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Author Topic: THE "Traditional" family?
Cartman
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posted 27 April 2005 12:36 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My understanding is that Harper's Conservatives argue against SSM by favouring the traditional family. What exactly is the "traditional" family considering that less than 15% of Canadians live in (heterosexual) nuclear families where husbands are sole breadwinners for their wives and children? Are single parent families less good? What about heterosexual families without children? If women work, do they take away from Harper's traditional family? What is this perfect traditional family according to Flanders/Harper?
From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Surferosad
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posted 27 April 2005 12:40 AM      Profile for Surferosad   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A figment of his imagination. An outdated archetype, I would guess.
From: Montreal | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 27 April 2005 12:57 AM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What exactly is the "traditional" family..?

I would guess this one:

...where Mom's passed out on Valium and Crème de Menthe by 3PM every afternoon, Dad's shagging the secretary, older brother's starts fires for fun and little brother's wearing sun dresses when he's home alone. All very traditional.


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
mary123
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posted 27 April 2005 12:59 AM      Profile for mary123     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

I thought this was the "traditional family".
No not white and Christian but a cartoon ie it doesn't exist.

[ 27 April 2005: Message edited by: mary123 ]


From: ~~Canada - still God's greatest creation on the face of the earth~~ | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 27 April 2005 01:23 AM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My understanding is that Harper's Conservatives argue against SSM by favouring the traditional family. What exactly is the "traditional" family considering that less than 15% of Canadians live in (heterosexual) nuclear families where husbands are sole breadwinners for their wives and children? Are single parent families less good? What about heterosexual families without children? If women work, do they take away from Harper's traditional family? What is this perfect traditional family according to Flanders/Harper?

Belinda Stronach's multiple marriage breakdowns followed by a common law relationship with Peter McKay which includes moving her children into that situation.

That is the conservative example of the traditional family.


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
swallow
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posted 27 April 2005 12:08 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The "traditional" family is a large group of related people spanning several different generations who all live together under one roof. The nuclear family is a new development spawned by atomized modern Western societies.

In fact....

Why of why do some neo-liberals want to continue the erosion of the traditional extended family? Studies show that the non-traditional nuclear family is more likely to lead to break-ups, abused and poorly-educated children, family violence, and the breakdown of the community. Those social engineers are ripping apart the fabric of our society with their "nuclear families" headed by a bread-winning father. Won't someone think of the children?


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Hegemo
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posted 27 April 2005 01:07 PM      Profile for The Hegemo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mary123:

I thought this was the "traditional family".
No not white and Christian but a cartoon ie it doesn't exist.

[ 27 April 2005: Message edited by: mary123 ]


Not anymore...since Maude was killed by those t-shirts, Ned has been a *gasp* single father!


From: The Persistent Vegetative States of America | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 27 April 2005 04:02 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why of why do some neo-liberals want to continue the erosion of the traditional extended family?

This is a rant that is actually very close to my position on the matter.


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 27 April 2005 04:08 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
traditional = Patriarch ruliing with religious oppression
From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 27 April 2005 04:57 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Harper's stance against SSM is to uphold the "traditional" family. Think about this logic. It says that homosexuals should not be granted marital status now or in the future, because they have not been granted marital status in the past. Governments should be concerned with adapting to change rather than upholding traditions.
From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Vicious
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posted 28 April 2005 04:17 AM      Profile for The Vicious     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Since Harper has no soul and is incapable of feeling love, I would guess the traditional family he's protecting would be a pair of abusive drunks who married for money and the dead - eyed, cypher offspring.
From: Calgary, wishing I was back in Ontario | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
HellofaSandwich
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posted 29 April 2005 01:56 AM      Profile for HellofaSandwich   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is a good post.

For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single-parent home, and as a young child, whenever I'd hear some cultural conservative talk about "family values" and the emphasis on the "traditional family", I would get very uneasy and feel that my family's structure was somehow inferior and that I should be ashamed. I wouldn't even admit to anyone that my parents were divorced for about 5 years after the fact.

