Psychological Self-Help

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895
I would define liberty to be a power to do as we would be done by. The definition of liberty
to be the power of doing whatever the law permits, meaning the civil laws, does not seem
satisfactory.
-John Adams
Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government
of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or
have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history
answer this question.
-Thomas Jefferson
Chauvinism as parents and in child care
When conservative politicians, like Presidents Reagan and Bush,
and anti-ERA people, like Phyllis Shafley, speak of keeping the
traditional family strong, they usually mean keeping families
emotionally close, with the father as the head. The threats to a
patriarchal family are, in the words of a conservative minister, "uppity
women" and "uppity children." Any suggestion of women having
careers and democratically sharing power in the family threatens male
dominance. Pogrebin (1983) contends that the traditional family really
means "keep men in power, women in the kitchen, and children in
awe." She says such a traditional family is essentially child-hating.
Many parents fear and dislike children who are independent and
defiant, feeling "their will must be broken." Thus, these parents have
little empathy or respect for children and democratic decision-making.
Such parents are dominant, over-controlling, and sometimes harsh
and aloof with children. Such parenting may have permanent negative
effects (see Table 9.2). 
While some traditionalists adamantly favor (primarily for religious
reasons) the rights of a 6-week-old fetus over the rights of the
mother, when it comes to family decisions these same people
frequently think it is absurd to give older children and teenaged
daughters and sons the same rights, privileges, opportunities, and
choices as parents have (Pogrebin, 1983). We must also ask
ourselves: why are we so adamant about saving tiny unwanted fetuses
but never demand that we save the lives of starving and sick children
around the world? 
How can chauvinism be reduced? As pointed out in the 1960's, we
need to concentrate on the family and child rearing. About 55%-60%
of today's families are traditional, only about 40% have nontraditional
attitudes, i.e. children and parents have equal rights, boys and girls
should have the same chances and choices, and "people in authority
don't always know best." Pogrebin proposes several political-social-
economic solutions for better child care: housing for all families,
meaningful careers for both parents, tax breaks for having children
and elderly in your home, professionally run day care centers, getting
fathers highly involved in child care, increasing mutual respect and
love within the family, etc. It's not clear how all these changes can be
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