A Philosopher As Parent (Part 1) – Stefan Molyneux

The bond of father and son

To those would be parents, here is some wonderful advice on parenting from Stefan Molyneux, as he applies philosophy and some wisdom to help him with bringing up his seven month old daughter.

I am of the same philosophical mindset to parenting as Stefan, and as I have said in the past, the wisdom I am learning from just observing my little boy has proved so far to be of valuable assistance toward my own personal growth.

When you get the time please also read my posts ‘The Wisdom of Becoming a Child Again’ and ‘The Wise Lessons of Fatherhood: Baby J is 1 Year Old Today!’ to understand how much having a child can teach us about ourselves and life in general.

Please now watch and learn from Stefan as he may give you some wise pointers on making the difficulties of parenthood a little easier, as demonstrated by the following quote from his video A Philosopher As Parent,

“The first thing that I think is really important, and has been really helpful to me in terms of dealing with my daughter is to remember that when she is upset she is not in opposition to me, but in fact she is trying to help me.”

~ Stefan Molyneux

Update: Read part 2 of 2: ‘A Philosopher As Parent (Part 2) – Ten Commandments to Parenting Wisely’

13 Comments

  1. Peter Lessing says:

    This man has torn families apart! He convinces vulnerable college age students to leave their families w/o any explanation. Some families haven’t seen their kids in 4 years! He calls it ‘defoo'(foo=family of origin). Simply google “fdrliberated”, or “Molyneux Cult Watch” to get the real story. There are also 2 news articles on him and his website. They are 1)”You’ll Never See Me Again” at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/nov/15/family-relationships-fdr-defoo-cult and 2)”How a Cyberphilosopher Convinced Followers to Cut Off Family at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/article727644.ece . Please do NOT extol this man’s virtues, he has none.

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Thank you for your comment, Peter, however I found Stefan’s thinking behind parenting young children philosophically to be both rather refreshing and viable. I don’t think that is extolling one’s virtues, although who am I to say if anyone is virtuous or not.

    As far as the accusations you have made against Stefan here, I have no idea if they are true or not, or if he actually intended for children to run away from home. I always thought Stefan was a huge advocate against child abuse, as he felt that it is the one of the reasons for society’s destructive problems at present – I agree with him.

    But to be honest with you, I’m only concerned about the wise observational advice Stefan has offered in relation to raising his own child – this I felt was useful to others in the same situation (which I’m in with my little boy), so I deemed it to be worthy of mention on this blog.

    Thanks again for your concern.

  3. Peter Lessing says:

    With all due respect, I do not make unfounded accusations. This link will take you to the proof.

    http://liberatingminds.forumotion.com/freedomain-radio-f26/quickies-t2023-30.htm#29589

    I, too, agree that bad parenting is responsible for a lot of the problems kids have. However, mr. molyneux believes ALL parents are bad. Don’t take my word for it, you can hear these very words come out of his and his wife’s mouth. His podcasts #504 and 724 are worth listening to for these facts.

    That said, there are some podcasts I really think are helpful, like the one on failure. I think he has a good take on that.

  4. Thanks for posting this, I have done some more podcasts on parenting I think you might enjoy… 🙂 http://feeds.feedburner.com/PhilosophicalParenting

  5. Jason Cooper says:

    No problem, Stefan. I will definitely have a look when I get the time, as I have enjoyed a few of your other videos on your YouTube channel in the past.

    Also nice to have you visit here, and please continue sharing with the masses your thoughts and ideas on applying philosophy to every day life…:)

  6. Mr Blobby says:

    Peter,

    The following link provided no useful information, with regards to your complaint about stefan: http://liberatingminds.forumotion.com/freedomain-radio-f26/quickies-t2023-30.htm#29589

    This link was more informative (helped me under-stand your grievances): http://www.fdrliberated.com/?page_id=106

    i haven’t listened to stefan’s parenting podcasts… but do feel that i now have a better under-standing of the origins of the FOO-FIGHTER…

    On a more serious note – it will be helpful for folks (any folks) to give consideration to what they are ‘running to’… rather than what they are ‘running from’!