That probably sowed the seeds of my intense dislike of social conservatives.


From: Edmonton | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 29 April 2005 04:12 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single-parent home, and as a young child, whenever I'd hear some cultural conservative talk about "family values" and the emphasis on the "traditional family", I would get very uneasy and feel that my family's structure was somehow inferior and that I should be ashamed. I wouldn't even admit to anyone that my parents were divorced for about 5 years after the fact.


Well put. I felt the same way. I hated when I had to fill out forms indicating "father". Hmmm...should I put my dad or my stepfather? Citizen support should go to real families not just to Harper's romanticized version of the "traditional family".

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 29 April 2005 04:30 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The "traditional family" meme is just a blind -- although it's one that I think a lot of Conservatives have probably convinced themselves is true. Actually, the argument really is without merit. SSM poses no articulable threat whatsoever to traditional families (whatever they are).

The issue of families is just a cypher for the moral imperative against homosexuality itself. SSM represents another loss in the war against the competing secular reality. God is losing power -- or at least the orthodox, fundamentalist construction of God as a set of immutable moral constructs enforced and propagated by believers. These believers, who are most heavily represented within the Conservative party, are reacting to the lessening of their ability to see their particular moral construction reflected in social norms.

In other words: "I think homosexuality is wrong/evil/perverse" becomes "Same Sex Marriage threatens the traditional family." It's an oblique attack where a direct attack is no longer permissible (due to the progress of Human Rights measures).

[ 29 April 2005: Message edited by: verbatim ]


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
fossilnut
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posted 30 April 2005 04:47 PM      Profile for fossilnut        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's traditional anything? The Family? Nationalism with rah-rah flag waving? Public schools? Why do we protect a tradition like 'democracy' or 'racial equality' That's only been around for decades?

I don't know the answer. Is universal healthcare a 'tradition' in the Canadian psyche? Why should it be preserved? Why the tradition of fair trials and innocent until proven guilty?

We always talk about our 'rights'. What rights? What traditional rights stemming from when? 1000 BC or 1000 AD or 1975?

I also question the concept of the 'traditional' family. If I had my way people could marry their dog or their favorite tree if they wanted. But I don't scoff at anyone who holds the idea of 'traditional marriage' dear anymore than I scoff at anyone who holds other principles or 'rights' as dear. I suppose the Americans should be allowed to march their armies across the border and start setting up camp because why is that border a barrier when it didn't exist 500 years ago? Whose traditional border? Not the natives. Not the animals. Not the ecology.


From: calgary | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
f1 dad
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posted 30 April 2005 06:09 PM      Profile for f1 dad     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think Rick Mercer is bang on the issue with his Monday Report fake ad defending the traditional family. It's at:

http://www.cbc.ca/mondayreport/backissues.html


(Go down to the week of Feb. 14 and click on "I believe in a traditional family".)


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
ShyViolet
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posted 30 April 2005 07:14 PM      Profile for ShyViolet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single-parent home, and as a young child, whenever I'd hear some cultural conservative talk about "family values" and the emphasis on the "traditional family", I would get very uneasy and feel that my family's structure was somehow inferior and that I should be ashamed. I wouldn't even admit to anyone that my parents were divorced for about 5 years after the fact.

quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:

Well put. I felt the same way. I hated when I had to fill out forms indicating "father". Hmmm...should I put my dad or my stepfather? Citizen support should go to real families not just to Harper's romanticized version of the "traditional family".


me too...to both posts.
i never knew who to put in the "father" line on forms. now i put my stepfather b/c i'm closer to him and my biological father lives in another state.

i think a father isn't just about sperm... it's about raising a child to the best of your ability and showing them love each and every day. on that basis, my stepfather is my daddy. it doesn't bother either of us that we're not related by blood... i will always be his daughter and he will always be my daddy.


