hmm #parenting philosophy eh. I don’t feel like I can opine much since it’s been some three years since I had the privilege and pleasure of being the primary caretaker, but thinking about this helps me prepare for when I get them to immigrate too, which hopefully isn’t too far off. So let's see.
Dear self, you be mommy. Please do not forget:
- Remind your children that they are loved, often. Show them with actions that they are loved, often.
- Make it clear that the love you feel for them does not depend on a specific kind of response, or responding at all (daughter is unable to respond to messages rn, hard to convey to her just how many times, how strongly, how very much, girl, girl, I been there);
- Make it clear that the love you feel for them does not depend on productivity, school grades, being "intelligent", obedience, conformance to your own dreams of what your children should be (including dreams of them being artistic, queer, rebels etc.);
- Make it clear that the love you have for them will not go away and it’s always ok to request more caring;
- Make it clear that the love you have for them is *not* unconditional and you *would* stop loving them if, for example, they became unrepentant abusers, white nationalists etc. While you know your children will never become that, this is how they learn that love is not unconditional, a lesson they'll need to apply in their own relations. You can talk, for example, about people you fell out of love with, and what damage exactly they did to warrant that. They have to think about what kind of actions would warrant cutting ties with a close relative, a close friend, a partner.
- But also make it clear that there are always a path into the good, that the problem with abusers etc. is not the hurt itself but the not caring about it. That as long as you care about people, you can find ways to own up to your mistakes. That this is what is expected of you, not being mistake-free.
- Make it clear that they know they’ll always have your financial support as long as you can give it, that you don’t buy into capitalist values of "earning one’s independence", that you are aware they didn’t ask to be born.
- If the children are doing something "for attention", then fucking. give. them. more. attention.
- Children are your legal slaves, do whatever you can to dismantle this and give them full autonomy and power of consent. You can’t do it for real, not fully, until these social systems are fully abolished, but if you have to be legally a slavemaster, at least treat your slaves like equal members of the farm. And make sure they understand just how unfair is their situation, minors are the invisible oppressed class.
- Also talk with them about what kind of behaviour is unacceptable from a powerholder, and that you are a powerholder here.
- You will fuck up. Am yet to meet a parent who doesn't. A sea could be filled with the bitter tears of parental self-loathing for stuff we did to our kids. Sometimes you will reproduce with them the exact same shitty things that adults and parents did to you, with a level of mirroring that’s downright uncanny. Be aware of this pull, then don’t do it.
- And if you do it, apologise and talk with them about why what you did was wrong. There’s a part of your mind that tries to make it hard for you to apologise. Ask this part of your mind to get out of the fucking way, then apologise anyway. Remember the times we did this, how valuable it was, how much this will protect them in the future when other figures of authority do them bad.
- They’ll be on Earth longer than you (hopefully, please, please, oh goddess please). Involve them in preparations for how to deal with the collapsing system (preparations is mostly community-building and how to teach oneself things). Their generation is at a weird place where they still have to deal with diplomas and marketeable careers etc. even as everything is already broken enough that nobody believes in the corporate dream anymore. So it’s important to show them what other dreams are there to believe in.
- Honestly though their generation is rad as *heck*, we got nothing on them, be prepared to provide them with resources then get out of the way and let them do their stuff.
- Neither hide your religion from them, nor talk too enthusiastically about it. They tend to get into stuff just to show you they like you. Make sure they understand they'll be equally close to you and equally loved no matter how much they engage with your interests, or not at all.
- Also praise, incentivise, provide resources, help, advice with their own interests that you don’t share.
- Just generally be as kind and respectful to them as you would to any other person whom you love and is not a legal slave.
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