Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Mothers and Fathers

 

My number four son is now a police officer, a few months into his first year on the job. He spends his evenings and nights driving his patrol car around a New England city, staying awake, keeping the peace.

He tells me that about once a week he responds to a domestic call involving a minor. With few exceptions, they’re variations on the same theme: a single mother with one child, a son, who is unruly and defiant and whom she can’t control. My son tells me that his department responds to at least one of these every day — this in a relatively small city.

He had one case where the boy was ten years old. The lad refused to put on his seat belt, so his mother called 911.

I think it’s hard for most women to discipline children, particularly sons. I think some women fear that they’ll lose the love of their sons if they say “no.” Beyond that, I think many, perhaps most, women simply don’t want to be the heavy, the no-nonsense voice of authority. It’s a role many men don’t mind playing (and one I always enjoyed), but one mothers would rather delegate to fathers.

Boys and girls need fathers. But we can’t talk about that, about the roles fathers play, if we have to pretend that men and women are the same, or that their differences are trivial and mutable.

And that is perhaps the most important reason why we should reject calls for respectful compliance with the trans nonsense, and encourage a clearer understanding of sexual reality — of men and women and how we differ.

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There are 34 comments.

  1. Western Chauvinist Member

    It’s also why some of us continue to oppose SSM.

    • #1
    • December 3, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. Full Size Tabby Member

    I love to talk about how important fathers are to boys and to girls. 

    Mothers and fathers are not the same, and are not interchangeable. Children learn something different from each, and from the way mothers and fathers work together with their differences.

    To repeat what I hope is universally known information, the most common characteristic of men in prison is that they grew up without a father in the household. (I’m not sure if the same is true for women in prison.)

    • #2
    • December 3, 2019, at 10:32 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Pony Convertible Member

    The disaster that comes from belief that single parenting is OK, or even worse something to be admired, is well documented. Kids raised by single parents are much less likely to finish school, and more likely to end up in jail. The results of this social experiment clearly indicate it is a failure. Yet, we want success so we ignore the data.

    • #3
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:02 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. Western Chauvinist Member

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    The disaster that comes from belief that single parenting is OK, or even worse something to be admired, is well documented. Kids raised by single parents are much less likely to finish school, and more likely to end up in jail. The results of this social experiment clearly indicate it is a failure. Yet, we want success so we ignore the data.

    To be specific, single parenting by mothers has been shown to be detrimental to kids’ successful transition to adulthood. Single fathers are more successful at raising kids, one suspects, because they are better boundary enforcers, as noted in Henry’s post.

    • #4
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:09 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    I know a woman with a son from a short relationship. For a while she was married to a guy, but she wouldn’t let him discipline her son. One day, the husband came home to find her on the floor with the son kicking her. He pulled the son (about thirteen or fourteen at that point) off. She still wouldn’t let him discipline her son. The couple divorced, and now the son is even older and larger and there’s nobody to pull him away if he does that again.

    • #5
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:25 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Seawriter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    The disaster that comes from belief that single parenting is OK, or even worse something to be admired, is well documented. Kids raised by single parents are much less likely to finish school, and more likely to end up in jail. The results of this social experiment clearly indicate it is a failure. Yet, we want success so we ignore the data.

    To be specific, single parenting by mothers has been shown to be detrimental to kids’ successful transition to adulthood. Single fathers are more successful at raising kids, one suspects, because they are better boundary enforcers, as noted in Henry’s post.

    With single mothers, if the separation was involuntary (the father died) the adverse affects of single-parenthood appear to be mitigated. I think part of that is due to their being no betrayal of the partnership in those cases. Neither mom or dad ever “uncommitted” to the marriage, and the father’s commitment survives death. I think part of the behavior problems stem from the child’s uncertainty about the remaining parent’s commitment to the child. If mom (dad) won’t stay committed to dad (mom), how do I know the parent will remain committed to me if the going gets tough?