From: ~Love is like pi: natural, irrational, and very important~ | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 30 April 2005 07:26 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When my parents divorced in 1975, we were the first 'broken home' in the neighborhood. I lived with my mother, and a few of my friends' mothers decided it was best for their sons not to spend any time at our house anymore. Apparently we were thought somehow 'contagious.'

I moved in with my father a year later, and I recall that, upon finding out that my mother wasn't dead, several of the 6th grade classmates at my new school commented (in effect) that ours was absolutely the most twisted domestic arrangement they could think of.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
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posted 30 April 2005 07:48 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh lord, 'broken home'. My home was broken in 1960 when I seven. I didn't meet any other broken-home kids until I was in highschool. Way back then the only reason women were divorced was if their husbands divorced them for adultery, so natch my mother was called a 'hoor'. And yes, I was considered toxic/contagious by some adults. When something bad happened, like a grass fire, I was automatically accused, because I came from a broken home. This was all very logical and well acepted at the time. I thank the goddess for the principal of my school who stuck up for me and my siblings.

This is why I get the willies whenever people talk about 'traditional families'. As far as I'm concerned, the only people who talk this way are very likely bigotted ignoramuses.


From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 30 April 2005 08:17 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Beaver is one example of the stereotype, here's another:

Who can forget Donna Reed doing the housework in pearls?

Back in the day a single man could only be on TV if he was a widower.

Like this:

That's about as close as you'd get in TV land.

And if dad was single, then you'd better keep trying to find him a woman lest tongues begin wagging. Like this:

But then again, there are many people who not only like old TV like I do, but unlike me, pine for the 'good old days" of "good old family values" days and values that only exist in their imaginations.

In contrast to the happy families above, in many cases, the truth or real life, even in the golden age, was somewhat different.

Thus ends my pictoral essay of the "traditional" family,


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 30 April 2005 09:16 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can so relate to this topic! I too used to be fearful in school when we'd have father's Day or discuss what out parents did. I always felt ashamed because I didn't fit in with the rest, whom, in my mind, lived in nice little homes with a mom and a dad and were fed well, etc (most of them lived in middle class families). It was a concern to a few of my teachers at school, who would take me aside and ask me if I'd had lunch today and could they help me with anything. While I felt the actual concern, this concern only led to my internal notion that me and my life were somehow defective and not normal. I learned that being poor meant being pitied.

Oh the hell growing up poor in Ontario Housing with no parents around and not enough food to eat and seeing that other children didn't live the same way.

Besides, the last stat I heard on 'traditional families' ( married mom and dad) was at 26 percent. Hardly a majority.


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
blacklisted
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posted 01 May 2005 01:04 AM      Profile for blacklisted     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
the traditional family/rosy glow look at the past is so out of touch with the reality that in fact existed. i really wonder which world the advocates for return into the surreal past lived in?
"The "Traditional Family" Withdraws From The Rest of Society:

The Religious Right wants to put the American Family back behind closed doors. Where no social worker will call to check on the children. Where no police will investigate "marital problems." Where no one can hear you scream.

Moral Majority leader Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote in his 1979 book "America Can Be Saved!": "I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, there won't be any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

Since they are meeting with some considerable resistance to this "noble" idea-just mention "ACLU" in their presence and watch their teeth begin to grind- they are now considering other options.

Parental rights have become the new demand of the conservative movement. Parents are encouraged to "opt out" their children from social studies programs that do not "reflect their family values." Other ideals or cultural influences are dangerous. Children may consider alternatives to the traditional family values. Very, very dangerous. Better to put them in private schools and home schooling. That way no one can interfere with what they want the children to 'learn." No one can teach a child anything that the parents do not believe in. No one will see the bruises."
http://www.witchvox.com/wrenwww/statspeak_2.html
some interesting stats from a traditional source which predated our current paradigm.


