Children are Lost without Men

by Brad Nelson6/24/15

This is my conclusion after a multi-million dollar scientific study. If you try to raise children without a father, even if the mother is good and well-meaning, you’re setting the table for disaster.

“Oh, but Brad, Brad — you misogynist troglodyte,” I hear you say. “Haven’t you got the message that single mothers are to be glorified?”

Oh, I got the message. And there are some pitt bulls who are relative pussy cats. But they are the exception to the rule. (A neighbor has one that he regularly takes on a walk by the office here. He does seem like a pussy cat. Even when I was wearing a paint mask and gloves while cleaning up some brush, he was totally unperturbed when I approached him and petted him. Even goods breeds tend to be spooked by gloves and masks.)

I’ve had further confirmation of this the last few days. There are some kids in the neighborhood who want to use the grounds around my office as a playground. I said, “Okay, but only after office hours — 6:30 pm to be exact — and don’t break anything or mess with anything.”

They, of course, did mess with things. Some had taken gravel out of one of the beds and tossed it all around. And…god forbid…one of the tomato plants got damaged.

So we had another talk soon after. “If you want to play here, you’re going to have to abide by the rules.” They said they would. They hemmed and hawed with all kinds of weak excuses. But I tried my best to clarify the matter into a simple agreement: after 6:30 and don’t mess with anything.

Well, yesterday they showed up around 1:30 and were playing on the grounds of the office making all kinds of noise. I went out and told them, “Hey, what gives? It’s not 6:30.” The one kid I had primarily negotiated this agreement with said “I thought it was 6:30.” I promptly pointed out to him that he was lying, that surely he knew midday from 6:30 at night, and that lying wasn’t a good way to form any kind of neighborly relationship. Another kid — surely schooled in Alinsky tactics, imbibed like second-hand smoke — said, “But my brother here is handicapped.” I told him I didn’t care if he was handicapped or not. It had nothing to do with breaking our previous agreement. “But he’s dyslexic.” I said, “That doesn’t matter.”

These four kids I was talking to were all around the age of about 9 to 11. They live in some apartments next door. My motivation is to be accommodating because it’s not in my interest to make enemies of these kids and have them trash the place after hours when I’m not there. Also, I was a kid once too.

So I’m trying to accommodate them. But beyond being the usual prevaricating kids, they are being completely manipulative and dishonest. I realized later that they were talking to me (having done so myself) as if I was an easily-manipulated mother. Sorry, ladies, but that’s typically how boys relate to mothers and women about such things. Mothers are not taken as seriously as the bull fathers.

It also occurred to me (although I cannot know for sure) that it’s likely none of these children actually has a father living at home. Talking to a man, for them, was like talking to a Martian. I was not a person to them, just someone to be manipulated. And, yes, I was a kid once too. And much of this is inherent to children, especially little boys. But experience and intuition informed me there was much more going on here than just rambunctious boys. These kids were clearly a product of an environment where there was no strong father to impart even the idea of rules and laws.

After our little conversation, these kids go away, suitably instructed, or so I suppose, the message again being that only after 6:30 could they play here. About 30 minutes later I see three kids in the parking lot outside my window, each of them holding a small hand-drawn sign with the word “Strike” written on it. It’s obvious that community agitating has been taught to them very early.

I go outside and say, “What gives? What’s with the signs?” They hide the signs and pretend that they weren’t doing what they were doing. (Dishonest again.) I told them again that if they wished to play here, they had to bargain in good faith. They had to stick to the agreement. And I said that lying to me and trying to manipulate me wasn’t the way to be good neighbors and to work things out.

As I’m talking with them, their “aunt” walks over. I’d never met her before but she seemed like a nice lady. She is apparently guardian of three or four of these children — none of whom look even remotely like brothers (one is either Asian or Mexican, another has Irish-like freckles, and another is looks suitably English or Dutch). This reinforces, but does not prove, that these children have no father.

The guardian/acting mother (in her early 20’s) seemed a very nice lady. She backed me up in the idea of “If you expect privileges, you have to follow the rules.” Long story short, I told the kids that if they abided by the rules for a few days or maybe a week, I would consider letting them play here starting even earlier…perhaps 5:30. Truth be told, if they proved to be reliable and good kids who could be counted on to keep their agreements, I would let them play in a corner of the lot during the day if they kept the noise down. I’m really not an ogre.

But we live in a “give an inch, they’ll take a mile” culture, and I know it. This goes doubly so for children, especially children who have obviously learned how to be victims. We’ll see how this all goes. But I wholly expect it to go badly. I’m getting a glimpse of how good children are rotted out from the inside by liberalism, by (likely) single-parent families, and by (likely) the lack of the law-giving strong father figure at home. I say this because I could tell they had little experience with a person like me before.

I shook the boys’ hands and said, “Okay, stick to the agreement, let’s be good neighbors, and we’ll see how it goes from there.” And make no mistake, these kids looked like normal kids to me. But still you sense (I sensed) a kind of psychopathy being developed in them by our culture. I still don’t think any one of them saw me as a person. And, believe me, I tried to be as reasonable, kind, yet non-girly-man, as I could be. And yet I couldn’t help thinking that there were degrees showing of “little monsters” that we all are capable of becoming without suitable instruction from real adults — especially including men.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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14 Responses to Children are Lost without Men

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Clearly children lack the reasoning powers which an adult should have. And while it is good to develop these in them, until such powers begin to sprout, the sanction of force must loom somewhere in the picture. Fathers are normally the embodiment of such force. I only half jokingly say, “civilization must be beat into children.”