    Also – you should be aware that de-fooing (as you call it) is something that all children necessarily undergo… as they prepare for adulthood (so-called). In the most extreme cases – where a son or daughter in their post adolescent stage; is still unable to say NO to a parent… it may be helpful to severe all ties, until such time as the child feels empowered enough to assert their own will. Once this metamorphosis is complete, it will (in most cases) enable a healthy relationship to flourish.

    Also – the author of ‘fdr liberated’, clearly has an unresolved emotional attachment to stefan… whether they have projected him as a father figure, guru, friend or lover – i don’t know. But, from reading his/her diatribe it is easy to see that they have conflicting & unresolved emotions at play!

    If you have problems with your own parents or children – i hope you can resolve them in a kind, mature & loving way!

    Sincerely,

    blobby

  7. Jason Cooper says:

    I don’t know about you, Blobby, but I’m still trying to de-foo from my parents psychologically despite being old and miserable enough to fend for myself.

    I see my mum once a week and that’s more than enough for me, otherwise I will be permanently stuck in a childlike state.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my mum dearly but there comes a time in every young lad’s life that he must sever all emotional and psychological ties if he ever wants to grow and become a…YES…A Man.

    Back to Stefan; As I have stated in my earlier comment, the focus of this post was mainly in regard parenting a child philosophically – something which I adhere to personally, as I feel it would hopefully provide my son with the solid foundations towards discovering for HIMSELF (just need to emphasise this point – parents can be imposing on their kids) the wisdom and knowledge to live a happy and self-fulfilling life.

    Saying all that, despite my efforts of providing a positive guidance (or negative depending on his interests) for my son, there are so many different variables in life that can affect and influence my son to walk towards the darkness instead…so all I can do is shine the torch towards a hopefully better and revealing alternative – that’s if he wants me to.

    Mr Blobby, glad to see you’re still alive and kicking…:)

  8. Jason Cooper says:

    I just want to clear up something I wrote in my last comment in case you have misunderstood me for the worse.

    By severing emotional ties, i meant negative emotions such as those which can make one become attached, dependent and guilt-ridden in regard “the Family” situation. I feel that if these particular ties continue into adulthood, one can never become truly independent in both in thought and in action, which can ultimately effect your personal growth, self-esteem, confidence and self-reliance.

    Once the negative emotions are out of the way, one can then truly build a sincere, loving and respectful relationship with family members – that’s if your parents can also grow and understand the need to let go – freedom is love after all.

    However, this may not apply to everyone – Maybe there are families out there who live perfectly together like ‘The Waltons‘ and have no emotional problems whatsoever…but I have yet to see a family without some issues that needs to be dealt with.

    So, I in no way advocate for kids to run away from their problems (and family), which in the long run will not solve any family issues. Communication is the key, so long as both parties are willing to listen to each other.

    And that’s all I have to say on the matter.

  9. Mr Blobby says:

    In another post (concen forum) – at the end of my message, i suggested to a fellow concenner, that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously because “life is just a ride” (part of a bill hicks quote)…

    He responded by saying: “The emotional effect on me is mixed, it is draining sometimes and encouraging other times (with respect to truth seeking).
    On the other hand if you take it as just a ride,
    then do you still care about what will happen to your children?”

    Well, for one – anyone who is familiar with billy hicks work, will know that his “it’s just a ride” comment was part of a greater and absolutely beautiful piece of prose… see link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMUiwTubYu0

    He was trying to tell us that our perceptions and manifestations are nothing but illusions. That it is “just a ride”, is because we do not really die. This existence (life) that we cling onto with all the values (baggage) that accompany it… are not the true reflections of who we really are!

    If you can see your son as something more than j-junior, not as your possession but a free spirit not owned or shackled (mentally & physically) by his parents – you may be halfway there?

    Some Advice for any Parents/Guardians:

    1. Never tell your child to do something… “because you have to”!
    2. Never tell your child not to do something… “because i said so”!
    3. Never answer your child’s question… “because it is”!
    4. Don’t lie to your children about the things you don’t under-stand!
    5. Don’t tell your children they are obliged to do something (file a tax return/apply for a driving license/get a vaccine/go to a conditioning centre) – just because you do or did it!

    In investigating the true nature & application of STATE apparatus… i have become more conscious of the fact that it is in fact my own friends & (older members of my) family that encourage me to believe that i am a citizen (slave) of the state… that i live in a place called eng-land and that i am bound by this (invisible) contract – despite never ever uttering my consent to its existence & dominion over me!