From: nelson,bc | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 01 May 2005 07:07 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I came from a "traditional" background, where divorce was unthinkable. (My mom was a "preacher's kid", and "till death do us part" was taken to mean exactly what it said.) But other things, like rampant alcoholism, was "traditional", too. So was beating your wife, and thrashing your kids. So was mental and sexual abuse. And of course, such things "weren't talked about" back then. Might bring "shame" on the family, and all that.

But we've all gained so much from our "traditional" upbringing. Every one of my brothers and I suffer from not only an ongoing struggle with chronic depression, but also alcoholism. To my *knowledge* there has been no repeats of the physical or sexual abuse, but several of my siblings have turned to fundamentalist churches in an effort to battle their own demons. For me, after an intense personal struggle that took me to the brink of suicide a couple of times, I turned my back on all religions and churches— what saved my life in the end was one man who loved me and taught me not to be ashamed of who I am.

My "traditional" upbringing has resulted in me being estranged from almost all of my relatives for almost 20 years to the point where I have brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who I have never met, not to mention all the neices and nephews. I call them my "relatives"... my family has been slowly built up over the years since, friends and lovers who have helped me and stood by me, people who accept me for who I am.

Right now, I am scraping together the necessary funds to travel halfway across the continent to put in an appearance at my mother's place before she dies— she has recently been diagnosed with cancer, and only has a few weeks, although she'll likely last until I get there. I can't afford this trip, but I refuse to rely on any of my relatives to offset the expense. A stubborn streak of independence is something else my "traditional" upbringing gave to me; they'd love me to ask, but I won't.

So why am I going? Because, despite everything, she's still my mother. I've tried to feel... whatever I'm supposed to feel, I guess, but I don't. It's not that I can't feel deep emotions, it's just that I don't feel them for my relatives. I cried when a friend died last year, but in my mother's case, all I feel is a sense of relief. But, for some reason it's important to my mother, so I will go.

So that's what my "traditional" upbringing gave to me. But thank goodness the taint of "divorce" never besmirched the good family name. We can hold our heads high.


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 01 May 2005 07:50 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
So why am I going? Because, despite everything, she's still my mother. I've tried to feel... whatever I'm supposed to feel, I guess, but I don't. It's not that I can't feel deep emotions, it's just that I don't feel them for my relatives. I cried when a friend died last year, but in my mother's case, all I feel is a sense of relief. But, for some reason it's important to my mother, so I will go.

Nothing wrong with how you feel, Heph. Or if there is, I am equally guilty. I went to the bedside of my estranged father when he was ready to die a decade ago. At the time, I rationalized it this way: if I'm there, at least the fact of his death will be real to me, not just something reported, assumed or half-imagined.

I did actually cry after the main event, but it wasn't so much of grief as it was the feeling of thank-goodness-that's-over.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 01 May 2005 07:58 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The traditional family is based around the parent-child relationship, but can include the extended family as well. That is, I don't think it is restricted to the nuclear family.

That being said, the best environment in which to raise a child is where the mother and father are married, and share the parenting responsibilities with each other, and potentially with members of the extended family (such as aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.). It is true that the mythical age of perfect families didn't exist, but those problems of abuse (substance, sexual, physical) are not intrinsic to the institution of the family. Those are things that should be dealt with on an individual basis.

quote:
Originally posted by Cartman:
Are single parent families less good?

In some ways, yes. Will anybody deign to deny that it is much harder for one parent to raise children on their own? That doesn't mean that single parents can't raise good kids and have a loving family relationship, it's just more difficult.

From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 01 May 2005 08:19 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:
Will anybody deign to deny that it is much harder for one parent to raise children on their own? That doesn't mean that single parents can't raise good kids and have a loving family relationship, it's just more difficult.

It's a matter of degrees. Even if everyone goes ahead and agrees with your postulate, the question becomes how do its implications play out via law and policy?

That's a scary question for single parents, and properly so.

I think some of the political difficulties surrounding the issue come from the fear that single parents will find their relationships with their kids officially denigrated by the assumptions--the valid and the faulty ones-- inherent in the idea that two-parent families are best.

