How Would Jesus Parent?

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” -John Locke

I don’t know anything about children. I don’t want to have them. I don’t like them. The closest I will get to parenting is teaching my dog to shake. I do, however, have a pretty smart sister-in-law who, with her pretty smart husband, managed to produce two kids I actually enjoy spending time with. She’s mentioned her parenting philosophies before, but for reasons I’m sure you can figure out, I’ve never paid too much attention.

Statue Of Jesus
Would Jesus come to your soccer practice?

I came across this post the other day (don’t ask how) and I vaguely remembered my SIL mentioning something about attachment parenting. The author of the post is a serious business Christian, complete with believing women shouldn’t vote and family planning should be left to God. I sent the post to my SIL and got onto a discussion about the psychology of the author’s parenting.

The crux of the author’s complaint is that people who engage in attachment parenting don’t spank their kids. Essentially, she argues that she has the ultimate authority over her children and she doesn’t need to explain to them why she wants them to do something. She compares this authority to the one God has over her.

It reminds me of a passage from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,

“…the cruelest teachers were those who had come from homes similar to those of the poor children. it seemed that in their bitterness towards those unfortunate little ones, they were somehow exorcising their own fearful background.”

Similar to the psychology behind bullying and hazing, the idea here seems to be that because God does it to me, I’m going to do it to you. I would think that God making demands of you with no explanation would be a reason to question God, not subject your children to that behavior. Then again, I’m an atheist.

She goes on to say that “Humans are extremely smart, parents just need to give their children more credit.” Since the entire point of her post is to justify her own authority over her children, it is interesting she chooses to make this point. Does she believe her children are intelligent enough to deduce the reason for her unexplained commands? If so, why not just explain it to them and, presumably, reduce the need for spanking?

Perhaps because, despite thousands of years of intelligent people investigating the word of God, there is no explanation for the arbitrary rules set by religion other than “I told you so.”

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