Peaceful Parenting Part 20

Discussion advocates peaceful parenting over punitive methods, emphasizing leading by example, highlighting detrimental effects of aggression, and promoting moral excellence and mutual respect in parent-child relationships.

Artist:Stefan Molyneux
Album:Peaceful Parenting


0:00Introduction to Peaceful Parenting
2:30Philosophical Perspectives on Morality
3:47Rethinking Punishment and Discipline
5:38Teaching by Example
6:58Hypocrisy and Violence in Parenting
7:34Moral Instruction: Be Like Me
10:21Modeling Behavior for Children
15:34Advocating for Peaceful Parenting
16:37The Syllogisms of Peaceful Parenting
17:28Ethical Principles of Peaceful Parenting
19:26Empirical Evidence and Practical Morality




Long Summary

In this episode, we delve into the concept of peaceful parenting with an emphasis on fostering moral and happy children without resorting to punishments and rewards. We explore how historically, the method of training children through affection and praise for good behavior, and withdrawal of affection or punishments for 'misbehavior' mirrored animal training methods rather than nurturing children's virtues such as integrity and moral courage. The discussion highlights how love is an involuntary response to virtue and how punishment-centric parenting may inadvertently hinder children from developing ethical excellence and self-generated integrity. The conversation touches on the notion that children learn best by example, emphasizing that parents must model moral behavior themselves rather than relying on punishments and rewards. The speaker argues against using violence or intimidation as means of teaching children, emphasizing that children naturally emulate their parents' behavior. It is suggested that peaceful parenting involves leading by virtuous example, using reason instead of force, and promoting respectful and considerate interactions with children. The episode also scrutinizes the detrimental effects of aggressive parenting practices such as verbal abuse, physical punishment, and neglect on children's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The importance of acknowledging and correcting parenting mistakes, rather than demanding perfection from children, is emphasized as a key aspect of peaceful parenting. The speaker underscores the significance of building credibility with children through consistent moral behavior, as children are more likely to emulate parents who exhibit virtues they respect. Furthermore, the episode transitions into discussing the scientific and empirical evidence supporting peaceful parenting as a morally and practically sound approach. Analogies are drawn between ethical theories in peaceful parenting and the scientific method, emphasizing the need for logical consistency and empirical validation. The speaker highlights the necessity of examining the effects of different parenting styles, such as spanking and verbal aggression, on children's health and well-being, to ascertain the benefits of peaceful parenting over more aggressive approaches. In conclusion, the episode advocates for peaceful parenting as a holistic approach that prioritizes fostering moral excellence, integrity, and mutual respect between parents and children, while eschewing harmful practices like violence and manipulation. It emphasizes the role of parents as ethical guides who lead by example and create a nurturing environment conducive to children's moral and emotional development.

Brief Summary

In this discussion, we explore the concept of peaceful parenting, focusing on raising virtuous and happy children without relying on punishments and rewards. We analyze how punitive approaches to parenting mirror animal training methods rather than nurturing children's virtues, underlining the importance of leading by virtuous example and cultivating respectful interactions. The detrimental effects of aggressive parenting practices on children's well-being are scrutinized, stressing the significance of acknowledging mistakes and building credibility through consistent moral behavior. Scientific evidence supporting peaceful parenting as a morally and practically superior approach is discussed, advocating for a holistic strategy that prioritizes moral excellence, integrity, and mutual respect within the parent-child relationship.

Introduction to Peaceful Parenting

[0:00] Peaceful Parenting by Stéphane Molyneux, Part 20, Education, All decent parents want their children to be moral and happy.
The real question is, how is this achieved?
Historically, evolutionarily really, the answer has been to train children with punishments and rewards until they comply.
If a child behaves in a way the parents approve of, affection and praise is showered on the child.
If a child, quote, misbehaves, affection is withdrawn and punishments are applied.
Carrots and sticks, sticks and carrots.
It is the same way in school. gold stars and detentions, praise and harsh criticism.

