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    Response to Locke piece - Being a step parent.

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    ologyman

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2009-02-10

    Response to Locke piece - Being a step parent.

    Post  ologyman on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:26 pm

    I'm very grateful to the person (the colourfully named 'blue') for what they wrote about Locke. This is because it allowed me to see somewhere else in the world an echo of a thought I often have with regard to my step son.

    As anyone will tell you, being a step parent is bloody hard; it's like... you get all the responsibilities of being a parent but without the love in return... because at the end of the day, you don't have the genes and that lifelong history to bind you, and the kid always sees you as an outsider. Anyway, the point about Locke is that what he's saying about changing outside behaviour by force but not changing inner behaviour is totally true.

    After drumming into my step-son the various tenets of basic discipline and respect - a process which involves endless discussions, punishments and general problems, he co-operates. However, his co-operation is only paper thin and worse I get the feeling that he utterly resents this discipline and, like the slaves in the Locke piece, only participates in an outer show of co-operation while inside he feels hatred and rebellion.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if my suspicion is founded because he keeps his cards close to his chest. It's as if to express his feelings - even of resentment - would be giving me something of himself and he doesn't want to give me that.
    As Blue said, I'll never know what he's thinking... he refuses to talk.

    The reason this cuts me up is that I want him to co-operate outwardly and inwardly because when I talk about discipline I'm not talking about an iron rod and a set of intricate, petty rules, I'm just talking about basic things ... please thank-you, responding when spoken to. In the old days, it seems to me, you resented the oldies telling you what to do... but deep down you knew they were right and respected them on some level. These days, though, it seems that my step son represents the youth of today... they just won't accept anyone telling them what to do even if what they're being told is morally correct; and they won't accept this because it contravenes their most important moral and philosophical tenet - individualism: nobody can tell anyone else what to do.

    So, once again 'Blue' thanks for bringing it up.

    olive

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2009-02-11

    Re: Response to Locke piece - Being a step parent.

    Post  olive on Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:55 am

    Hi,

    I read your piece on being a step parent and even though I am not a parent nor a step parent, I am sure that the job is a hard one. I have a younger brother who is what you might label (as stated in your commentary) an "individualist." He is at the difficult and always problematic age of 17, and is completely warped within his own world where it seems that his rules are the only valid ones. Obviously there are always personal and particular aspects and elements that contribute to every individual case, along with the circumstances that have influenced the behaviour and choices made by the person and the people around him. But (and I know this is super cliché to say) there is a very important thing that I have strongly come to believe: today´s youth is just a reflection of today´s society.
    More than ever, people and especially children are forced to fend upon themselves (up to a certain point of course) because of the harsh and long hours that parents are away and occupied with work, errands and other things that in the end take away precious time for spending with their kids. Most kids and teenagers have lost most opportunities to live within a small, close and safe-feeling community where values, respect, tolerance, kindness and awareness of others can be taught. Instead (at least in my opinion)they are thrown out into large, disconnected and ultimately confusing and scary cities with people, media, shops and ads all beckoning them to buy, sell, experiment, be hip...etc....all "individualistic" and empty types of actions.
    I am not saying that solid moral values cannot be taught to youth today, all I am trying to say is that nowadays I think parents have it a lot harder than they did before, but that also it goes full circle and that kids today also have it real tough. Most students and children I think are generally lost and I think that in the end, most kids even want the discipline, the punishments, the long and boring lectures, because without them there would be even more chaos than there already is. With parent guiding, a child will at least feel that there is someone to look out for them and be there to advise them when needed.

    So, as I said, I am no parent, but I am a big sister and have always been very interested in the upbringing and development of youth, so I was very glad that this topic came up. I am glad that you take the time to try to show your step son good values, and hope that at some point he will see that your effort came from the heart. Being a parent is hard, and know that ultimately kids will mature and surely he will respect you a lot for it.

    olive

    ologyman

    Posts : 2
    Join date : 2009-02-10

    Cheers Olive

    Post  ologyman on Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:52 am

    Hey, cheers Olive... what a great reply... I wasn't expecting such sincerity from the forum. Thanks!

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