That is, no one can be blamed for a reluctance to activate a presumption that his or her family situation is (perhaps) second best, much less deal with the eagerness that some seem to have for unfair, moralistic, societal/governmental interventions into family life that might come of that presumption.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 01 May 2005 10:09 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gir: Cartman's question was are single parent families "less good?"

Your reply treads on dangerous ground. There is a difference between "goodness" and "difficulty."

I don't think you meant to lend any credence to the denigration of these families which is what I think most of us on this thread are objecting to.

Sometimes the best results come from the most difficult of circumstances. And sometimes the worst offspring I have ever seen come from the most solid respectable families - but in their case and in most of these cases, the parents gave their kids everything that money could buy - but didn't give them their time or their love. They also never gave their kids the opportunity to struggle on their own and learn adversity, rather, they protected them from all harm and bought their way out of trouble.

What I would like to see is for all of us to stop this insanity of having to rank every #&%@* thing in our society on some sliding scale of goodness or badness. All we do is damage real live people by affixing stigma to circumstances that many of them had no control over. Its wrong and its immoral. We're all part of one big family and while I know that sounds trite, its true.

[ 01 May 2005: Message edited by: Américain Égalitaire ]


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Hailey
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posted 01 May 2005 01:33 PM      Profile for Hailey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single-parent home, and as a young child, whenever I'd hear some cultural conservative talk about "family values" and the emphasis on the "traditional family", I would get very uneasy and feel that my family's structure was somehow inferior and that I should be ashamed. I wouldn't even admit to anyone that my parents were divorced for about 5 years after the fact.

That probably sowed the seeds of my intense dislike of social conservatives.


I am a big believer in two parent families and I think that children miss out when they have two parents. My niece is being raised by her father alone because my sister is deceased. He's a wonderful man and I can't say enough good things about him but I will always believe that my niece misses out by not having a mom.

What is a struggle for me is the leap from believing that a child benefits from a two-parent family to feeling that you have the right to mistreat people whose life has unfolded differently. Especially a child.

I attend a class at a local facility here with the babies. There are two gentleman in the class that are raising their children in same sex relationships. With a handful of exceptions those men are not included in the class in the same way I would have thought would occur in 2005. I can appreciate people disagree with a lifestyle and I would always say people have a right to that opinion but I don't understand what is moral or right or good about alienating children.

It makes me feel terrible that people felt treated like that.


quote:
The Religious Right wants to put the American Family back behind closed doors. Where no social worker will call to check on the children. Where no police will investigate "marital problems." Where no one can hear you scream

What?

quote:
Moral Majority leader Rev. Jerry Falwell wrote in his 1979 book "America Can Be Saved!": "I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, there won't be any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again, and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

I am not doubting your reference but times may have changed since then I've not heard him say that and I do watch him.

quote:
Parental rights have become the new demand of the conservative movement. Parents are encouraged to "opt out" their children from social studies programs that do not "reflect their family values." Other ideals or cultural influences are dangerous. Children may consider alternatives to the traditional family values. Very, very dangerous. Better to put them in private schools and home schooling. That way no one can interfere with what they want the children to 'learn." No one can teach a child anything that the parents do not believe in.

Blacklisted, do you not believe that parents have the right to have their child opt out of a program that isn't a fit for their family's belief system? Last time I checked children had their parents as their legal guardian.

quote:
No one will see the bruises."

I was never ever treated like that and that is not the experience of most christians I know. I don't think you have the right to say that christians who home school beat their kids.

quote:
So why am I going? Because, despite everything, she's still my mother. I've tried to feel... whatever I'm supposed to feel, I guess, but I don't. It's not that I can't feel deep emotions, it's just that I don't feel them for my relatives. I cried when a friend died last year, but in my mother's case, all I feel is a sense of relief. But, for some reason it's important to my mother, so I will go.


