Liberal Parenting Meets Reality

Darlena Cunha labels herself “a diehard, bleeding-heart liberal.” She is also the mother of young twin daughters. Applying her liberal bias (“value equality above all else”) to her parenting techniques taught her a hard-learned lesson in how not to raise children.

I thought my parenting approach would lead to strong, confident girls who are able to assess situations and logically thwart unequal systems. And it probably will, someday. But right now? They’re 6. The lessons I’ve taught them have led to two very dissatisfied girls who don’t know if their mother is their friend, their adversary or their keeper. . . .

I’ve taught the wrong message — that life should be fair and there is no other acceptable option. I did it before the girls had the capacity to understand the meaning of fair. Fair became “what I want right now because I want it.”

I should have stuck to the well-worn, well-tested “life isn’t fair, and I call the shots” route when my girls were babies and toddlers.

Because what isn’t fair is asking children to think and behave like adults before they have the mental ability to do so.

Read the whole thing for humorous examples of what happens when you try to promote fairness above all else with a pair of six-year-olds. What a riot.

My comment: If she thinks her mistake is merely one of timing, wait until those twins turn sixteen, or even twenty-six. The real problem here is not timing, but the underlying assumption that fairness is the highest value in life. It’s not, and those who live their lives under that creed will always be disappointed.

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