Parenting Success

Steven Spielberg’s 23-year-old adopted daughter, Mikaela, has announced to the world that she wants to be a porn star — or more euphemistically, “an adult entertainer.” In an interview with The Sun, Mikaela recounted her sad history of sexual abuse, and long periods away from her family at a boarding school, where she says also suffered from anorexia, borderline personality disorder, alcoholism and depression from the age of eleven.

It’s no secret that people in the creative fields make the worst parents ever.

You can know a lot about the quality of a human being by looking at their adult children. Mind you, I said adult children. Little kids are all cute. It’s in the adulthood that the truth comes out.

Trump’s kids, by the way, turned out a lot better than Biden’s. They are all working, they are all productive, nobody is shtupping their brother’s widow while clutching a crack pipe in a back alley and refusing to recognize some poor abandoned baby of theirs. I’m obviously deeply opposed to Ivanka’s views and her oversized presence in US politics but, compared to Hunter Biden, she’s a gigantic parenting success.

11 thoughts on “Parenting Success”

  1. I’m starting to think kids turn out better when their parents don’t pay too much attention to them. Obviously kids should be safe, fed, clothed, and not subjected to either emotional or physical abuse, but then if they are left alone to play, read, do/not do homework, get a job if they want pocket money or not if they prefer to amuse themselves in the library or tinkering in the basement, basically solve a lot of their own problems (including what to do if bored), it seems that eventually you get a functional adult. This adult might go to college later than age 18, or not at all, but is definitely not a snowflake.
    Did I just say all that out loud?


    1. Exactly. Like my friend who raised 4 great, well-adjusted daughters: “The recipe is benign neglect.”

      I’m still struggling with knowing when to leave my kid just be. But you are so completely right, in my opinion.


      1. “still struggling with knowing when to leave my kid just be”

        One idea might be that the older she gets the more she needs you to be there for her (when she needs you) and the less she needs you to be with her…
        Past the toddler stage I think parents are best as resources for children to draw upon (when wanted or needed) and not so much as constant companions.
        To put it yet another way, parents often do their best work in the background rather than in the foreground.
        Klara’s still young enough that she still needs you around a lot…. just not as much as when she was a baby.


    2. For that, you’ve got to teach them how to go to the library, use public transportation, and more. My friend has a son who keeps wrecking cars and I say stop giving them to him, make him take the d*** bus, and she says “but I don’t think he knows where the bus stop is,” and things like that. Yet they stand over him and force him to homework.

      I think you have to show interest in them and confidence. My parents had zero confidence in me for anything at any level, and intermittent interest. They were quite intense about trying to get me to have the interests they thought I should have, though. All of this pressure plus the non-interest and the zero confidence are why I am neurotic.

      When I ended up with my unplanned step-foster kids I wasn’t in a position to do a lot for them. With more money/time I would have been glad to give them more “advantages” than I did, but I couldn’t. I did try my theory of showing interest and confidence, teaching them how to do a few things, and not trying to force them to a particular interest or personality profile. They claim it worked & say it’s the “yes, that can be done and I think you could do it, yes” that was key.

      Ah, and also: a lot of people here are told by their parents that they can’t function on their own or without family near, and they believe it. I was also told I would never be competent to live independently, so had better not irritate my parents by having different interests or attitudes than they did, because they would throw me in the street and I would die. “Yes, I think you will be competent to live on your own, and yes, I think you would be able survive out of state” is another message the unplanned step-foster kids say they appreciated.


  2. Biden’s first daughter, Naomi, was killed as a young child in a car wreck that also took his first wife when Biden was 30. His sons Beau and Hunter were also injured in the wreck, Hunter receiving head trauma. For the next 30-plus years Biden was in the Senate, he took the train home to Delaware every night from Washington to be with his family.

    Biden’s son Beau died a few years ago of brain cancer, was the Attorney General of Delaware and served in Iraq (earning a Bronze Star).

    Yes, Hunter is a mess. To lay that on the supposed bad parenting of Joe Biden is outlandish. We all know families in which a child goes off the rails. I’m surprised you believe that parents have the power always to prevent this.


    1. Yes, I do think that the result of parenting is connected to the process of parenting.

      “For the next 30-plus years Biden was in the Senate, he took the train home to Delaware every night from Washington to be with his family.”

      • I have no idea what this means. Plenty of crappy parents are attached to their children 24/7.


  3. Two good comments t o this article which make one think of other issues too:

    “The “pattern” may be a cultural response that celebrates, rather than providing compassionate treatment for, the symptoms of real abuse and trauma. Trying to recover doesn’t always provide the abused with good judgement about how to deal with the cruel world.”

    “There is little available treatment. We have done little to study abuse and potential treatments. We have until very recently shamed and blamed and locked up victims in work houses. We don’t do that anymore but we haven’t evolved much beyond it either.”

    Of course, providing treatment is costy, while letting people self-destruct (literally) entertains others and increases the GDP.


    1. Treatment is hard, expensive, and very slow. Everything that the modern consumer detests. But those who prefer health to cherishing their neuroses can and do get treated.

      There isn’t little treatment. Treatment is abundant and can be found after two minutes online. But people want a magic pill. The magic pill is what’s unavailable.


      1. I have actually found it’s difficult to find a competent practitioner, and one who won’t make things even worse, especially if you’re not clear about what’s going. My step-foster or whatever son, for instance, had already been identified as an abuse victim and gotten to therapy before I ever met him, and he’s got PhD and job now and has nice life and whatnot, but he keeps going through new phases of needing to get over another aspect of it — is shopping for therapists right now, actually. I’ve had similar difficulties, therapists are glad, even too glad sometimes, to identify abuse but don’t necessarily have the faintest idea what to do next. You have to practically have already cured yourself to even be in a position to identify a competent practitioner, I’ve wrily noted


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