[1:07] It does not seem to trouble people too much that this is exactly the same way that we train animals, encouragement and harsh words, treats and punishment.
Moral happiness is a uniquely human attribute, Yet we train our children as if they were dumb animals, incapable of virtue.
We rob them of their greatest possible joys, the joys of ethical excellence, self-generated integrity, moral courage, and our capacity to love.
Love is our involuntary response to virtue, if we are virtuous.
We cannot aim directly at love any more than we can aim directly at health.
We can control the actions that will encourage the state of good health, such as eating well and exercising.
We can control the actions that will encourage the state of love, both for ourselves and others, such as honesty, moral courage, and integrity.

Philosophical Perspectives on Morality

[2:31] Friedrich Nietzsche somewhat sarcastically described the goal of Socrates as providing mankind the equation that reason equals virtue equals happiness.
If we are rational, then we can be virtuous. If we are virtuous, then we can be happy.
Aristotle describes the best life as one spent in the pursuit of moral excellence.
So, the equation is not new, but peaceful parenting is a radical new answer.
How do we encourage our children to be moral?
Do we punish them? Do we hit them, snarl at them, call them names, threaten them, them?
Withdraw our affections if they displease us? Abuse them? Beat them?
Do we lock them in their rooms, withhold food, abandon them, neglect them, shake them, call them evil for the sin of disobedience, humiliate them, threaten them with eternal hellfire, and more?

Rethinking Punishment and Discipline

[3:48] If we punish our children, we are saying that they are born evil.
But through punishment, they can become good, wise, noble, and virtuous.

[4:03] However, if we punish our children, we are telling them that the highest purpose of morality, is to end up in a situation where we use violence, abuse, and manipulation against helpless and dependent children.

[4:23] Would you respect the dietary advice of a fat man who forced you to follow his eating habits?
Would you respect the marital advice of a woman currently going through her fourth divorce?
Would you respect the career advice of a homeless man, Of course not.
Children cannot hear what we are saying over the din of what we are actually doing.
The bizarre, twisted spectacle of a woman hitting her child while screaming, Don't hit people!
Is a scene out of an insane asylum, not any rational moral instruction.
People who regularly insult their children somehow pretend to be shocked and horrified when the children grow up and end up insulting them back how dare you talk to me that way they cry clutching at their pearls as they inevitably reap the bitter words they have sown for decades.

Teaching by Example

[5:38] No no to all that, How should we teach our children?
We teach our children how to be good, not through punishments and rewards, but by being good ourselves.
Ah, but that's a whole lot more difficult, isn't it?
It's a whole lot harder, at least in the short run, to lead by virtuous example rather than self-righteous aggression.
If you want your children to be peaceful, you have to be peaceful.
If you want your children to use their words, not their fists, you have to use your words, not your fists.
If you want your children to reason with others, you have to model reasoning with others and with them.
If you want your children to be pleasant, you have to be pleasant.

Hypocrisy and Violence in Parenting

[6:58] People generally resort to using violence and intimidation with their children because they are trying to teach their children a language they do not themselves speak at all.
It is the hypocrisy that leads to the violence.
If you use violence on your children, either physical or emotional, you lose all moral credibility with them.

Moral Instruction: Be Like Me

[7:35] Initially, all moral instruction takes the form of, be like me.
We know all of this. You never see a fat man on the cover of a diet book.
You never see someone with bad skin on an advertisement for makeup.
You never see a flabby man trying to sell his exercise program.
All instruction starts with, be like me.
Do your children want to be like you?
If you use violence against your children, do they want to grow up to be just like you?
Of course not.
They fear you and will, in time, grow to hate you.
We treat our children so often far worse than our animals, very few people would confess to regularly beating a dog or a cat but the majority of parents take great pride in assaulting their own children.

[8:59] You have to ask yourself, if your children don't want to be like you, what do you have to teach them?

