable cases, a rule which the child doesn’t like. For example, to ensure their safety.

Anonymous at 2:14 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9448
do you *want* to understand? are you trying? what are you hoping to accomplish here? do you want some information? do you have any questions or curiosity about anything you read? do you think you could say, in your own words, the TCS reasoning for why *any* points on the blog post list are bad? do you have some anti-TCS arguments to share?

you bring up safety. there is no need for any conflict between a child's preferences and adequate safety. you don't want to dance on your roof wearing a blindfold, and your child need not want to do that either. what you don't talk about are *disagreements* (about safety or otherwise) and how they can be rationally handled (instead of assuming the parent is right and then forcing the unpersuaded child to obey).

curi at 2:19 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9449
> Frowning, having a stressed voice, or being selectively less energetically helpful/friendly/cheerful can be pressuring and controlling. (E.g. parent is "too tired" to do an activity child wants, but would suddenly be available if child wanted to do a different activity that parent cares about more.)

Saying this sort of thing is bad implies parent should not do it.

But saying parent should not do this sort of thing in turn seems to imply:

(1) Parent fully knows and can explicitly articulate the reasons for all of their own feelings, ideas, and preferences. And child is interested in hearing about that instead of just getting parent's help immediately with whatever child wants. So if parent thinks something child wants help with is bad, parent can get that information across to the child without frowning, stressed voice, or being less energetically helpful/friendly/cheerful.

or

(2) Parent should sacrifice their own feelings, ideas, and preferences for the sake of the child's. In the case where (1) is not true but parent feels what child wants is bad, it seems to ask parent to fully and cheerfully provide help anyway. That seems to deny part of parent's self for the sake of developing their child's sense of self. Yet TCS claims not to require sacrifice.

Anonymous at 3:15 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9450
>(2) Parent should sacrifice their own feelings, ideas, and preferences for the sake of the child's. In the case where (1) is not true but parent feels what child wants is bad, it seems to ask parent to fully and cheerfully provide help anyway. That seems to deny part of parent's self for the sake of developing their child's sense of self. Yet TCS claims not to require sacrifice.

Why can't the parent learn to fully and cheerfully provide help to the kid, who *needs it now*, while the parent continues to work on their objection to what kid wants in the background? Is the parent uncomfortable with having open problems? If so, why?

The parent may *wish* they could solve all their problems at once, immediately, but that's impossible. And failing to achieve impossible wishes is nothing to be distraught about.

BTW how'd you discover this chatblog? Why are you interested in discussing TCS stuff?

Anonymous at 5:07 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9451
#9450

You can make a reasonable (significant) effort to not do it, cuz u think it's bad. U don't have to be 100% perfect and omniscient to do a good job of addressing this issue. And u can e.g. be receptive when ur kid points out ur doing it, which most parents are NOT, so their kids learn not to point it out, which is really quite awful. There's a BIG difference if a parent knows it's bad and is trying not to do it, and actually appreciates when kid points out mistakes vs. what 99.999% of parents do, which is suppress dissent and/or actively approve of (some) controlling and pressuring their children.

There are no necessary, inherent, someone-has-to-lose conflicts between parent and child getting what they want. It sounds like you've read almost none of the TCS material and are unfamiliar with *common preferences*.

curi at 5:39 PM on January 12, 2018 | #9452

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)