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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Childfree: The Rational Spawn of a Rant Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    I thought it might be inflammatory. Most the people I talk to can't imagine not wanting kids and not wanting to be around kids, especially strangers' kids.
    I wasn't bothered by the cartoon, I thought it was amusing. I see much value in raising kids and being a parent... but I can laugh at all the silliness and stupidity and idiosyncrasies of the experience as well. "New Baby" syndrome is also one of the most nauseating things around... and I've even fallen into it myself.

    The "dumbing down" church thing is pretty typical. These arguments still occur in the church setting, in terms of how best to proselytize visitors and witness to the community.

    I think the extreme that was described here is silly, but the question that needs to be addressed is important: How do you manage to provide a group of adults of very different spiritual maturities with a singular teaching that helps all of them?

    I don't think you can. That is why you get some churches who decided to be "Seeker" churches... and everything is geared towards those with little knowledge of Christianity. And you get other churches where you can feel clueless because everything is high orthodoxy, ritual, and doctrine that makes no sense without prior knowledge and experience.

    I think the extent of dumbing down as described here is just misguided -- I tend to be of the mind that the teacher should try to communicate with language that the listeners can understand but should still try to CHALLENGE people to rise to the occasion. You can't spoon-feed people to believe in and follow spiritual truth, they have to WANT it to some degree... so they need to be responsible enough to choose to listen and think about what is being said. Otherwise they won't last.

    (This is why Jesus spoke in parables... so that he WOULDN'T be understood or considered except by people who WERE seriously interested in him. After his teaching about communion -- the eating of his blood and body -- many who were there were troubled and left.)

    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    I guess that explains why half these kids race through the library, destroy all the displays at the post office, etc, and the parents just stand there and whisper, "Use your inside voice, darling." :steam:
    GRRRRRRrrrrr...

    Children need to be children.
    And parents need to be parents.

    There's a benefit in being 20+ years older than your child. You're physically mature AND actually have a lot more experience. The child is still developing AND still needs to learn to control impulses.

    Adults try to treat children like little adults. But they are not. And can't be given that degree of freedom and self-responsibility.
    (But I guess that's because many adults are still emotionally little children.)

    Just as I can sit in a non-smoking section of a restaurant, I should be able to request a no-kids section where I won't have kids crawling under my table, intruding on private conversations, or spitting up where I have to watch.
    LOL, to save space they should just have a "SMOKING CHILDREN" section.

    (Where are those Marlboro baby avatars when I want one???)

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Kids ...They will act like bratty little freaks in public and if you do nothing you look bad and if you do something you look worse. There's no winning when all the world are parenting experts and your just the poor schmuck cleaning up the crap.
    I don't know why I am laughing at everything today... but I always laugh when someone surprises me.
    (I just never expected the phrase "bratty little freaks" to come out of your mouth!):yim_rolling_on_the_

    EDIT: RC, 12 July 2007, Posts in this thread split from the original Childfree thread.
    Last edited by rivercrow; 07-12-2007 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Split out rational stuff for public consumption.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think the extreme that was described here is silly, but the question that needs to be addressed is important: How do you manage to provide a group of adults of very different spiritual maturities with a singular teaching that helps all of them?

    I don't think you can. That is why you get some churches who decided to be "Seeker" churches... and everything is geared towards those with little knowledge of Christianity. And you get other churches where you can feel clueless because everything is high orthodoxy, ritual, and doctrine that makes no sense without prior knowledge and experience.

    I think the extent of dumbing down as described here is just misguided -- I tend to be of the mind that the teacher should try to communicate with language that the listeners can understand but should still try to CHALLENGE people to rise to the occasion. You can't spoon-feed people to believe in and follow spiritual truth, they have to WANT it to some degree... so they need to be responsible enough to choose to listen and think about what is being said. Otherwise they won't last.
    I don't think the goal is to speak to a wider audience.
    Who rises in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "I think I will do something stupid today?" -- James Hollis
    If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done. -- Ludwig Wittgenstein
    Whaling is illegal in Oklahoma.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    I don't think the goal is to speak to a wider audience.
    Having been in the "inside" in different church settings, I see this comment as too cynical -- at least as a blanket criticism. This topic is actually discussed at great length and with great concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    It is weakness!! Spineless bastards who breed then don't have the moral fiber to act on their convictions.
    Put another way: Even dogs can copulate, but it doesn't mean I want them raising children.
    (Hmmm, Hillary Clinton's new book: "It Takes a Kennel"?)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    If the collective mind would make itself up about whether it wants kids to behave to the point of near invisibility or it's terrible to whip them, it would be much easier.

