Every UC home should have Helen Andelin's All About Raising Children. Nancy Hanna highly recommends the book. It has excellent general principles and many good details. I want it understood that whenever I recommend a book I do mean that I necessarily agree with every line the author writes. The Andelins are not perfect. Only True Parents are.
One of the best statements about the role of women is Helen Andelin's statement in her book All About Raising Children. The only thing I would add is that women should also teach this to other women as Titus 2-3-5 says and that families should live as trinities. Helen writes the following that should be the cornerstone of the mission statement for Women's Federation for World Peace instead of the vague cliches it has made in the past that anybody can read anything into: "In the ideal family the woman's role is that of wife, mother and homemaker. Although the feminine role is different from the masculine, it is equally important. Together the husband and wife form what can become a perfectly functioning unit to manage a family successfully."
"1. The Wife: The role of the wife is one of counselor and supporting companion for her husband. She tactfully expresses her views and brings an important perspective to matters he is considering. She frequently must defer to his better judgment. She helps him carry out his plans and objectives, participating when needed. When he is discouraged she offers him understanding, encouragement and continual hope. She tries to bolster his self-esteem, to keep him going in a positive direction. This is a difficult role, but when she does it well she is a key to her husband's success and the well-being of the family."
"2. The Mother: Her role as a mother is challenging. She is responsible for her children's day-in, day-out care. Along with her husband she patiently and persistently trains them to become obedient and responsible adults. If she is to succeed, it will require years of time and dedication. It is vital for the mother to remain at home and devote herself to the training and development of her children."
"3. The Homemaker: The mother must also manage many facets of a household and make a comfortable home for her family. To successfully live this role, she will need to make her career a career in the home. If she manages her time well, she may be able to do other things such as develop her talents or give benevolent service, but these should be secondary roles. If she is to make a success of family life, she will need to make her duties as wife, mother and homemaker, priority roles."
John Rosemond is a nationally syndicated columnist and writer of many books on raising children. In one column he wrote against several books that preach "equality". A person wrote in saying the books, Parent Effectiveness Training by Thomas Gordon and Your Child's Self Esteem by David McKay and Dorothy Briggs were good, and he was wrong to think it was "encouraging parents to become wimps.' Rosemond says, "No, Gordon and Briggs didn't say, 'Hey, parents! You should be wimps!' That's my editorial take on the nouveau advice, which became the 'party line' of parenting psychology in the 70s and 80s and hangs on to this day."
"The letter writer says he can't believe I really, in my heart of hearts, disagree with most of the advice Gordon and Briggs dispensed in their best-sellers. He's right. I don't disagree with most of what Gordon and Briggs and their followers say; I disagree with all of it!" Rosemond goes on to explain how these authors treat their children as "equals" and as "friends." He says, "in P.E.T. Gordon writes that the use of power and authority by parents is 'immoral.' He criticizes parents who 'believe in restricting, setting limits, demanding certain behavior, giving commands, and expecting obedience.' No, I'm not making this up, nor am I taking it out of context." Rosemond explains how parents are to be stern. He says, "Gordon and Briggs think my old-fashioned attitudes are psychologically damaging to children. In his latest book, 'Teaching Children Self-Esteem", Gordon even says that when parents stop using power and authority with their children, there will be less violence in the world! Apparently he doesn't know that since American parents began using his advice, the teen-age violent crime rate has tripled (almost irrespective of socio-economic background) as has the rate of teen depression."
"Gordon and Briggs were enormously influential, but so were Marx and Engels." He says parents have tried the "democratic approach and fallen flat on their proverbial faces." He recommends James Dobson's The New Dare to Discipline. Rosemond says his "old-fashioned ideas " will not appeal to "the majority of mental health professionals" and "That is why I titled the introduction to my latest book, 'A Family of Value,' 'I, Heretic.' In short, I am guilty as charged, and I will never repent." There are many books on parenting. The UC has none. Until then, Rosemond is good. I don't agree with everything he says, but he is conservative and therefore light years ahead of the liberals. After years of reading, I've come to see Helen Andelin's book, All About Raising Children, as the best. It towers over everybody. It should be in every home. Nancy Hanna told me she endorses this book also.
In one of his books, Rosemond says, "I can still remember listening to one of my college professors -- he was teaching a course in marriage and family relations -- lectures on the differences between 'democratic'; and 'autocratic' families."
