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I can totally relate to how you feel. Witnessing these things is never easy. Children do need to be children. Life comes at us too fast as it is.

Great post.

hmmmm I wonder what other people's definitions of 'man of the house' are. Another view may have nothing to do with adult male responsibility and all to do with staking a claim and prowess over the females and younger children of the family unit. 'Man of the house' may mean he is now the chosen one, the spoiled one, the one who the family revolves around. The one whose needs and wants take precedence over those of lower status members. In a system in which families function to serve a single top male the "man of the house '' role can indeed be filled by an 8 year old boy.

An excellent point Suzanne. "Man of the House" can indeed infer a position of privilege, even for a child, and I see this happening as well. Thanks for the feedback.

Tragic. A perfect example of how to make a "little iron man" out of a little boy.

That's me. Thanks, Patricia! That was a fascinating article to research and report. I ended up spending a number of months following Adam's progress in college, both on the bike and in class. I'll post a link to it on my page later tonight...

I called my son the man of the house when he was little, but not in the sense that he ruled over the house. He was the male, and so man of the house. He was taught to watch over his sister; but never to be responsible for her behavior. We lived in a bad neighborhood. He watched out for her, and still does to this day. He did have a lot on his shoulders, however, from a Biblical perspective, men are taught to be men from the time they are five. This "childhood" fantasy and lifestyle has reduced men into wimps in my humble opinion. We teach children to have fun and just be kids without preparation for what is to come, then one day expect them to all of a sudden be "adults". My son is one of the finest men I know today. So this "too much responsibility" on kids is not right imho. The first millionaire in Michigan started when he was eight years old selling apples before school. Today that would be considered robbing one of their childhood. No. We rob these children when they are not taught to grow up.

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