A Father Forgets

This is a classic piece by a father who temporarily lost sight of the stages of childhood. It is a helpful reminder for all who have small children, with tender hearts.

Father Forgets

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply,

“Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive‐and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither.

And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me?

The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding‐this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy‐a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualised you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

-W. Livingston Larned

Source for above

There is a period of time in a child’s life when the young heart responds well to love from the object of his admiration and respect. If that period is not made good use of, some children can be lost forever. If the child is very brave or the parent is incurably hardheaded, the parent may never understand what has happened.

Make Yourself a Hard Target

There is a school where criminals go to learn the skills of the trade. It’s called prison, and the punishments for not paying attention are severe. One of the most important lessons is how to spot an easy target:

A favorite target of the criminal are those citizens who appear weak or elderly. Just like the lion on the plains of Africa, they will single out the old or infirm, and for the same reason; they are an easier target. Now, we can’t do anything about our age and we can often do little about being infirm. But we do have the power to get in as good a physical shape as possible our particular situation. We can also realize, as the years and miles go by, that we look like easy pickings and do something about it. It may just mean that we rely more on friends and family for support and protection. It does mean that we never give up on training, practice, and finding ways to make ourselves a harder target.

Criminals also like victims who are preoccupied and not paying attention. It is simply easier to slip up on this kind of victim and gain control before they are really aware of what is going on. Some years ago, I visited with an armed robber who told me that his favorite convenience store clerks were young women. He said they would often stand behind the counter, reading a magazine, totally oblivious to what was going on around them. And, today, you might notice how many people you see walking around with their head down, engrossed in their smartphone.

It is also the preoccupied citizen who continually forgets to lock their doors, at home and in the car. They are also the people who wander around the big parking lot because they can’t seem to remember where they parked their car. For whatever reason, they are not paying attention to what is going on around them and this makes them a likely candidate for the criminal.

Source

The young and small are likewise seen as soft targets by criminal predators. But some young, small people are clearly less vulnerable than others. Youngsters with their heads up, always scanning their vicinity, without earbuds or headphones, not playing with their iPhones or videogames as they walk — but constantly aware of what is happening around them and showing no signs of fear.

Dangerous Children, of course, will always be in possession of at least 10 concealed lethal weapons and will be well practiced in their use.

Here’s more on being a hard target:

Walk with a purpose, and when you are alone don’t appear weak. 

Speak with authority when a stranger approaches and never negotiate your own security with a stranger in the name of politeness. Avoid soft responses like “maybe.” Or “Sorry.” Or “I think I’ve got it.” Instead, you need to be firm and say “No.”

Military.com

We live in a world where helicopter parents have made children and young people weak, dependent, and fearful. Instead of having been taught to watch out for themselves, they were instead limited unnecessarily at every turn in their upbringing. Their parents meant well, but by not exposing their children to the rough and tumble of the real world, they have turned their children into likely victims.

Populations have been dumbed down by 50 years of bad government schooling and social engineering to the point that the public tolerates rigged national elections and ruinous pandemic lockdowns that do a lot of harm but no good.

And the perpetrator of the pandemic and benefactor of the rigged election? It can pretty much do whatever it wants for now. From organ harvesting of political and religious prisoners to full scale genocide, China scratched the back of the new US administration, so the new “asterisk” government will scratch China’s back in return — along with Iran’s back, Venezuela’s back, etc. etc.

There are good reasons to make yourself a hard target these days. Don’t get sloppy.

Teach Your Child to Fail and Get Back Up

I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the numbers of kids who are afraid of trying something new or hard. Many of them are afraid just to think anything that seems new to them, or the least bit difficult. Kids who are learning to walk or talk or ride a bicycle are not naturally afraid of failing. They just keep trying until they can do it. So where are the vile and despicable people who are teaching our kids to be afraid of trying new things?

The “success industry” is full of books, magazine articles, and speakers that tell us how to keep trying. But kids don’t tend to look at things like that. If the parent doesn’t get the idea of “bouncing back from failure” permanently introduced into the child’s mind, it is certain that society and the educational system is going to teach them to be afraid of failure.

Traits of a Successful Failure:

1. Optimism. Find the benefit in every bad experience.

Thomas Edison redefined the failures in his experiments as “10,000 ways that won’t work.” He expected failure and counted it as one of the costs of finding a way that would work. By finding the benefit in the failure, he was able to keep attempting something great.

Optimism is not limited to a few people as a personality trait. Optimism is a choice. And while it doesn’t guarantee immediate positive results, it does result in higher motivation and stronger character.

2. Responsibility. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility.

When we fail at something, it’s easy to blame someone or something else. Perhaps the circumstances or the people that we worked with. But failure is a learning opportunity. If I blame someone else, I’m just cheating myself out of that lesson.

Responsibility is more important than reputation. And it tends to lead to reward, which can lead to more responsibility. Your willingness to take responsibility marks you as someone who’s mature and can be trusted to learn from the failure and keep trying.

3. Resilience. Say goodbye to yesterday.

The ability to move on from failure is key to continuing to attempt great things. The mind can only focus on so much, so if we’re still too focused on what we did wrong, we can’t give all of our attention to attempting to do things right.