    • #6
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    It’s a sensitive subject. I know women who are single mothers because the father was a bad man and it was necessary to get away. People make mistakes, situations change, people change.

    But until we start emphasizing the value of fathers — which, again, requires that we distinguish fathers from mothers, men from women — it’s going to be hard to shift the culture toward responsible parenting.

    The trans movement is a stupid, trivial distraction that, because of the absurd excess of attention it receives from its supporters, is a large and growing problem.

    • #7
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  8. MarciN Member

    Being a single parent is a hard road to travel.

    • #8
    • December 3, 2019, at 11:57 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Marci,

    I’m sure there are multiple aspects to it. My own belief is that women generally value the parent-child bond more than men do, and are more reluctant to do things that they perceive as endangering that bond. “Wait until your father gets home” is older than modern psychiatry and overweening social services.

    The trans movement — the mainstreaming of transvestitism and a stubborn rejection of the most basic biology — is merely the gaudy apotheosis of the bad idea of male/female equivalence that is itself the most unfortunate product of the sexual revolution. But the lunacy of the trans movement makes it the low hanging fruit, and a relatively easy target for conservatives. We should confront it.

    H.

    • #9
    • December 3, 2019, at 12:08 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. James Gawron Thatcher

    Henry Racette: Boys and girls need fathers. But we can’t talk about that, about the roles fathers play, if we have to pretend that men and women are the same, or that their differences are trivial and mutable.

    Henry,

    How much more misery will be brought upon us before we can throw the woketard tyranny off?

    The mind boggles.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:04 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Full Size Tabby Member

    James Gawron (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Boys and girls need fathers. But we can’t talk about that, about the roles fathers play, if we have to pretend that men and women are the same, or that their differences are trivial and mutable.

    Henry,

    How much more misery will be brought upon us before we can throw the woketard tyranny off?

    The mind boggles.

    Regards,

    Jim

    More worrisome is the misery that is being brought upon children and youth, many of whom will suffer a lifetime of issues caused by today’s “woke” tyranny insisting upon rejection of reality. 

    • #11
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:13 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Sometimes it is something else…the child has psychological or psychiatric issues that are not being dealt with effectively. Regardless of the family makeup, sometimes parents call the police when they are afraid of a child who is truly difficult and need the extra presence of someone that even the kid will recognize as an authority figure.

    • #12
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:14 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    Thanks to your son for taking a job which many people wouldn’t do today, given how the politicians run like scared rabbits whenever an officer has to use force against a suspect (the worst case being white officer, unarmed but belligerent black offender, and deadly force).

    I’ll pray for his safety . . .

    • #13
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:24 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Sometimes it is something else…the child has psychological or psychiatric issues that are not being dealt with effectively. Regardless of the family makeup, sometimes parents call the police when they are afraid of a child who is truly difficult and need the extra presence of someone that even the kid will recognize as an authority figure.

    Absolutely. There are broken people, and some of them are children.

    But I’ve raised five sons, and I’ve watched a lot of other sons being raised, and I have opinions about how young men respond to discipline. I’ve seen too many examples of women (and sometimes men) who let their sons (and, occasionally, daughters) run roughshod over them. I think most failures of children are failures of parenting.

    There is a particular situation I’ve observed fairly often. It’s the case of a single woman with a son (often an only son) being unwilling to bring herself to impose her will on the child. I wish I could tell single mothers how secure they are in their child’s affection, how awful they would have to be, as mothers, to lose the child’s love, and what freedom they really do have to shape the child’s behavior — even if it sometimes disappoints the child. And I have often wished that I could communicate to these women — and to parents in general — that well-behaved children are a joy, and are ultimately happier than those who aren’t secure in their knowledge that their parents are in charge.

    It should be absolute cliché to say that young men are served well by the presence of a strong masculine influence in their lives, and that young women are served well by the security that comes from being loved by a father or, failing that, by another safe male figure — and that both boys and girls benefit from seeing two parents, one male and one female, dealing respectfully and lovingly with each other.