    If I could be assured that no one in the grocery store was going to raise an eyebrow if I gave a kid a few good licks with a wooden spoon then I could get them to something much closer to invisible. As it is, I'm supposed to get them to behave without raising my voice or using any negative physical deterrents. So. I can let them act like bratty little freaks ( ) and risk nothing more than dirty looks or I can actually try to do something about it, strike while the iron is hot so to speak, and risk scrutiny by an nearly unregulated government office that has the power to remove my kids. It's not a hard choice.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by rivercrow View Post
    Just as I can sit in a non-smoking section of a restaurant, I should be able to request a no-kids section where I won't have kids crawling under my table, intruding on private conversations, or spitting up where I have to watch.
    I am childfree myself but I don't expect to live in a childfree world when I go out. I see a lot of childfree people commenting on children behaving this way in public but I have been lucky enough not to have experienced too much of this when out in public.

    I have family and friends who have children with autism or opposition defiant disorder who behave like this but then I know their parents are doing the best they can with them.

    As a side issue on the CF topic: I don't like a lot of the hate towards parents/children that I have seen on most CF message boards. To me it is just as bad as pushy people who constantly try to make the CF see the light and have children. I feel like the extreme people on these boards make it harder for me to be accepted as a person who just was not up for being a parent. It reinforces the stereotype that CF people hate children. I am sorry if saying that offends some people, but it is how I honestly feel.

  6. #6
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    If the collective mind would make itself up about whether it wants kids to behave to the point of near invisibility or it's terrible to whip them, it would be much easier.
    True. I see that same inconsistency.

    We can make a case that our society worships and pampers children; we could also make a counter-case that it hates children.

    I'm thinking, now as I write, that we love the IDEA of children. So children are worshiped for being children... but only because many of the adults in question want to be (and are emotionally) children as well.

    So children are revered unless they infringe on the adult's right to be a child, and then the adult uses his or her power to ignore/disregard the real children and indulge themselves.

    (Okay... that assessment feels so "right" to me that I'm starting to shudder.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't think people who don't want children ought to be pressured about it. It's a hard, expensive, nearly thankless job and I can see why someone would not want to undertake it.

    But children are human beings and all. We are a social species and kind of have to tolerate one another at each of our particular stages of development, unpleasant as that may be at times.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't think people who don't want children ought to be pressured about it. It's a hard, expensive, nearly thankless job and I can see why someone would not want to undertake it.
    For some people it is not even a question of not wanting children but also the question needs to be asked by people more than it currently is: "Am I really parent material? Do I have the physical stamina to keep up with all the job of being a parent entails ( I do not) Do I have the mental strength to keep up with the job? Am I still dysfunctional from a dysfunctional upbringing and should I work on those issues before undertaking all it takes to be a parent?" I think it is most loving of children to ask these questions before taking the plunge. jmo. I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    But children are human beings and all. We are a social species and kind of have to tolerate one another at each of our particular stages of development, unpleasant as that may be at times.
    Yes, I agree with this. My home is my childfree oasis but when I go out I do expect that there will be children. I hope that parents will be parents and keep their children, within reason of course, under control.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    For some people it is not even a question of not wanting children but also the question needs to be asked by people more than it currently is: "Am I really parent material? Do I have the physical stamina to keep up with all the job of being a parent entails ( I do not) Do I have the mental strength to keep up with the job? Am I still dysfunctional from a dysfunctional upbringing and should I work on those issues before undertaking all it takes to be a parent?" I think it is most loving of children to ask these questions before taking the plunge. jmo. I did.
    Very good points. However, it is the people that believe they are qualified to parent that scare the heck out of me, to be honest. They either overestimate themselves or underestimate the job.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Very good points. However, it is the people that believe they are qualified to parent that scare the heck out of me, to be honest. They either overestimate themselves or underestimate the job.
    I can see your point, but I have to say there are some people who absolutely are not cut out to be parents, either physically, mentally or developmentally. I mean a person should be able to know themselves enough to take inventory of how they are coping with the physical and mental stresses of their daily life and ask themsleves "Am I up to adding the load that being a parent will add?" They don't have to be arrogantly or fool heartedly sure of it, just sure enough that they are coping with daily life as it is and can easily add to their stress load to face the challenges of parenthood ahead.

    I know people whose lives were just barely getting by and they had not one but several children and the results have been much less than desirable for all involved but it is of course the chidren who suffer the most. Their lives are like a constant crisis and I do not mean the joking way that most people say their lives with children are a daily crisis. I mean a serious crisis.

    There is a good quote for this: "A man (person) has got to know his limitations." Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.

    How many people actually take honest stock of their personal limitations before having children? It is also taboo to discuss such a thing with most people.

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