Fathers, Follow Your Instincts

In 1967, in his book titled Between Parent and Teenager, a Jewish teacher named Dr. Haim Ginott (born Ginzburg) coined the term “helicopter parenting” to describe the overprotective, over-controlling and over-perfecting (i.e. authoritarian) style of child rearing. One can only imagine that this was a rejection of his own Jewish upbringing, were nagging prying yentas often suffocate their teenage boys and deny them autonomy until an often too-late age.

Disclaimer: I have not read this book. I have seen enough synopses of the content however, to offer my opinion as a Southern born and Baptist raised single father. This book is a prime example of the cultural problems encountered when Gentiles seek the advice of Jews for anything, much less parenting. I won’t get into the weeds with detailed rebuttals in this essay. What I wish to do is give every white Southern parent the courage to raise their child as they see fit and according to their own values, be they Christian (evangelical or otherwise) or simply based on timeless values that have been passed down through the generations.

First, I want to say that broken homes cause innumerable complications, but these can be overcome. Optimally, your children will have the involved and cooperative contribution of both father and mother in his or her life. Even in a split family, the final authority of the father is paramount and anything less is sub-optimal. The mother must nurture her children and enforce the rules of the father when he isn’t around. At times, she must even protect her children and offer balance to the father’s authority, but she should never come between her children and their father. In the case of the Gentile family, the role of mother is not to nag and prod her children, especially not her sons. She should offer encouragement and support and only administer immediate discipline when the situation warrants it.

Having said that, the second point to be made here is that a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting is objectively foolish. That is why these books should be taken with a grain of salt. Every child is different and possesses unique personality traits. Some children practically raise themselves, while others require a fleet of helicopters to hover over them and guide them. In his books, Ginott criticizes the overbearing parent who must involve themselves with every move their child makes. Certainly, and especially in the case of boys, a suffocating mother who won’t cut the apron strings can be detrimental to their success in adulthood. And, a father who never offers his children his trust to make their own choices and face the consequences of their actions can also be a handicap. So, as is usually the case with Jewish psychobabble, there is almost always just enough truth in the ideas presented that the unsuspecting Christian parent can be led astray. Ultimately, it is best to follow your instincts and just do what works.

I promised not to get bogged down in the weeds of rebutting Ginott’s book, so instead, let’s focus on the challenges that the modern white Christian Southern parent faces and the minefields that modernity presents to our children. Let’s discuss when it is okay and, in fact, crucial that we be protective helicopter parents.

I, myself, as the father of two sons, wrestle with this problem daily. I am my boys’ father and, as such, it is my job and my duty to prepare them for life. After all, that is the purpose of childhood and why humans have the longest preadolescent stage of any mammal. We are to optimize that time and instruct our children and give them the tools to provide for themselves and their own future offspring. Western culture has devolved to warp this parental relationship, as our collective arrested development causes fathers and mothers to fear the responsibilities of parenting. In an era where so many choose to never even become parents, is it any surprises that the rest of us who do are gun-shy of the authority that this role demands of us?

More and more, the truly “conservative” minded parent teaches their children to value modesty, humility, sacrifice and sharing. In addition, it is important to reject gluttony, greed, consumerism and popular culture. A valuable parent must instill the concept of respect in their children – to be respectful of adults, to say “yes, sir and no, ma’am,” to proper authority figures and to follow the rules. At the same time, we do not wish for them to be herd followers who give in to the mores of progressive liberalism. For it is in the next generation that the foundation of our shared values must be reinforced or else we stand only to encourage the cuckoldry that leads to destruction.

In other words, do not fear your own beliefs because if you doubt the conviction of your own moral authority, your children will doubt them too. In response, they will seek them in the authority of contemporary popular attitudes.

It is understandable that we do not want our children to be pariahs in the midst of their peers. Our responsibility as parents is to prepare our children for their future, and that future will be ever changing in the face of degenerate progressivism.

I cannot offer a cookie cutter solution where your children fit in with “normies.” All I can say is that it can be done and it must be done. I am managing it with my own two sons, the oldest of which is graduating high school with honors this year. He is making his own choices and I don’t agree with all of them, but Luke 6:43 says, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.” So, while I’m not personally a dogmatic religious type, this verse gives me faith that the apple isn’t falling far from the tree and that he will carry on what I have taught him.

Have courage in your convictions.

-By Dixie Anon

One comment

  1. As a dad, it seemed to be me duty to help our daughters know that they were loved, were exposed to a process orientation that would give them confidence in themselves, saw what a real love was between their mama and me, and, when they got out of line, to show them the benefits of getting quickly back in:)