    By the way, admit it, you are a white misogynistic, racist, global-warming denying, homophobic child abuser. Don’t you feel better now?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      And I’m mean to the handicapped. Disabled. Differently-abled. Whatever.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Establish discipline, then reason with them. It’s sort of like “trust, but verify”.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        The example I have used is that if a three year starts to touch a hot stove and continues to reach out after one has told him not to, a rational adult, unlike a libertarian who is averse to forced obedience, will grab the child’s hand and give it a smack rather than let the child burn himself. That may not be reasoning with the child, but it is likely the child will remember the smack more than he would a parent just saying no, no little Johnny. So sometimes one must really administer a little pain to avoid greater and more long lasting pain. Life ain’t perfect.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Women are an indispensable part in raising good children. But someone upstairs made it so there was male and female. Both are needed.

    But the culture today glorifies the single mother and treats fathers as excess baggage, if not that awful thing called “paternalism.” Much of this has been a conscious choice by women. They have traded the authority of men for the authority of the state. A bad bargain in my opinion, but it suits the ideology of feminism.

    But children are not so amenable to whatever fads are rushing through the culture. They need the example of good, strong men. Both boys and girls need fathers. Mothers tend to have their variety of good and necessary traits, and I’ll let them women here list them. There are plenty.

    But one of the decisive differences between men and women is one of “feelings vs. standards.” Men are the law givers while women tend to give emphasis on other things than right or wrong. And that’s what I saw in those kids. They seemed to have no concept of right or wrong, thus truth and integrity where not part of their DNA. And likely having only women in their lives (who, let’s be fair, are especially easy marks for manipulation by boys…been there, done that), they relate to people differently. The idea of rules — of right and wrong — doesn’t occur to them. What occurs to them is to treat every situation like a politician: What can I say or do in this present situation that is to my advantage.

    Without men laying down the law, I think most children will learn that the slimier traits tend to get rewarded. They will thus lie, manipulate, and exaggerate as a matter of habit with little or no thought to integrity. And this is one way we get little monsters, big and small.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Hmm, my father was killed when I was 13, so I grew into adulthood without much of a male presence. (My mother remarried, but he had no authority over me — none legal, anyway — and after a few years she realized her gross error and divorced him. In the interim, he earned a spot in my personal demonology with his brutish behavior, such as attacking me with an electric broom.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Then from this one example we should join the feminists and say “Down with men!” Or perhaps we distinguish between good fathers and not so good fathers. But by and large, even a mediocre father is better than having no father.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Hmm, my father was killed when I was 13, so I grew into adulthood without much of a male presence.

        You have just proven Brad’s thesis.

        Seriously though, you had a father until adolescence thus the foundations of your morals and character were probably already pretty well in place. I have always heard that a child’s basic personality is formed in the first 5-6 years. That is not to say that family after 13 does not matter, but I would have thought you would have turned out quite different if your father had died when you were 3, 4 or 5 and your mother had married the brute. But who can say?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Think of how many children have been scarred by bad fathers. But look at the almost certainty of very badly scarring children if they grow up in some of the Progressive utopias that Theodore Dalrymple describes. A semi-bad father, at home, supporting the family, is still better than anarchy and a succession of “Uncle Franks”.

        I feel sorry that your father was a bum. Life can suck. I’ve seen what happens to kids when they have alcoholic fathers, or brutal fathers, or abusive fathers. (And mothers are just as apt to be horrendous in their own way.)

        Mothers, by and large, just don’t have what it takes to raise children on their own. This is especially true of boys. Boys need a father. Girls do as well, but to deprive a boy of his father is a terrible thing. Women might mean well, but most cannot handle children on their own. This is one reason those Progressive utopias are such violent places…and terrible places for the health and well being of children.

        The Left has so moved the conversation the other way that it becomes shocking for some when they hear “Children need a father. A mother alone is not adequate.” That there are some bad fathers is beside the point. There are bad mothers too. And there are sometimes just rotten kids. But I think one of the most harmful things that has arisen in the West, and that is at the core of most of our dysfunction, is feminism — the idea that men are disposable. They are not.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          No, my mother’s second husband was a bum. My father was killed in Vietnam (the second lieutenant colonel killed there, or so we were told).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Well, at least you had a good father, although for not as long as you would have liked. Pity the poor souls who don’t even know theirs.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          That there are some bad fathers is beside the point. There are bad mothers too

          True, true. Unlike Leftists and Libertarians, we know that any society cannot achieve the perfect Utopia. Thus as serious people, we must try to encourage behavior which will result in more positive than negative results, on the whole.

          Everything I have ever read says there are more problems in single parent and divorced families than in original mom and pop families. Again, since we can’t reach perfection, we, as a society, should encourage behavior which does the most good and least damage.

  3. Rosalys says:

    I found and listened to this on YouTube today:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSoKoDS179c

    I don’t know who this Fr. Albert is, but he apparently got the message from the current occupant of the Vatican. My favorite quote from this interview is (Fr. Albert to Ann)

    “… when you make these blanket statements based on statistics…!”

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