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为什么要生孩子?

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詹妮弗·西尼尔(Jennifer Senior)在纽约杂志上发表的文章关于现代人生育的文章写得很中肯,并就现今生养孩子普遍给人们(至少是那些看纽约杂志的人)带来不愉快的原因进行了细致的探究。但以我,一个在儿童早期教育领域专职工作近20年的人看来——我分别做过教师,学前教育辅导员,青少年研究工作者,家庭教养专栏作家,同时还是一部非小说类家庭教育辅导书的作者——我注意到她的文章中忽略了两样东西。
Jennifer Senior’s New York magazine piece on contemporary parenting is both honest and measured in its examination of how having kids these days generally tends to make people (or, at least the kind of people who read New York magazine) unhappy. But as someone who’s worked professionally in the field of early childhood education for 20 years—as a classroom teacher, preschool director, youth researcher, parenting columnist, and author of an instructive non-fiction book—I noticed that it was sorely lacking in two things.
首先,文中没有为那些沮丧的父母们提供任何回避或解决教育孩子过程中问题的方法。在成功帮助了数千个家庭,让父母们明白如何使他们自己和孩子的生活更加轻松愉快之后,我可以肯定地说:帮助父母们打理好子女教育和生活的方法确实存在。其中包括富于实证主义精神的规范纪律,明确的界限和固定的程序,能够摆脱单纯的教育孩子这一泡沫的束缚、对孩子的教育问题有个全面的认识,不断重复(激活)“我不仅仅为人父母,我还要为人。”这一自我暗示。
First, it failed to offer any sort of line out of this tragic rut for these sad moms and dads. Having successfully advised many thousands of families on how to make their lives, and the lives of their children, not only easier but happier, I can testify that real solutions do exist, and they involve positivist discipline, clear limits and routines, a trained ability to burst out of the Parenting Bubble and gain perspective, and the repetition (and activation) of the me-time mantra “I am a parent and a person.”
文章的第二个疏漏更加明显。文中在详述养育子女经济价值不断下降这一事实的同时,通过无数科学发现对无子女家庭较有子女家庭更能体会到亲情带来的愉悦这一状况进行了探讨,这些内容都是基于生儿育女仍然是家庭主流而正统的选择这一假设的,因此并没有提出最重要的问题:我们为什么要生孩子呢?
But the article’s second hole was even more glaring. While it detailed the downward-spiraling economic value of having offspring, and discussed the myriad scientific findings on the greater relative happiness of people who don’t have kids versus those that do, it operated from the assumption that procreating is still somehow the right thing to do, and thus failed to ask the all-important question, Why Have Kids in the First Place?
无论何时我听见我的朋友开始艰难的尝试或打算尝试被我称之为“无由计划”的行为(作者在此的意思就是这些行为动机不明确)时,我常常会问他们,“你为什么要这么做呢?”如果他们打算收养一只被成功解救的猎狗,把他们的普锐斯(Prius)换成S.U.V,或者打算在他们的起居室里漆一面色彩亮丽、别具一格的墙,他们都需要预先分配好可供使用的空间。但对于我的这类询问,他们的普遍反映都是一脸的茫然。
Whenever I hear that a friend has begun the trying process of trying, or is considering attempting what I like to call The Ultimate Vanity Project, I often follow up by asking them, “Why?” If they were going to adopt a rescued greyhound, trade in their Prius for an S.U.V., or even ponder a bright colored accent wall in their living room, they’d be expected have some sort of well-sorted grounds for taking action. But the response to this line of inquiry is often nothing more than a blank stare.
我并没有打算寻找一个万无一失的解决办法。但有鉴于西尼尔整合的诸多证据,我们求一些真正的答案也不算过分吧?“我一直都想要一个”这个理由并不能作为你购买一个价格高昂的钱包的理由,“我的直觉告诉我应该这样做,”有时甚至只能带给你一张交通罚单,(别尝试拿人类的种族延续来说事儿;我觉得人类对地球的支配地位恐怕暂时还不急需你贡献一份力量)。我对孩子们如何行动坐卧走非常了解,也亲身感受过孩子们带来的快乐和混乱,我经过仔细权衡后决定不要孩子,对此我可以给你罗列一大堆理由。那么,我的朋友们,请你告诉我,你为什么要孩子呢?
I’m not looking for nuggets of transcendent genius. But given the overwhelming evidence Senior assembles, isn’t it fair to expect some sort of real answer? “I always wanted one” wouldn’t cut it as a rationale for buying an expensive purse, and “My instincts told me to,” won’t even get you out of a traffic ticket, so why are these good enough for creating a new human life? (And don’t even try the whole continuation-of-the-species line; I think we can all agree that human domination of the Earth is in no urgent need of your individual assistance.) As someone who elementally understands how children work, and has seen first-hand the joy and havoc they wreak, I’ve made the very conscious decision not to have any, and I can provide you with a wide-ranging list of reasons why. So people, please tell me, what’s your excuse?
布雷特·伯克为VF.com撰写有关文化、政治和汽车的文章,他是The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting一书的作者。
Brett Berk writes gaily about culture, politics, and cars for VF.com, and is the author of The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting.
标签:孩子
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2010-07-14 11:24 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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