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Fetus Don't Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the double-blind-man's-bluff dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the latest column from scientist, humor columnist, and stand-up comedian Adam Ruben, he examines his own umbilicus and considers how being a scientist will affect his approach to raising his only slightly post-fetal child. From the article: 'I don't know how other prospective fathers treat their wives' pregnancies, but I saw it as a science project. It had a protocol, parameters, a timeline, and even the one item that makes funding agencies happy: a deliverable. I found myself poking at my wife's abdomen, asking, "Who's Daddy's little gestating blastocyst? Who's recapitulating phylogeny?"'"
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Fetus Don't Fail Me Now: How Scientists Raise Children

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @04:50PM (#36312470) Journal

    I've read the studies, they say parents THINK they're happier when in fact they're not?

    Yes, self deception is a common coping strategy.

    Take one look at any proud parent beaming when their child marks another achievement

    Sure, if you only look at the positive moments. The net balance swings towards the negative. Parents don't see it because of choice supportive [wikipedia.org] bias.

    If anyone could think those parents aren't happy, I can't imagine what those folks think would improve a parent's happiness

    Some free time and a good nights sleep.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @05:25PM (#36312848)

    My first word was "Light", not Mama or Dada.

    As a 6 year old boy I black-mailed my parents into subscribing to scientific journals and magazines (discovered via articles referencing them I read in the library). Ethics be damned, I knew all about many of their embarrassing secrets, esp. their gossip of others -- Someone had to take charge of my learning. In their ignorance, they couldn't see the value in feeding a young mind's thirst for knowledge with anything other than Sesame Street, Legos and 3-2-1 Contact. Money was not the issue, I saw many purchases attributed to leisure, and offered to give up my own current & future toys in exchange for knowledge.

    I eventually came to respect my parents, but not until they had respected me as sentient member of the family (not an unquestionably obedient pet to be amused with mere toys). "Because I told you to, and I'm your Parent!", was never a logical argument -- It was tyrannical, and I revolted as any free-thinker would to tyranny. They eventually learned that respectfully explained commands worked far better: "Go to bed early so that you'll be refreshed, we have an earlier schedule than normal tomorrow morning." or "Go to your room, I'm upset enough to be irrational!" or "Mom and Dad need some alone time -- could you go play outside or at the neighbors?"

    Perhaps having to explain yourself to a child is outrageous -- I say that to do otherwise is to foster ignorance, misunderstanding and thus irrational anger.

    For my initial "insolence" and "ungrateful" attitude I suffered copious amounts of corporal punishment (it had little to no effect on my mind -- only reasoning did), but my unlucky parents suffered too under the burden of psychological warfare as I pitted one side against the other; Eg. placing Dad's porno under Mom's pillow, or putting things from Dad's wallet into Mom's purse -- there are so many little things that irritate adults.

    My parents finally came to realize that they should also be grateful that they didn't have to talk down to me, or worry about censoring the world for me -- I knew what not to say and when not to say it, and right from wrong because they told me these things. They became grateful that they could simply say: "Sorry, that's too expensive, or dangerous I won't change my mind", and I would understand -- instead of arguing, whining, or throwing a temper-tantrum in public as other children sometimes do.

    If you are of a strong scientific mind and high intellect: Toss out everything you know of the parent / child roles. Treat your children as you would like them to treat you, or as adults treat each other -- With respect. If they disrespect you, discipline them, but if you disrespect them, they will discipline you (what do you think an embarrassing fit of kicking and screaming is?).

    A wife would be outraged at being sent to her room by a Husband, or vise versa. -- Indeed it may be best at times to calm down after a bit of distance and time, tell your children this, they will be less prone to irritate you if they can tell what's irritating. Oft times the whole issue can be avoided with a bit of communication: "Please stop that, I don't like it when you do that." You do not have to abandon your role as parent -- "Trust me, son, I can't explain why but you shouldn't do that" or "I need you to do this for me..."

    Scientists beware -- Your genes may cause you to spawn a "monster" such as me -- A thirsty mind frustrated by its role as a child.

  • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Wednesday June 01, 2011 @05:36PM (#36312958) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps having to explain yourself to a child is outrageous -- I say that to do otherwise is to foster ignorance, misunderstanding and thus irrational anger.

    I encourage my daughter to disagree with me if she thinks she's right and can support her claim. I frequently point out that mindless obedience is not encouraged either. That said, she's very respectful and treats others well, including teachers who've claimed she doesn't know what she's talking about when she does.

    A personal moment of pride was when she wrote a note to get herself out of after-school care. She wrote it first person, not claiming to be from her parents, included my cell phone number on it as back-up, and left it with a friend and took off. My phone rang with a panicked teacher explaining that she had this note I obviously didn't write and I told her it sounded fine to me.

    Watching other parents raise mindless blobs is very frustrating.

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