First of all Heph I am sorry that that was your life journey.

And I think it's perfectly understand that you would have those emotions.

I would imagine that if you have had a relationship with a parent that is so strained by differences and past issues that the tears are more about what might have been and opportunities lost.

quote:
In some ways, yes. Will anybody deign to deny that it is much harder for one parent to raise children on their own? That doesn't mean that single parents can't raise good kids and have a loving family relationship, it's just more difficult.

I think that there are times when two parents together have such significant challenges in co-habitating that it is not a positive situation for them to remain intact as a family. I would never suggest anyone stay in the context of abuse or adultery or such.

I think that a single-parent family has more vulnerability attached to it. Single parent families are going to disproportionately struggle more with balancing work/home, with financial issues, and so forth. I think that is undeniable unless you want to focus on those exceptions that exist.

I think, however, the biggest vulnerability is the whole "what if..." idea. I know that will be downplayed by some but I think it's significant. I remember thinking as a child at different times what would happen to me if something happened to my mother or father. I had a family rich in resources so I'd have been taken care of but it was still something I thought of. Now that I have my own babies I think about that a lot from a different perspective. And my husband - Mr. speeds everywhere, Mr. bike helmuts are for people with bad hair, Mr. don't be silly that's not dangerous - has found himself with messed up hair from bike helmuts, slowing the truck down, and so forth. I think it would just be natural for a single parent to have even more intense musings over what if.

But the answer is not in abusing single parent families - or any family. It's in having a supportive community that helps people with any struggles rather than abuse them for it.

quote:
Sometimes the best results come from the most difficult of circumstances. And sometimes the worst offspring I have ever seen come from the most solid respectable families - but in their case and in most of these cases, the parents gave their kids everything that money could buy - but didn't give them their time or their love. They also never gave their kids the opportunity to struggle on their own and learn adversity, rather, they protected them from all harm and bought their way out of trouble.


I agree that single parents can have good outcomes and there are countless children raised with advantages that grow into more difficult than one can believe adults.

At the same time I do believe that we have a special responsibility to make things easier for single parent families.


From: candyland | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 01 May 2005 01:34 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you AE!
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
pennyw
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posted 03 May 2005 08:31 AM      Profile for pennyw     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think in some ways coming from a "non-traditional" family makes kids more prepared to accept differences and deal with adversity. It also teaches children that if a situation is bad (abuse, adultary...) you can make a change and don't have to accept the situation all for the sake of appearances. Also, if the child has issues of their own (homosexuality, transsexuality...) they will have learned the skills needed to deal with that situation and not be as afraid of societal expectations. The "traditional" family concept is a not so subtle way of enforcing conformity. No wonder the Conservatives hold it up as something to be charished.
From: The smallest town in the world | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 03 May 2005 08:57 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's an excellent analysis. I find that to be true as well. People whose life experiences have shown them that all is not rosy, and all is not handed to you simply because you exist, do tend to have a broader view of the world, and IMO end up being more empathetic to the people in the world around them.
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
David Newland
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posted 10 May 2005 10:40 AM      Profile for David Newland   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always get uncomfortable in discussions of traditional and non-traditional families. I live nearly 550 km from my daughter and have had to learn to be an active and involved dad despite the terrible distance. It means a hell of a lot of driving, and a lot of virtual parenting by phone and email.

My daughter is a well-adjusted and smart young lady, aged nine. That's mostly a credit to her mom, but also to both extended families and a vast network of loving friends who function as family. So far my daughter is living evidence of the fact that it can all work out okay.

Sometimes people tell me I'm a great dad, because of the closeness and trust between my daughter and me. It's a compliment I've never been able to accept.

Despite the evidence around me that alternative family structures can and do work fine, I'm afraid I will always feel strongly that, all things being equal, a loving mom and dad who stay together create the likeliest positive outcome for the kids. And as long as I feel that way, I will feel guilty and anxious about my own brand of fatherhood.

Such is life.


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged

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