Welcome to the Life of Soviet Parenting

For a Soviet parent, life was about protecting the children from the inhuman, vicious and evil systems of healthcare and education. You had to contort yourself into the weirdest knots, face all sorts of humiliation, animosity, and persecution. That is, if you cared about your child. If not, you could pretend nothing was happening.

Soviet healthcare and education existed to break the children’s body, mind, and spirit. And a loving parent waged a guerrilla war on them.

How great that none of this sounds recognizable here in the US, right?

20 thoughts on “Welcome to the Life of Soviet Parenting

  1. I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I wonder how much longer private schools that don’t conform will be allowed to exist and if the system will end up going after the homeschoolers. Perhaps the question is not really if but when and how.


    1. We are homeschoolers, and we are waiting for it. We keep our HSLDA membership topped up, and we live in one of the more supportive states/districts. But it is only a matter of time before the school districts realize that even when they reopen fully, not all those students will be coming back, and that hits them in the budget. Then the knives come out.


        1. I expect that would be more trouble than it’s worth. I forsee the socially acceptable answer being: get the vaccine. And, you see, I’m already one of those dreadful “anti-vaxxers” according to the popular definition of such things, because I do get my children vaccinated, but not on the recommended schedule, and I pick and choose which ones I want them to get (basically, the same slate of shots I got when I was a kid in the 80s, no more). There is no way I am signing my kids up to be part of the test group for a brand-new, barely-tested medical treatment. Five years on the market, minimum. Then we’ll consider it.


          1. My kid is never getting this stupid vaccine either. But I’m hoping it will become obvious enough the vaccine doesn’t work before it gets to anybody trying to force people to take it.


            1. What makes you think the vaccine doesn’t work? I’ve read quite a bit about the various vaccines and the research indicates that they are quite effective in preventing serious cases of COVID. I thought your view was that COVID is only dangerous for the elderly and otherwise sick, and I can understand not wanting to take the vaccine if that is your view of the disease, but wouldn’t you want the elderly to be getting it?


              1. Interesting. I have not been following the situation in Israel. That is disappointing to see that infection rates have not gone down. Do you know if they lowered other restrictions as they were ramping up vaccine distribution?


              2. cliff, showing ‘statistics’ from undefined Palestine (Gaza? West Bank? Both?) is not scientific.

                One could use Chinese and Russian fabricated statistics too and see they have zero cases… or whatever numbers the regime decided to publish this week.

                One way of having low numbers is simply not testing, and saying covid patients have flu, while those dying are killed by a bad case of pneumonia. The latter was done in Russia, the not testing – in Ukraine, judging from bloggers I read.

                Palestinians have always had practically zero test kits in contrast to Israel which leads the world in testing and vaccinations.

                Those graphs are a way to manufacture and manipulate data to ‘prove’ vaccines don’t work.

                I know Palestinian society doesn’t work, including their medicine. People in Gaza live without electricity or clean drinkable water, which medicine are you talking about?


      1. I apologize if this is an inappropriate question to ask but didn’t you have a problem finding a pediatrician for your children? Where I live, all pediatricians will refuse to see your child unless you follow the recommended vaccination schedule. I am not against vaccination so we followed it but it caught me by surprise that no discussion and no deviation is allowed. My worry is that it will be the same with the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved for children.


        1. Not at all! I checked the local FB homeschool groups, where the moms frequently share recommendations for doctors, dentists, music teachers, etc. etc. and picked one from there. They had already sorted out which docs would harass you about it, and which ones wouldn’t 😉


  2. The attack on homeschoolers was made openly just prior to COVID and seems to have been delayed slightly by it. Google Elizabeth Bartholet


    1. Oh yeah, that was all over our newsletters. But honestly, that sort of hit piece pops up in the media every couple of years like clockwork. The homeschool organizations make a fuss about it, they get snowed under with complaints, they’re forced to walk it back a little. Nothing much comes of it. It’s an ongoing game, and we’re used to it. It rarely breaks out into legislation, and when it does, then it’s a big event. I still vividly remember in 1994, H.R. 6, a piece of legislation in congress– it was unclear whether the thing was badly written (because nobody thinks about homeschoolers when they write giant education reform bills) or deliberately malicious, but the wording of the thing would have required homeschooling parents to all have a teaching degree (this would have been a significant hit on private schools also). HSLDA had sounded the alarm, every homeschool family I knew was ringing their congressmens’ phones all day long, writing letters, etc… Rep. Dick Armey from TX proposed an amendment exempting homeschoolers and private schools: and the day they were scheduled to vote on it, we had the day off from lessons because we were all gathered around the TV watching C-SPAN at someone’s house or other to watch the vote with bated breath. We marked it down on the schedule as civics.