[9:14] Would you take dating advice from a man who'd never gone on a date?
Would you take hair care advice from a bald woman?

[9:27] If you want your children to listen to your moral advice, they first have to respect your moral decisions.
If you want your children to control their tempers, you first have to model controlling your own temper.
If you want your children to be considerate and think of the needs of others, you must first be considerate towards your children and think of their needs first.
The wonderful thing about peaceful parenting, one of the many wonderful things, is that you don't actually need to morally instruct your children much at all if you consistently model moral behavior.

Modeling Behavior for Children

[10:22] A non-Scottish actor who needs to learn a Scottish accent for a particular role will subject himself to months of training.
Scottish parents, however, inevitably produce children with Scottish accents.
They don't need to train their children on that accent. It just happens naturally because they copy their parents.
Do the right thing and your children will copy you.
Do the wrong thing. and your children will resist you.
Peaceful parenting is fundamentally about credibility.
If you live the kind of life your children want, they will copy you.
If you want your children to go out and exercise, what do you do?
Do you just yell at them to stop being lazy and go out and touch grass? Of course not!
Your children need to have seen you for many years going out and exercising, and then they will have a habit of joining you and enjoying both your company and moving around.

[11:31] Do you snarl at your children to get off their tablets while staring at a big screen television yourself?
Do you tell them to eat better while snacking on junk food yourself?
We all understand this. We don't need a lot of examples.
If your children want to be like you, instruction happens naturally, inevitably through the process of enjoyable interactions.
If you are violent towards your children, then they don't want to be like you, so you end up in an endless pitched battle against their deepest instincts, their deepest perceptions of your own rank hypocrisy.

[12:17] This is why violence towards children does not work.
A mother who screams at her children to be quiet cannot be respected.
Children will not listen to moral advice from parents who yell at each other.
Children will have significant problems respecting the authority of parents who got divorced.
Who are you to tell me how to live when you couldn't even stay married?
Of course, this does not mean that you have to be perfect as a parent, but you do have to be honest about your imperfections.
Admit fault, apologize, and make restitution when you do wrong.
It's tragic how many parents demand that their children admit wrongdoing while never admitting any wrongdoing themselves. themselves.
It's ghastly how many parents demand apologies from their children while never, apologizing to those children.
If you want your child to behave in a certain way, the first question you need to ask is, how well have I modeled that behavior?

[13:36] Parents turn immediately to punishment in order to cover up their own hypocrisy.
In truth, parents are not actually punishing their children, just covering up their own moral crimes.
If you are poking around in a man's flower bed, the place where he has buried a body, he will snap at you to stop and drag you away if need be.
He doesn't hate you. He's not angry at you. He's just afraid of being caught.
If a man is running from the police and you are in his way, he will violently shove you aside, not because he has any problem with you, you're just blocking his escape route.

[14:24] Parents who get seduced into moral corruption and hypocrisy attack their children rather than look in the mirror and learn how to be better.
They don't hate their children, they just hate their own hypocrisy, which they see reflected in the hurt, and skepticism in their children's eyes.
A man who beats his dog hates it when the dog later shies away from him because it reminds him of his own violence towards the helpless animal.
If you are aggressive towards your children, they will fear you.
They will not want to be like you.
They will resist you. And so the battle will never end.
Even after you die, it will continue you. On to the next generation, forever and ever. Amen.
Until we change.

Advocating for Peaceful Parenting

[15:35] Part 2 Conclusion The greatest intellectual advancement in the history of our species has been the introduction of the scientific method.
In science, a theory has to first be logically consistent and then tested against the empirical evidence.
This approach has given us unprecedented control control, and power over nature, paving the way to just this kind of book, which can be distributed around the world through the miracles of science and engineering at a moment's notice.

[16:13] Engineering takes scientific theories and puts them into practical practice.
In the science of morality, an ethical theory has to first be logically consistent and then tested against the empirical evidence.

