Re: Truth, Knowledge, Power

Marie K Conrad (mkconrad@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU)
Wed, 24 Apr 1996 08:41:55 -0400

Dear Mr. Pastore,
We seem to be eager to relate problems with the behavior of
children to lack of mother's supervision and teaching, as if working
mothers were a modern phenomena. Somehow, my parents (who both worked
full time from the time I was an infant) managed to raise kids who were
and are polite, considerate, etc. What surprises me is the number of
people my own age (in their late 20's/early 30's) who had Moms who stayed
at home or only worked part time who are generally lacking in discipline,
kindness, etc. Overall, we seem to have developed into a
society of spoiled individuals who are so wrapped up in examining our
'miserable' childhoods and using those events which might have
formally been called "growing experiences" and "character building" (and
yes, they weren't all good and pleasant) as excuses for the current
irresponsible behavior in which we often indulge. Telling Moms to go home
and start supervising "l'arnin" again is not the solution - the dynamics
have become too complicated. I wish I could give you the answer.
Just my .02
Marie Conrad

On Tue, 23 Apr 1996, John Pastore wrote:

> On 23 Apr 96 at 15:35, Michael Cahill wrote:
> > In a message dated 96-04-22 20:45:08 EDT,
> > Read@ANTHRO.SSCNET.UCLA.EDU (Read, Dwight ANTHRO) writes:
> >
> >
> > But if anthropologists were to get involved, I can think of at least
> > two candidates for (?). The first one is "lack of bonding." The
> > second one is "lack of discipline." I think the first one would be
> > more productive in an explanatory sense, but it would also be more
> > difficult to specify and measure. The second one is already being
> > suggested by some some family court judges and police officers.
> >
> A third might be teaching etiquette. How it could be put in
> classrooms however without it being associated with something like
> Home Economics though (do they still have that anymore?) would be
> certainly a challenge. With the absence of the mother at home, and
> what was one of the traditional roles of the mother: entertain, as in
> tea parties, Sunday Dinners, etc., where's the living-day-to-day
> experience? Maybe the solution is the return of mother's to the
> homes. In any event, as silly as some might think nowadays as to
> Amy Vanderbilt's contributions, wasn't etiquette originally related
> to ethics? And, wasn't ethics once a serious academic pursuit? (No
> matter how many eventual flunkies).
> At best children will be behaved, at worst: know what they are
> rebelling against --far better than the apparently more ruthless
> behavior when they don't.
> A key to teaching etiquette in schools might be here in Mexico where
> they make the teaching so much fun that know one seems to know its a
> subject. Its taught in the playground, in the dance classes, and in
> sing-a-longs. These activities seem to take up at least half of the
> students time, but they do learn it.
> Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,
> John Pastore
> Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
> ("The Mayan Homeland")