Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Raising Daughters

I have two daughters, one young and one an infant, so John Derbyshire's advice here resonates: [emphasis mine]

I have a friend, a very busy, worldly & successful guy, who is a great dispenser of advice, mostly good. His advice on raising a daughter: "Sure, education, orthodontistry, moral training, all that is good stuff. It's secondary, though. You must concentrate above all else on this one great objective: DON'T LET HER MARRY A LOSER. Corollary: Don't let her date any losers."

I had a very sad reminder of this today. I learned that an acquaintance recently lost his daughter. She committed suicide at age 30. She was married to a hopeless ne'er-do-well, a drug addict. She was sure she could put him right.

"Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington," went the old song. I think my first friend is right: never mind the stage, or anything else, just keep her away from losers. And from the illusion —widespread among women, in my experience— that she can change a loser into a normal person by the power of love. Perhaps it can be done once in a while, but it's not the way to bet. Not from what I've seen—and I've seen a few, and this is not the first one that ended tragically. May the poor girl rest in peace.

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