The Syllogisms of Peaceful Parenting

[16:38] The Syllogisms The syllogisms of peaceful parenting are remarkably simple.
1. Children should not hit each other because hitting is wrong.
2. Since hitting is wrong, we should not hit children.
1. Those with the most power over others have the highest moral obligations.
2. Parents have the most power over their children. 3. Therefore, parents have the highest moral obligations regarding their children.
4. It is more moral to use reason than to use force. 5.
Therefore, since it is more moral to reason and parents have the highest moral obligations towards their children, parents must reason with their children.

Ethical Principles of Peaceful Parenting

[17:29] 1. Adults are more responsible for their actions than children are.
2. Therefore, adults cannot claim excuses that they do not accept from their children.
1. Violence is only morally acceptable in an extremity of self-defense.
2. Therefore, parents are not justified in using violence against their children.
1. It is immoral to use violence to settle disputes.
2. Therefore, it is immoral for parents to use violence against their children to settle disputes.

[18:09] 1. It is wrong for children to call each other hurtful and harmful names because verbal abuse is immoral.
2. Therefore, it is immoral for parents to call their children hurtful and harmful names.
1. It is abusive to terrify children by repeatedly inflicting horrifying scenarios upon them which they have no capacity to control, affect, or change.
2. Therefore, it is abusive to frighten children by telling them that environmental disasters, which they can have no control over, will cause the end of the world in their lifetimes.
1. It is hypocritical and abusive to punish others. For moral standards, you refuse to uphold yourself.
2. It is also hypocritical and abusive to punish children for behavior you have modeled for them.
3. Therefore, it is hypocritical and abusive for parents to verbally abuse children who verbally abuse others.
4. It is also hypocritical and abusive for parents to physically hurt children who physically hurt others.
We could go on and on, but you get the general idea.

Empirical Evidence and Practical Morality

[19:26] Empirical Evidence, Practical morality is taking ethical theories and putting them into actionable practice.
In this book, I have made the case for the morality of peaceful parenting and then shown you how to put this moral case into practice over the middle portion of my writing.
Following the general principles of the scientific method is never a bad idea since it has been the most productive approach to the world.
In this spirit, the final section of this book turns to the empirical evidence, that supports the ethics of peaceful parenting.

[20:14] Now, if I make the scientific claim that cholera is transmitted through contaminated water and tell people to boil their water before drinking it, then I should check to see if those people who boil their water are, in fact, less likely to contract cholera.

[20:33] One way we know that an action is evil is that it has harmful effects on the innocent.
Since I have provided both the moral theory of peaceful parenting and how to be a peaceful parent in your life, it is now incumbent upon me to also provide the empirical evidence for the virtues of peaceful parenting.
If, for some bizarre reason, and peaceful parenting was both moral and practical, but it ended up making your children sick and neurotic, then the theory would have, put it mildly, a significant problem.
If, on the other hand, the moral is the practical, then we should be able to find significant evidence for the physical and mental health benefits of peaceful parenting.
And, in contrast, aggressive parenting, Parenting, abusive parenting, should be harmful to the bodies and minds and spirits of innocent children.
Do you think that spanking is good or bad for children?
I don't mean just morally, but rather practically, physically, mentally, and psychologically.

[21:56] Human beings have been spanking their children for tens of thousands of years.
Do you think that anyone has studied the phenomenon to find out if it actually works?
What about other forms of abuse, such as verbal aggression and neglect?
Do you think that experts have studied the effects of such aggressive parenting choices?
If so, do you think that there is significant debate among those experts as to whether aggressive parenting is good or bad?

[22:36] If experts have studied aggressive parenting for many decades and are unanimous in their conclusions as to whether it works, whether it is beneficial to children, especially in the long run, then only one question really remains.
Why don't you know what these experts have found?
Well, we are about to answer that question.
Neither the questions, nor the conclusions, or why you don't know either, are very pretty at all.
But we need to know, and then we need to know why we didn't know already.
Let's begin.

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May 2024

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