Cloister: (v) to seclude or shut up in
It has caused parents to hide, protect, imprison, box up and threaten their children for generations.
We are so afraid that our offspring will do things just as stupid as we did–so we figure the best path is to place them on an emotional or even physical desert island, “far from the madding crowd.”
Unfortunately, other parents have the same idea, so one way or another, our children find one another, and learn to clump and hump.
What is it we’re so afraid of?
- Unwanted pregnancy.
- Our children marrying before they get their driver’s license.
- Little Billy or Sally spending their whole lives on welfare, wondering whether six children is too few or too many.
- Or perhaps having so many lovers that they eventually just dry up and blow away in a whirlwind of fornication.
Even though guiding children–and ourselves–is a very good idea, cloistering has never worked. The human animal always escapes the care of the human spirit, to roam the jungle, panting for danger.
So what should we do?
No one knows.
Good parenting has nothing to do with pursuing a path, but instead, looking down the available paths … and avoiding the dead-end streets.