Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm Just Sayin'

Well, I'm not sayin' (someone else did), but I'm agreein'! BB came across this profound quote recently:

There is a fundamental error common to nearly all books (secular and Christian) on child-rearing. To my knowledge, no one has ever pointed it out. It matters little whether the theoretical viewpoint of the writer is that of a learning theorist (model, conditioning, and so forth), a Gestalt theorist, an analyst, or a scriptural theologian. All seem to fall into the same trap when it comes to child-rearing. They assume there is an absolute correlation between what the parent does (prays, sets limits, understands) and how the child turns out. 

Strange that this absurdly nonsensical idea should persist in the face of all the evidence against it. We are determinists. We have been brainwashed into believing that causes, some causes, somewhere, somehow must produce all the "effects." ...It reduces the universe to that which my puny brain can master, and I grow big with confidence. I can explain it all, even the kid who goes wrong. 

There are causes. There are effects. But there is a the machine. A child is not a programmable computer. 

...The race is not to the parentally swift nor the battle to the child-rearing strong. The child chooses. He cooperates with the process or he sabotages it. The best parents in the world sometimes produce monsters, while the breakers of every child-rearing rule may produce a family of responsible, adjusted little angels. It happens all the time. 

-John White
The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living

I'm not sure I should add to that. I will say that I find it truthful and relieving and articulate.


  1. A-flipping-men. Straight to the fridge, this one.

  2. I do so totally agree. But sometimes it scares the crap out of me, too, because I've seen parents dealing with awful adult children and it's so heartbreaking.

  3. The message is in the mystery of the photo: Each egg contains the same potential, that which is necessary for life (a chicken to hatch), but out of the egg will either come raw runny white and yolk, useful for many purposes, or hard boiled egg, maybe soft boiled, or, in fact, the chicken, but only once the shell is ultimately cracked wide open, and all outcomes dependent on factors along the way. Brilliant choice of photo for the post.

  4. I love everyone's comments! Thanks so much for engaging :-)

    Scares me, too, Margo!!!

    Merlin - I love your poetic way...