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英文阅读做父母不易

作者:John Kaa…    文章来源:本站原创    更新时间:2017-8-13

  “Art thou a man entitled to desire a child?”1 Nietzsche asks in his childlessness in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.2 “Art thou the victorious one, the self-conqueror, the ruler of thy passions, the master of thy virtues? Thus do I ask thee.”3 For many people, including Nietzsche, reticence4 and refusal is the most appropriate response to such difficult questions.
  Parenting authentically also involves coming to terms with what children are really like.5 They are not angels or hellions, sweethearts or monsters: they are little people who, as Kierkegaard suggests, are both angelic and beastly.6 This banal platitude expresses a deep truth about the human condition, namely that we are the sorts of creatures, perhaps the only ones, who possess radical freedom.7 Most of adult life is geared to ignoring this aspect of human nature, and modernity sets artificial constraints on behaviour, pretending that these constraints are God-given.8 Of course, for an existentialist9, as for a child, all of this is nonsense—nothing is God-given.
  Fatherhood has traditionally been about limiting a child’s sense of possibility. The expression “father knows best” has a correlate10: “child does not”. Obviously, there is something right about this position: a toddler rifling through a detergent cupboard should be stopped.11 Children occasionally explore possibilities that are harmful—physically and psychologically—and, as parents, it is our place to keep tabs on12 the threat that existential freedom poses to our kids.

英文阅读做父母不易

 
  Why do we put limits on our children? Why is a daughter not allowed to climb that tree or jump across a river? Why is a son discouraged from wearing a dress or forced to play ice hockey13? Why are neither daughters nor sons allowed to run away? Father knows best. Of course, virtually all fathers think that they are operating in their child’s best interests, but we have been at this long enough to know, if we are honest or authentic, that most of us protect our children, at least in part, because we are avoiding or coming to grips with our own Kierkegaardian anxiety.14 The more we argue that it is about the kids’ safety, the more obvious it is that it is all about us. Children remind us, in very delightful and painful ways, what it is to be a person. Their untethered curiosity, naive bravery, complete lack of shame, remind their parents that they too, at one distant point, had these possibilities—and they had no small amount of trouble doing away with them.15

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英文阅读做父母不易