"In the democratic family, he said, everyone was regarded as an equal. Therefore, obedience (from the children) was not mandatory, and disagreements were resolved with discussion, negotiation, and compromise. Cooperation and harmony were the hallmarks of a democratic family. 'How marvelous!' I thought, reflecting upon the way my parents had limited my freedom, kept me in a state of virtual servitude, and said things like, 'Because I say so.'"
"In contrast, the autocratic family was a hierarchy, with parents at the top. Children were punished if they disobeyed and were not allowed to make decisions for themselves. Compromise between parent and child was possible only on the parent's terms. Obedience, rather than joyous cooperation, was the bill of fare for children of autocratic parents."
"How nasty!' I said to myself" And he tried it. He says there was no harmony but "anarchy." Then he and his wife demanded obedience and all was well. His children "didn't have the right to make any decisions for themselves. However, we allowed them the privilege of making many decisions, reserving, as our right, the option of taking this privilege away whenever it was abused or the potential consequences were not to our liking .... In short, we created a nasty old autocratic family, and my wife and I were dictators -- 'Benevolent Dictators,' to be exact."
"Benevolent Dictators are gentle authorities who understand that their power is the cornerstone of their children's sense of safety and security .... Benevolent dictators do not need to instill fear in order to communicate their influence. They are authorities, but they are not authoritarian. They do not demand unquestioning obedience. They encourage questions, but make the final decisions. They restrict their children's freedom, but they are not tyrants. They restrict in order to protect and guide. They make rules which are fair and enforce them firmly. Life with a Benevolent Dictator is predictable and secure for children. That set of certainties guarantees more freedom than would be possible under any other circumstances."
"We usually associate dictatorships with oppression and torture and people disappearing in the night. But dictatorship is simply a system of government where one person is in control and is responsible for making decisions for a group of people who count on him or her to make good ones. And that's what parents do, isn't it? Like it or not, parents are dictators, preferably dictators of benevolent nature." I would submit you could put wives in that category of children in the previous passages. Men must be benevolent dictators to their wives. Women are not children, but they are in position of follower to their husband who has the final decision over what she does.
Power in the home
Let's talk about power in the home. The Bible explains that men cannot lead until they successfully lead their families and create happy homes. Men learn leadership there first. The path of Headwing is a fine line. You can't cross the line and not get hurt. The Bible has great wisdom the UC should learn from. Father would agree, I think, with the insights some Christian conservatives give in their advice on how to handle authority in the home and that this is also how UC brothers should handle authority in the church and state. Dr. Kevin Leman says in Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, "What I see and hear is that, in too many homes today, otherwise sophisticated and educated parents are still not sure they know the difference between discipline and punishment, between permissiveness and loving nurture. I believe that difference is clearly spelled out in a brief passage from the New Testament where the Apostle Paul writes:
'Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God's Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing. And now a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.'"(Ephesians 6:1-4).
"The above scripture passage is the basis for this book. The word that we are going to pay particular attention to are obey, authority, and loving discipline.... My goal is to give parents specific ways to use their authority correctly as they bring up obedient children with loving discipline."
Men have not been handling power and authority correctly in the home and they have not understood power in society in the 20th century.
Family not democratic
Dr. Lee Salk in his book Familyhood gives an example of a family he knew that tried to get away from the vertical model of a family: "A colleague of mine in the area of group dynamics believed absolutely that his family-- which included his wife and two children-- should be run as a democracy, with each member having an equal say in family decisions. They carefully discussed everything, from where to go to dinner, to appropriate bedtimes for the children. They even voted. Invariably, the two children assumed one position, the parents another, which usually led to a great deal of further discussion and many painfully contorted compromises. The system, cumbersome as it was, worked after a fashion, until a third child came along. When this youngest family member first learned to say yes or no, his siblings immediately lobbied for his vote. The three children outvoted the two adults, and havoc reigned. The democracy collapsed."
"A family needs an authority figure (or two). It must be run in an autocratic way, but it must also be an autocracy with a soul and a heart and with respect for its constituents. As parents, we have all heard ourselves say on occasion, 'You'll do it because I'm your mother and I say you have to do it!' The occasional dictatorial outburst is only human and does no harm. But as a parental modus operandi, it not only doesn't work over the long haul, it doesn't instill and encourage the values children need."
"Someone has to be in charge and that someone should never be the child, although ideally she will feel her opinions have weight and count. Children feel important and respected when they participate in grown-up decisions."
I pledge to help the everyone understand the value of traditional families as taught in Helen Andelin's All About Raising Children.