Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Are We The New Conservative Parents?

Papa W assists young W with "the Tie"

I recently jumped on the Facebook bandwagon at the urging of my beloved wife. I had hesitated for a long time even though I had an account with FB because I couldn't imagine finding the time to maintain a page there let alone follow the pages of others. But here I am - once you are sleep-deprived what's a little more deprivation?

In the process I have reaquainted myself with some pals (hey all!) and enjoyed gandering at their photos of their growing families.

One picture got me thinking. It was a school pic for the charming boy produced by some wiley characters. In it he is wearing a tie. Based on the other children pictured it did not seem to be a requirement. A tie. It got me thinking.

There's a trend I've noticed. Just hints mind you, but it indicates something interesting to me.

Most of my friends have now produced offspring. Many of them came late to spawning, like myself (though none as late as I), and so I base my thoughts on them. The same may not hold true of younger parents.

It seems to me that as left-leaning as we all are, we seem to be rather conservative regarding our children. The tie is a useful symbol of that.

Most of us were ourselves raised in a rather liberal atmosphere, our parents having broken the bonds of the traditional family ideals they themselves were raised within. They eschewed ties and other conservative trappings favored by their parents for indivdual freedoms. We in turn took advantage of our parents' liberal ethos. Divorce and family dissolutions were commonplace in our generation and provided even less opportunity for parental supervision - more freedom. We galavanted and experimented and explored and indulged. We did not suffer rigidity.

Are we blowing back? Have we re-upped our stakes in more trad values regarding our own kids? Is this, consciously or not, a backlash against the tenor of our own unsupervised youth, the lack of dress codes, the absence of curfews, the latchkey childhoods?

I don't have the answer, nor am I making a judgement one way or the other.

But I will say this: if what we are doing includes the simple perfection of teaching a son how to tie his tie, then that's a good thing.

I should know - I learned to tie mine from a book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! I know those "wiley characters"! Nice post Lex. I think about these kind of this quite a bit too these days...