Here are five behaviors of people who haven’t gotten over past difficulties:

  • Comparison. Either measuring your failures against those of others, or convincing yourself that your circumstances were harder than theirs.
  • Rationalization. Telling yourself and others that you have good reasons for not getting over past hurts and mistakes. Believing that those who encourage you “just don’t understand.”
  • Isolation. Pulling back and keeping yourself separate from others, either to avoid dealing with the issues, or to continue to feel sorry for yourself.
  • Regret. Getting stuck lamenting or trying to fix things that cannot be changed.
  • Bitterness. Feeling like a victim and blaming others for negative outcomes.

4. Initiative. Take action and face your fear.

When we make mistakes and then consider trying again, we all feel some measure of fear. Facing the unknown, we easily come up with a list of things to worry about. But the act of worrying doesn’t help us at all in accomplishing our goals. As Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.

Just believing that failure can be good isn’t enough to help us succeed. We need to act on that belief and take a step forward again in pursuit of our dream. Only then do we learn from our mistakes and make progress.

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Children who have fallen into the fearful traps above are usually easy to spot. By the time these behaviors become fixed, your work is certainly cut out for you in trying to convince him to start taking bigger and bigger risks of failure. But for most kids, learning that the world doesn’t end just because they fail a few times in the middle of learning something hard, is the best path to resilience — and getting back up time after time.

But remember — the child will watch you closely to test your reaction to every failure. If you laugh at him or otherwise show contempt for his sincere efforts to learn, you are making the steep uphill slog even steeper. You have to show the way, for it is your example that speaks louder than any of your words.

He May be Cute; But He’s Not Special

The developed world is filling up with cute trophy kids with self-esteem that is sky-high. They have no skills, competencies, or achievements to speak of. But they’ve always been told by their parents how special and how smart they are — why, “you can do anything you set your mind to, you’re so special!”

And so we are filling up schools and universities with narcissists and self-centered sociopaths who expect the world to be handed to them on a platter — but who on their own will never amount to anything.

In the old days, kids had to actually win a competition to get a trophy or a medal. Today’s trophy kids just have to show up and look cute. Their parents will make sure they get a trophy. No rites of passage for these special little things.

Kids don’t know any better. If their parents groom them for narcissism, their trajectories are set — unless a spoiler arrives on the scene in the nick of time to upset carefully laid plans.

An obsession with image, a constant concern with how one is perceived, has the effect of turning life into a performance, demoting others to the role of mere spectators. Nothing is genuine or sincere or authentic, but instead everything is done for the sake of the impression it creates on others. Everybody is Willy Loman, worried about being “well-liked.”

To hell with all that. Life as an endless high-school popularity contest is only interesting to people whose egos are so badly damaged they are consumed with a self-hate which they attempt to mask with sociopathic manipulations. They deliberately cause problems and then blame others for the problems they’ve caused, because their entire lives are an evasion of responsibility. They are incapable of recognizing themselves as the source of their own problems, because this would require them to admit error, a recognition of personal shortcoming that their fragile egos could never withstand.

Narcissism Self Esteem

They may be cute, but they are certainly not special. Not a tiny fraction as special as their parents think they are, parents who are too busy grooming sociopathic narcissists to stop and consider what they are doing.

Here’s what a therapist should say:  “too perfect” parents who coddle and overprotect their kids aren’t doing it for their kids, they are doing it for themselves, in defense of their own ego; and that, not the bike helmets, is why their kids end up adrift and confused.   The problem isn’t that kids are too wussy to go out and play, but that their parents do not trust themselves, their generation (“if I graduated Wellesley and I’m this stressed out, that other mom must be a pedophile”), their impulses and instincts, so kids must be dandelions made of cotton candy in a rainstorm made of lava, which makes no sense yet it makes perfect sense: paranoia.  Ego vs. reality, and you can’t appraise either.   And then one day your kid is punched by some bully raised by Nascar fans or baby mommas and you shut down the school because you think the problem is the bully. The problem is you.  The bully may have punched your Edward in the belly but you mobilized a school district to DEFCON 2, who has more power?  Who is the biggest bully?(3) 

The problem is you are in therapy not to become better parents or to do better work but to… to what?  Do you have any idea?

More than likely kids overcome all this, everybody finds their own way, but to those who feel stuck the only solution is to forsake all attempts at figuring out who you are, conveying who you are– because you aren’t anybody yet– and just accomplish stuff, yet be ready to discover in 50 years that the sum total of your life’s real accomplishments may be very different than what you expected, and it must be enough.  In the irreplaceable words of Marshall McLuhan: “there’s nothing God hates more than some mofo with a cable subscription running out the clock.”

Narcissism Creates Narcissism

Look at the antifa/BLM riot generation. The generation of snowflakes and perpetual victims. They were always told how smart and special they were. They were told that they could do anything they wanted with their lives. But that was just a lie their own narcissistic parents told them.

For those who are committed to raising Dangerous Children with broad skills and competencies — who will be able to support themselves financially at least three different ways by the age of eighteen — it just means that skills shortages in the overall population will grow acutely worse. Running a business will get harder because competent employees will get much harder to come by. There are likely to be a lot more protests that turn into riots and city-burning fests, because even young adults with college degrees will be unqualified to do anything else outside the fields of protest, agitation, and “community organizing.”

Which means that deciding where you locate your homes and businesses will become much more important. Think it over. Whatever you do, don’t be part of the problem.

New findings on narcissism

Scientific details on new narcissism findings