    That all seems obvious. It’s also obvious that life is such that, for many different reasons, not everyone can have that.

    But what isn’t obvious is that we shouldn’t acknowledge those simple truths, and that doing so is somehow impolite or unacceptable.

    • #14
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:29 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    Thanks to your son for taking a job which many people wouldn’t do today, given how the politicians run like scared rabbits whenever an officer has to use force against a suspect (the worst case being white officer, unarmed but belligerent black offender, and deadly force).

    I’ll pray for his safety . . .

    Stad, thanks.

    Here’s a funny interesting thing: during training, my son was told that he is not to address citizens (e.g., during a traffic stop) as “sir” or “ma’am,” because there’s a chance that doing so might cause offense.

    • #15
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:33 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Stad Thatcher

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Thanks to your son for taking a job which many people wouldn’t do today, given how the politicians run like scared rabbits whenever an officer has to use force against a suspect (the worst case being white officer, unarmed but belligerent black offender, and deadly force).

    I’ll pray for his safety . . .

    Stad, thanks.

    Here’s a funny interesting thing: during training, my son was told that he is not to address citizens (e.g., during a traffic stop) as “sir” or “ma’am,” because there’s a chance that doing so might cause offense.

    In New York, it’s guaranteed he’d be cut from the force. So sad . . .

    • #16
    • December 3, 2019, at 2:37 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Full Size Tabby Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    But I’ve raised five sons, and I’ve watched a lot of other sons being raised, and I have opinions about how young men respond to discipline. I’ve seen too many examples of women (and sometimes men) who let their sons (and, occasionally, daughters) run roughshod over them. I think most failures of children are failures of parenting.

     

    Children (at least when relatively young) want their parents to set boundaries and to enforce discipline. Enforcing discipline is a sign of love. I’ve seen several examples, but one sticks out: A small boy was with what I presumed to be his father in line at the bank (this was some years ago). The boy began misbehaving (swinging the rope that designated the space for the line), and kept looking up at his father with an expression that to me clearly was a plea for a response, but the father just kept looking elsewhere and ignoring the boy. 

    • #17
    • December 3, 2019, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. I Walton Member

    I can’t remember spanking one of my kids, I probably swatted a behind occasionally, but I didn’t have to because my wife simply insisted on good behavior which they all understood was basic but pretty simple. I know she never spanked them, but I don’t remember, she says she swatted a bottom occasionally which made them laugh, but they were well behaved. She just led them in orderly ways, get up when it’s time, go to bed when it’s time, study when one must. She read to them a lot and as soon as they learned to read they read a lot, and got fast at reading books beyond their age. Order, love and attention is all I know and they got lots of all three.

    • #18
    • December 3, 2019, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Henry, good post.

    I don’t think that the problem is limited to single mothers being unwilling to discipline a child, especially a boy. There’s an added problem that, by the teenage years, a mother is generally physically incapable of controlling a boy. The exact timing of this varies with the individuals, but my general impression is that by age 12 or 13, most boys are able to dominate their mothers physically.

    It is inexplicable to me that most people don’t seem to understand this. I recall a podcast in which Bret Weinstein described the response of his biology class at Evergreen State, before he was forced out, to his factual statement of sexual dimorphism in humans. He simply stated the fact that men are, in general, significantly larger and stronger than women.

    His class objected, and did not believe him. He said that he had everyone take off their shoes, and line up from shortest to tallest. There was essentially no overlap. All, or nearly all, of the girls were shorter than all, or nearly all, of the boys.

    How did these kids manage to live 18-21 years on the planet, and not notice this fact? Average male height in the US (a bit over 5’9″) is around the 98th percentile of female height (average a bit under 5’4″).

    The Leftist/feminist indoctrination on this issue is quite amazing. Quite literally, people do not believe the evidence of their own eyes.

