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Category Archives: Childhood

A Walk in a Patriarchal Neighborhood

It was a late summer afternoon and the shady front yards were in flower with hostas, ligularia and coneflowers. Red Impatiens and begonias bloomed in pots. The smell of cooking potatoes drifted from several houses and a mother in a dress was absorbed with sweeping the sidewalk in front of her door.  There were children everywhere, as if this was a reservation […]

The Parental Serf

  The feudal slave who produced grain for his lord, the Communist proletariat beholden to Uncle Joe, and the medieval peasant who paid cash for the forgiveness of sins were no less free than today’s parental serf. The parental serf does not work for his family and his independence. He works for a higher master: his children’s educations. He starts paying college tuition when […]

Excellence in Parenthood

  Here is a partial list of the virtues children need to learn in order to flourish as adults. Once acquired, these virtues tend to last, or at least to make a lasting impression. But, they may take many years to acquire:     Truthfulness     Neatness     Obedience     Self-control     Courtesy     Respect for elders […]

The Happiest Mothers

  In the previous discussion about homeschooling, I mentioned that homeschooling mothers are the happiest mothers in America. Why might this be true? Parenthood is not just economics and emotions. It’s more than just providing a home and security. It’s about passing on what you love to others and thus ensuring its survival. The highest purpose of education, as Aristotle said, […]

Plutarch and the Manly Man

  Plutarch, the Roman historian, was once the standard fare of any well-bred boy’s education. He was forced on boys for hundreds of years because he instilled important moral lessons in his biographies of figures such as Pompey, Alexander and Julius Caesar. But, it was more than that. Boys liked Plutarch. Here is history filled with conquest, […]

Rename Father’s Day

  How do you celebrate a national holiday for fathers with a guy who shows up a couple of times a week to play video games and sleep with your mother? He’s just a guy. Father’s Day isn’t for guys. The whole weirdness of fathers is getting weirder. It’s like living in a town where half of […]

The Vital Child

Money is not the ultimate status symbol in our world. Energy is. When someone asks what you do for a living, they are often wondering not how much money you make, but how dynamic you are. Civilization in the advanced stages of nihilism exhibits this worship of energy. This is one of the profound insights […]