Philosophy and Parenting.

Essay by mcwillUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2003

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Philosophy and Parenting

Parenting is an art, a science, a gift, and sometimes a headache. There never seems to be enough time to get the basics done, let alone shape a child's mind. Parents and children seek to discover adequate ways of reasoning about moral issues and how to apply these ideas to everyday life. This sounds so pompous but in actuality it is how we all live our lives. The how's and why's of the way people perceive and interact with the world begins in childhood. If parents seek and attempt to parent by "standing on the shoulders of giants" and then applying each philosophy in a practical, commonsense, and sometimes humorous way, they can enhance the lives of their children as well as their own.

Philosophy begins, wherever we find a teacher or parent, like Plato, teaching and leading a philosophical life (Proefriedt). When Plato wrote, "The Allegory of the Cave," he was telling the story of people living in a cave and their perceptions of the out side world.

In actuality he is saying in order to live ethically, it is essential that truth be defined. Plato expressed the goal of future rulers like this:

[A]nd there lies the point, you must contrive for your future rulers another and a better life than that of the ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered State; for only in a State that offers this, will they rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are thetrue blessings in life" (Plato 285).

Plato could have just as easily been speaking to parents about their hopes and wishes for their children. Parents want their children to be honest and insightful as they grow.

A parent can begin by encouraging children to engage...