    • #19
    • December 3, 2019, at 3:18 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. Seawriter Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I don’t think that the problem is limited to single mothers being unwilling to discipline a child, especially a boy. There’s an added problem that, by the teenage years, a mother is generally physically incapable of controlling a boy. The exact timing of this varies with the individuals, but my general impression is that by age 12 or 13, most boys are able to dominate their mothers physically.

    Well, my wife used to tell my kids, “you might be stronger than me, you might get smarter than me, and you might be bigger than me, but you will never be meaner than me. And you have to sleep sometime.”

    My response to this was always, “Believer her, kids. And what she say goes for me, too.”

    It seemed to work.

    • #20
    • December 3, 2019, at 3:57 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Skyler Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    The disaster that comes from belief that single parenting is OK, or even worse something to be admired, is well documented. Kids raised by single parents are much less likely to finish school, and more likely to end up in jail. The results of this social experiment clearly indicate it is a failure. Yet, we want success so we ignore the data.

    To be specific, single parenting by mothers has been shown to be detrimental to kids’ successful transition to adulthood. Single fathers are more successful at raising kids, one suspects, because they are better boundary enforcers, as noted in Henry’s post.

    If your statistic is true (and I’m skeptical) it would be true only because those few men that would deign to parent their children alone are already exceptional. In my line of work men are routinely absent by choice and even if interested in retaining their parental rights, it’s actually unusual for them to do anything more than claim to want to be a parent. 

    • #21
    • December 3, 2019, at 5:34 PM PST
    • Like
  22. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I’m skeptical that we have enough information to reliably judge whether single fathers or single mothers have greater success raising children — but I find the idea intuitively plausible. In fact, I wrote about this business of being a single parent from my own perspective back in August: A Thought About Single Parenting.

    Skyler, I’ll suggest one way in which I think single fathers have an advantage over single mothers (though I can think of others). I think it is generally easier to find surrogates for the maternal attention of an absent mother than it is to find safe, wholesome replacements for a missing father. As I described in the post linked above, other children’s mothers will step up to help a single father. The opposite may be true in the case of single mothers but, given the nature of men, it is a riskier and less reliable proposition.

    • #22
    • December 3, 2019, at 6:01 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Lilly B Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I know a woman with a son from a short relationship. For a while she was married to a guy, but she wouldn’t let him discipline her son. One day, the husband came home to find her on the floor with the son kicking her. He pulled the son (about thirteen or fourteen at that point) off. She still wouldn’t let him discipline her son. The couple divorced, and now the son is even older and larger and there’s nobody to pull him away if he does that again.

    Hard to “like” this post. But appreciate the contribution. 

    • #23
    • December 3, 2019, at 7:18 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I know a woman with a son from a short relationship. For a while she was married to a guy, but she wouldn’t let him discipline her son. One day, the husband came home to find her on the floor with the son kicking her. He pulled the son (about thirteen or fourteen at that point) off. She still wouldn’t let him discipline her son. The couple divorced, and now the son is even older and larger and there’s nobody to pull him away if he does that again.

    Hard to “like” this post. But appreciate the contribution.

    Agreed. Jerry’s comment (#19), though grim, is apt: it doesn’t take long for most young men to grow stronger than their mothers.

    There’s an old anecdote about a man who visits a circus. He sees a baby elephant tethered to a stout post with a solid chain — and an adult elephant tied with a light rope to a much weaker post. When he asks about this, it’s explained that the adult elephant knows it can’t break free, and so doesn’t try; the baby elephant hasn’t learned this yet.

    I don’t want to suggest that children should be thought of as animals. But it’s best if young men see lots of good examples of self-control and of respect for their mothers when they’re young.