    Where Foo Fighting is concerned – i have decided to start with myself & work backwards (or inwards)…

    🙂

  10. Jason Cooper says:

    Thanks for the great comment, Mr Blobby!

    I whole heartedly agree with you, brother, and some wise advice there for would be parents (including myself) to give their kids the freedom to grow and blossom into their own authentic being.

    As for the late Bill Hicks, he was a true prophet of comedy and a good guy who told it as he saw it. Bill both penetrated our conscience, and raised our consciousness with his pinpoint insights and observations into all the pretentious bullshit and hypocrisy that society propagated and continues to propagate. The following quote from Hicks reveals all what he was about,

    “I’ve had a vision. And what it is, is although this is a world where good men are murdered in their prime, and mediocre hacks thrive and proliferate, I gotta share this with ya, ’cause I love you and you feel that. You know all the money we spend on nuclear weapons and defense every year? Trillions of dollars? Correct? Trillions. Instead, if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world,which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, not one, we could, as one race, explore outer space together in peace forever. You’ve been great. Thank you. (three gunshots)”

    That was the last thing he said after his ‘Dangerous’ show.

    May I also turn your attention to the late George Carlin who was in the same mould as Bill. In fact, the young Bill Hicks was very much inspired/influenced by the older George’s comedic value, iconoclastic views and philosophy of life.

    Here is a great post on the man: http://thecriticalthinker.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/carlin-irreverent/

    I highly recommend everyone to download some of Bill and George’s acts on either audio or video – there are plenty of torrents available.

    Expect a post in the future about these two wise guys of comedy. In the meantime, here are a couple of websites for those who want to know more about these now past comedic geniuses:

    http://www.billhicks.com/

    http://www.georgecarlin.com/

  11. Jason Cooper says:

    Update: Bill Hicks link now fixed above.

  12. mr blobby says:

    Perhaps i focused too much attention on the negative things you shouldn’t do as a parent…

    Here are a couple of positive things that you can do:

    1. Learn everything you can on the knowledge & philosophy of buckminster fuller
    2. Familiarize yourselves with the work of Michael Mendizza. He has produced two excellent lectures – Media and the Developing Brain & The Next Frontier in Education.

    Michael’s work makes for a real PARADIGM shift in ‘how we think about education’…

  13. Jason Cooper says:

    Thanks bro!

    All you need now, Mr Blobby, are a few little Blobbies running around so that you can apply what you know…see if it works.

    You have to remember it’s easy offering parenting advice, but it’s another matter being an actual parent – believe me! Please do not take any offence to that previous statement, as I feel you have offered some great advice, and seem to have an insight into parenting more than most people out there who have kids. But all I would say is that bringing up children is not an easy task and is perhaps the greatest challenge anyone can take on in life.

    For me personally, I am finding out the hard way (due to my ignorance of not being a parent before) that I must learn (quickly) to adapt to every given situation in regard my relationship with Baby J, because he seems to change his behaviour and attitude from one day to the next.

    I have to admit there are times when Baby J’s behaviour is quite alarming and even heartbreaking (well, for me), especially when one day he will cling onto you for his life, and then the next day he totally rejects you – another thing I must learn is to remain objective and not let emotions (as demonstrated by my feeling of “heartbreak”) play too much of a role when Baby J seemingly behaves negatively towards me.

    The following quote from Stefan Molyneux serves as a reminder of how we should react to a child’s seemingly opposing and aggravating behaviour,

    “The first thing that I think is really important, and has been really helpful to me in terms of dealing with my daughter is to remember that when she is upset she is not in opposition to me, but in fact she is trying to help me.”

    As I wrote in this post, I am learning much from my son by just standing back and observing him:

    http://www.knowledgereform.com/2009/08/09/the-wonderful-wisdom-of-becoming-a-child-again/

    I think we just need to be aware that every child is different, and that there is no standard formula for parenting that will work for everyone. All I will say is that we must keep in mind not to impose on our children and corrupt them with our bullshit ways – but to allow them the room to grow and develop their own personality – hopefully, they will become wiser, happier and more inquisitive than us ignorant, miserable and narrow minded adults.

    I just need to keep reminding myself, “I must let go! I must let go!”, no matter how hard I’m already finding that unadulterated prospect.