      The amendment passed, we all breathed a sigh of relief. Normally things don’t get as far as congress before they’re shot down. In the future? Who knows? It is a constant push and push-back.


      1. Another attack came up on Twitter this week. JillFilipovich basically saying homeschoolers are protecting their conservative worldview and keeping work subservient in the home. The replies were hilarious. But she is one of many that assume the state needs to regulate parenting including the homeschooling of children, because of the bad actions of a tiny minority of parents. I live in a state with lots of regulations and I don’t mind them but I see the arguments on both sides. Funny though, how public schools are highly regulated and the quality of education sucks and children are abused within the system.


        1. Exactly. As long as it’s just randos on Twitter, we don’t fret about it. There’s no shortage of childless women (or better yet, rich moms with nannies…) out there who are convinced they could raise your kids better than you do. As long as they don’t get to write laws about it…


  3. We have some bad and good news:

    \ Israel says vaccine has almost halved COVID cases among over-60s

    Netanyahu tells cabinet that over last 16 days, there has been a reduction of 26% in hospitalization for serious complications and an around 45% reduction in confirmed infections among those over age 60



    // Israel sees alarming leap in child coronavirus cases
    In November 2020, some 400 toddlers had been diagnosed with COVID-19, by February that number had jumped to more than 5,800; health experts attribute massive increase to recently discovered mutations of pathogen

    Last November, some 400 toddlers under the age of two were diagnosed with COVID-19. By February, the number of infected toddlers had jumped to more than 5,800

    “Our daughter is a five months old and has already been admitted to the coronavirus ward,” says Ohad.

    Ohad says that Iyar started showing active symptoms of the virus, including fever, crying and fatigue, at around the same time as the family discovered they were infected.

    Prof. Amnon Zung, director of the children’s department at Kaplan Medical Center, says that there has been a marked increase in cases among the young.
    “Fortunately, many of them go through the disease easily, but we have also seen severe cases of children who come with high fever and difficulty breathing, and there were even some who had to be admitted to intensive care.”



  4. // Soviet healthcare and education existed to break the children’s body, mind, and spirit. And a loving parent waged a guerrilla war on them.

    How have your parents waged a war on Soviet education? You told how your father taught you English, but this seems to be a different thing.

    You’ve also supported your parents not telling you they were against the regime, and described loving stories about Lenin in your childhood.

    Btw, my grandmother’s father was also skeptical about the communists, yet didn’t interfere with his only child growing up believing in communism and joining the party.

    I know my relatives made significant efforts to bring good doctors to me when I was a sickly child, but education was good enough to let them have 2nd degrees in math. Except for horrible English teaching (compared to Israeli level), other subjects were studied at least as deeply as in Israel, and sometimes deeper than in Israel, if we talk f.e. about literature or biology in 1-7 grades (the ones I took in Ukraine).


    1. Protecting from Soviet teaching means protecting from the abusive teachers who humiliated and tortured kids and from things like obligatory dental and gynecological exams.

      Nobody did that for me.


  5. Found this blog entirely composed of short poems on current Russian events. Liked several, such as:

    Страна, как шелудивый пес,
    Кружит, схватив себя за хвост,
    И своей бешенной слюной
    Всех гонит от себя долой.
    Пора б уже остановиться,
    Не разрушать, а созидать,
    Но умудрилась обнулиться,
    И начала кружить опять.


    Rat forever

    Свиньи, лошади , собаки –
    В той стране им места нет,
    Где в плененном бензобаке
    Правит крыса двадцать лет.
    Крыса здесь без вариантов,
    И традиций не нарушив,
    Вновь под перезвон курантов,
    Звери будут крысу слушать.


    О политике.

    Если мама нетопырь,
    И папаша был вампир,
    Что потом не оттопырь,
    Нарождается упырь.


    Пока стадо с достоинством
    Сочную травку жевало,
    Всё крысиное воинство
    Время зря не теряло.
    Там загончик поставят,
    Здесь колючку натянут,
    Кто-то буйный — отравят,
    Непослушный — приманят.
    Псов тупых наплодили,
    Уже больше чем стадо,
    Потому что к могиле
    Стадо гнать это надо.
    А когда в скотобойню
    Дверь за стадом закрыли,
    Оказалось достойны
    Только смерти и были.


    “Мы все учились понемногу
    Чему-нибудь и как-нибудь”,
    Скажи спасибо педагогу,
    И всё, что выучил забудь.
    В стране тюремной педагог,
    Несмел, угодлив и убог.
    Его сквозь жернова и сито
    Власть отбирает в беспредел,
    И голова его забита,
    Уменьем самых грязных дел.
    Воистину, адская это работа,
    Из человека растить патриота.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.