May 21, 2003
Another example of rational parenting?

Over at Rational Parenting, Alice dispenses wholesome advice to wholesome people, and links to things like Attachment Parenting: A loving and compassionate approach to raising children, which is only right and proper. Here at Brian's Education Blog I am probably a tad more pessimistic about the long term educational and child rearing trends in our society. Home education is all very well and good, if your home is nice. But what about the education being supplied in this home?

POLK COUNTY, Fla. -- A 35-year-old Polk County woman admits she chained her sons to their beds at night to keep them out of trouble, according to a Local 6 News report.

Karen Abe, 35, said her sons would break into and steal cars while she was at work so she tethered her 13- and 15-year-old sons to their beds with heavy chains and padlocks.

Even though her ex-husband was reportedly inside the home at night, the boys were chained from 9:30 p.m. until 6 a.m.

"When I left, I just put them on the chain," Karen Abe said. "They just laid down and said 'mom we understand.'" "I told them before I put them on the chain, 'get what you need.'"

Yes, yes, all very terrible and all that, but I think this woman could have done a lot worse. If she was telling the truth about the reactions of her two darling boys ("we understand"), then, well, … Put it this way, what does Rational Parenting or other such websites and authorities on niceness recommend that would actually have worked any better?

Advisers. Try not to say only: "I wouldn't start from here." Suppose you are starting from there. You've done your best, you're doing your best, but your devil brood are out nicking cars every night as soon as your eyes are shut. What do you do?

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:00 PM
Category: Parents and children