Wide Balances

Strict is good, but not out of balance.  A parent can only be as strict as he is affectionate.   In fact, the stricter he is the more the affection has meaning; the more affectionate he is the more the strictness has meaning.  By “meaning”, I mean the child understands the thing for what it is: he understands strictness as a reflection of the importance of the underlying law and not as personal coldness.  And he understands affection as flowing from a person who values some things and rejects other things, but embraces him — no cheap affection, in other words.

Children are praised far too little, get far too little affection (even in our affirmation-obsessed culture), and at the same time move in a desultory world of low standards.  All together.

  • In the wider culture, we are losing the ability to discipline children and the ability to love them.

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