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I am going to point out that this article is making an emotional case to sell a book.

We don't know from the anecdotal evidence of a 15min parent child interaction what that Dad had been going through. Perhaps his wife had just died?

An example I have is that I know that my children will attempt to use those around me to manipulate me, the simple looking innocent when asking for a treat when they have already been promised something else. In front of others this places peer pressure on me, its not something that I bow to since its bad on me and my children. However from the outside it might look like I'm being mean.

This article tried to play on my emotions for going though what every parent goes through. The best parenting advice I could give would be that you should treat your children as Mini-me's. Do what's best for them as if they were you. Following that is all you'd ever need.


First off you say this was an emotional case to sell a book, you then use an emotional case to justify the Dads actions.

"Perhaps his wife had just died?"

A child's early development is MASSIVELY different to that of an adult, the way they are treated at a young age acts as a template for their future relationships, habits and personality.

You cannot treat a child as if they were an adults or versions of yourself, children are continually learning how to deal with new feelings and emotions, they struggle to concentrate sometimes and are almost always aloof.

Yes children learn to manipulate, but you are the adult, deal with it, ignore their requests, remind them of your earlier conversations...

Children become a reflection of their caretakers emotions, you treat them like shit, they will argue with you more and the cycle continues...


Okay.. Now i am going to be 'that' guy.. WTF is this on hacker news?


I read alot of articles on HN that involve startup culture and work-life balance.

I felt that this article is a reminder that children need as much time with dads as possible. I'll be the first to put my hands up and say I need to work less and spend more time with mine


That's a legitimate question. Now here's a question for you?Are you a dad?


Why is that relevant?

Yes, Yes i am - of 2, not that I think that adds any merit to my comment.

The first page of the post actually infuriated me.

The author made a snap binary label for the father he witnessed. We all have difficult days with children, claiming that he has harmed them is simply being dramatic.

Lets give this snap thing a try.. He called his child Noah, so clearly he is bringing them up to be a hug-everyone christian, and by the seems of it mollycoddled - therefore his children will be weak in modern society.

I am in little doubt that i am waaaay off.. which is exactly why a minimal snapshot into someones parenting is ridiculous.

Being a parent isn't about winning competitions for father of the year. Most of us do the best we can, with what we have - and hopefully bring up our children the best we can.


Well if you weren't a parent I was going to point you to some of the links I've seen recently where people talk about how being a parent has changed their lives and made them consider everything differently. My explanation was going to be that there are enough parents on HN that this article which talks about how to live your life and how to treat your children piqued people interest. Also maybe HN parents want the other HN parents to never treat their children like that.

But irrelevant since you have kids. I think this article was upvoted due to its be better at the important things in your life theme. Analyse your behaviour and improve.

Edit: to clarify I wasn't implying that you personally needed to analyse your behaviour.


Most of us do the best we can, with what we have

No, all of us do, that's one of the things you can say about anyone and anything. And a "snap binary judgement" is better than even that, sometimes (don't mistake your false dichotomy for a "snap" "binary" judgement, either)

You see, if the author did accuse that particular father wrongly, it was with the best intentions for the kid. Surely that father would appreciate it.

Or are you saying that accusing someone of being abusive when they aren't, is worse than looking the other way when they are, so it's better err on the side of assuming everybody wants the best for their kids and surely there is a rational explanation for even the most cold and brutal behaviour blah blah blah? Fuck statistics, fuck research, let's go by how we want to view ourselves, and project that on all other parents as well?


The account that the blog conveyed seems overly emotional to me. Balance of probabilities, I suspect the incident was not abusive.

If someone came to me and raised a child protection or abuse issue, i'd likely not 'appreciate it' and give them some scathing pointers on my views.

Seriously, what do you expect to happen? 'Some stranger thinks I am being a bad parent.. he must know much more than me, i'll change to comply to his belief.'

You have escalated this to a different level "brutal behaviour" is dramatising it, twisting the original point (and even escalating the blog post) to a different proportion. Naturally, if there was "brutal behaviour" - then this would be a different incident.

At no point did I suggest we discount statistics or research. However, I do believe people are generally good and have their children's best interest at heart (I am sure stats support that).

Busybody judgements are rarely helpful IMO, if anything - they make it so parents find it harder to discipline their children in public through fear of misinterpretations from people like you, meaning that we have a generation that do not have respect and discipline.


> "brutal behaviour" is dramatising it,

“If you so much as make a sound or come off of that wall again, I promise you’re going to get it when we get home."

Call that whatever the fuck you want.. if you don't see anything wrong with that, you might be the weakest link.

> Busybody judgements are rarely helpful

The blog author at least was present in the situation they're talking about. That's a hell of a lot more than anything you're arguing from, that "people in general" are nice to their kids and whatnot.

> they make it so parents find it harder to discipline their children in public through fear of misinterpretations from people like you

People like me? And why should someone else not discipline you in public? What kind of special ownership do you think you have over your kids? None other than correcting their mistakes, and protecting them. Anybody can and should do that to anybody, no?

> we have a generation that do not have respect and discipline.

Right. Says the generation too busy stuffing their faces and shining boots to even know themselves, much less their children. You don't teach respect by punishment, but by example. And authority is not automatically justified either, you get that by actually having a clue; punishment doesn't help here at all. It just helps to raise more people with issues who then seek to impart them on others. Well, at least I now know why this rubbed you the wrong way.

Believe it or not, I've never seen anyone getting a bad look or given anyone one for simply being firm with their child. There is a difference. We say stop being dicks, others respond "you're asking us to be rollovers". It's bullshit, plain and simple.


If I told my daughter should would be getting it back home she sure would be disappointed when I dont have the ice cream to give her. I basically could not abstractly threaten my girl with violence since she had no concept of it.


> I believe a part of me feels like a coward for not saying something to the man in front of me at Costco.

I often wonder about this... Let's assume you have unlimited confidence etc.: even then, what would be a good way to react in such a situation that doesn't just lead to it being taken out on the kid later? It just seems hard as a random stranger to say anything that would be actually heard.

On the other hand, provided the kid gets abused either way; wouldn't it still be better for them to see that not all adults think that's okay? Even if they get another beating for it? I never was treated this way, and I'd like to think I would still want others to stand up for me, even if they can't actually help -- but I don't know, and it's really tricky to meddle with something as sad as this based on my own biases.

Is there any "professional advice" on this?


This seems like thoughtful advice to me: http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop-child-abuse/repo... - they suggest that while you should step in, you shouldn't so much confront the parent, but rather be empathetic. That way there's nothing to take out on the kid later, hopefully.


Thank you. It kind of confirms what I was thinking, that parents who abuse kids ultimately need a hug themselves, and that just attacking them for it can't be the solution... if only seeing things like this tends to make my blood boil so fast. This will take conscious effort and practice.


TL;DR: Bad parents shouldn't be bad.


This is criminal assault. Guy does that to the person behind him, he's facing six months.

Somehow we need to get from "it's someone else's kid I can't interfere" to "OMG have you called the cops?"

I don't know how we get there - but it's important we do.

Occasionally I just wonder sometimes if other people would drop a dime on me? I wonder how I seem from the outside?




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