    • #24
    • December 3, 2019, at 7:27 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Skyler Coolidge

    I Walton (View Comment):

    I can’t remember spanking one of my kids, I probably swatted a behind occasionally, but I didn’t have to because my wife simply insisted on good behavior which they all understood was basic but pretty simple. I know she never spanked them, but I don’t remember, she says she swatted a bottom occasionally which made them laugh, but they were well behaved. She just led them in orderly ways, get up when it’s time, go to bed when it’s time, study when one must. She read to them a lot and as soon as they learned to read they read a lot, and got fast at reading books beyond their age. Order, love and attention is all I know and they got lots of all three.

    In the ancient debate about nature vs. nurture I’m firmly in the camp of nature. Your children were probably like you. Some children respond only to stronger corrections because that is their nature. Sadly, some people have a nature of really hurting children, which is often conflated with the former.

    • #25
    • December 3, 2019, at 7:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Lilly B Coolidge

    I Walton (View Comment):

    She just led them in orderly ways, get up when it’s time, go to bed when it’s time, study when one must. She read to them a lot and as soon as they learned to read they read a lot, and got fast at reading books beyond their age. Order, love and attention is all I know and they got lots of all three.

    The essentials. Setting expectations and enforcing routine. The problem is that these basics require emotionally stable parents and stable home environments. This is what a man denies his children when he doesn’t marry his child’s mother, even if he provides child support.

    To be fair, women also bear responsibility for allowing their children to be raised in the midst of such stress. There used to be societal support for the idea that women were expected to be more sexually discriminating and that men should expect women to behave this way. Surely it was never perfect, but the erasure of once standard behaviors has produced some terrible results. 

    • #26
    • December 3, 2019, at 7:36 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette Post author

    Lilly B (View Comment):
    There used to be societal support for the idea that women were expected to be more sexually discriminating and that men should expect women to behave this way.

    Absolutely, and there is the chicken-and-egg problem. We want women to be able to leave abusive men. We want children to grow up with good parental influences. We want people to be free to marry in love and enthusiasm. We want everyone to have a chance to be happy.

    Feminism simultaneously brought women freedom and cost them social protection. It’s hard to know if women are, on balance, happier than they were back when marriage was relatively permanent and entered into with more caution. I don’t know.

    But it’s hard to believe that the situation for children wasn’t better when parents married more cautiously and accepted that life might, on occasion, fall short of whatever sexual and interpersonal bliss they might have imagined.

    • #27
    • December 3, 2019, at 7:47 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. J Climacus Member

    I remember a consensus developed in the 90’s around the need for fathers in the home. The sociological evidence was abundant and conclusive: The lack of fathers was the root problem behind many of the social ills besetting the lower classes. (See David Blankenhorn’s Fatherless America. Still a great read). The debate between the left and the right was how to address it. The left wanted more government programs to support families, and the right wanted cultural solutions that supported “family values.” But I remember thinking we had turned a major corner when we had broad agreement concerning the nature of the problem.

    That agreement faded in the ’00s. People just stopped talking about fatherlessness. It might have had something to do with the SSM movement: If two mommies are as good as a mommy and a daddy, then fathers aren’t really necessary. I also blame the Bush Administration, as it never followed through on the cultural consensus that was created in the 90’s. A huge wasted opportunity.

    • #28
    • December 4, 2019, at 6:42 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. J Climacus Member

    It’s hard for moms to discipline boys because boys instinctively respect their fathers as authority figures, but not so much their mothers. They love their mothers, but as a nurturing figure, not someone who will show them how to be a man in the fullest sense. Part of being a man is leaving the protective nest run by mom and facing the external world with all its temptations, perils and challenges. A teenage boy instinctively knows he’s got to separate himself from mom to really find himself, so mom trying to guide him through that just generates resentment.

    • #29
    • December 4, 2019, at 6:51 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Pony Convertible Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    With single mothers, if the separation was involuntary (the father died) the adverse affects of single-parenthood appear to be mitigated.

    I have not seen data about this. My personal experience with knowing a few adults who lost their father due to cancer when they were very young, indicates the adverse affects still happen.

    • #30
    • December 4, 2019, at 10:23 AM PST
    • Like