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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Do I Have the Right to Write About My Son?

A reader (maybe?) recently Facebook messaged me the following: "Please don't take this the wrong way.... I just wonder if there will be a spate of lawsuits in about a decade, when these kids grow up and see that their parents violated their privacy on a daily basis in a semi-public, digitally persistent forum. I have a few friends that have written frequently about their kids, some in non-flattering ways, and I've wondered. Looking over your posts, I see far, far more about Anders than I do about you, which is why I started thinking about it this way. I don't know you, and I certainly mean no offense. I just thought it would be good food for thought, an interesting topic for discussion w.r.t. liberty and individual sovereignty. Carry on."

Here is my response: Only time will tell in regards to lawsuits and other parents and their children--but I don't really think in this way nor do I think that thinking in terms of "rights" and "wrongs" is helpful when it comes to human relationships. These are highly abstract ideas that should only be dealt with in the context of a concrete (situation). Human relationships happen in the concrete and in the present, not in the abstract, and they are ever changing as the people and their needs change. To abstract about human relationships is to participate in the system of control that I am against and that I do not think is heathy--this language you use is Control Language which leads to various forms of Statism.

How I think about it: It IS very important to me that I maintain a respectful relationship with my son, Anders, in fact little is more important to me in my life. Thus far he has been very into and supportive of my/our Facebook page, and his YouTube channel (which he does consider his). He also thus far loves my mission of teaching people how to have more respectful relationships with their children. Though there are some pretty tragic posts that I have seen on Facebook in which parents shame or embarrass their children or even make fun of them (and I have unfriended people who do so) this is not the kind of post I post. 

However, should he change his mind at some point about what aspects of his life he is comfortable with me (or both of us) sharing, I will of course seek a solution in which we can both get our needs met. As I said above, his needs at very important to me! My needs--to share my life and my area of expertise--are also valid. Given our track record so far, I expect we will find a satisfactory way for both of us to get our needs met. Though I can see Anders getting more controlling about his "image" as he gets older, I do not think it will be anything compared to a child who attends public school.

I have read a lot of the parenting literature and find it seriously lacking in concrete examples. This is why I try to remedy this in my own writing.

Moreover, I am greatly saddened by Rue Kream's silence about her children as they got older and their silence about their experience of their childhood. Ditto with the girl raised by that guy who wrote Summerhill. We all want to know how it worked out--for both the parent and the child! What did they learn? What would they do differently and the same?

I can only hope that Anders and I will be different. I hope he writes a book one day about what it was like to be raised this way. When he was younger he used to say that he was going to write books like his mom when he grew up, but then he found out how much I make compared to his dad.... I cannot control the future. What I can do is continue to seek a respectful and mutually enjoyable relationship with my very favorite young man in the entire world.

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