Without a dad or without a tablet, which is worse?

There is currently no honest, generous, and self-sacrificing work that is more reviled, criticized, or belittled than that of being parents.

Parents are criticized by psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers, “educators,” journalists, television and radio presenters, and neighbors in general.

Why? That would have to be asked to them. I suppose it all started a little over a hundred years ago, when Sigmund Freud began publishing his work, blaming the parents for the pathologies of his patients. And maybe he was right, after all, he lived in Austria in the Victorian era, at a time when relationships between parents and children, men and women, and between spouses were established according to very different customs and unwritten rules (and very distant) from those with which we have grown up and, without a doubt, from the customs and forms of relationships that prevail today.

Perhaps the education that characterized Europe at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th could facilitate the appearance of certain pathologies, but without a doubt that is not the educational style that we practice today.

What has remained in our society is the habit of blaming parents for their children’s problems. Without a doubt, the phrase that I have heard the most from teachers, psychologists, educational psychologists and school directors, when I have been interested in the evolution of a child, has been: “this child’s problem is his parents.”

The work of parents is not only routinely criticized, but today it is clearly undervalued and considered perfectly dispensable. Am I exaggerating? I suggest you do a little test. The test that I am going to propose to you consists of two parts, and the explanation will be somewhat lengthy, please follow me.

First part: The next time you have the opportunity, pose the following situation to a group of friends: tell them that your brother, or your cousin, or a friend, it doesn’t matter, has decided to have a child despite being single and without commitment. You have already turned thirty, you already have a good job position, and you believe that the time has come to have a child, but since you are neither married, nor living with anyone nor having a stable relationship with another person, you have decided to have one alone, either by adopting, or, if you are a woman, by in vitro fertilization or simply looking for someone with whom to have a complete sexual relationship on a date when you are fertile to become pregnant.

There are different variables that will influence the opinions you collect about this story:

First, of course, is how you frame the story. If you ask it, allowing either the tone or the words you use to denote that you are for or against “your friend’s” decision, it is very possible that it will influence the response, so we recommend that you try to maintain a neutral tone and be careful that your words do not include value judgments, this will make it easier for your friends to express what they think without fear of upsetting you, who is the one who told the story.

Secondly, it is very likely that opinions will be different if the protagonist of the story is a man or a woman. To check it, you can do this little test in different circles, changing the protagonist. It usually receives a much more positive opinion when we say that it is a woman who has decided to have a single child. Women assume that they have that maternal instinct, that biological need to be mothers, and this instinct even gives them natural skills to act as mothers that make their task easier. On the contrary, if it is a man who has decided to have an unmarried child, the story seems to be less credible, less natural. It is likely that there are even those who think that this person who wants to have a child alone is homosexual. Draw your own conclusions from these comments.

Third, opinions are also likely to be different whether you bring this situation up exclusively to a group of men or exclusively to a group of women. The ideal situation is in which there are both men and women in the group; normally the points of view are much more varied and greatly enrich the conversation. Draw your own conclusions from this fact.

And without a doubt, an aspect that will significantly influence the opinions that their friends have about the fact that a person has decided to have a child while single, will be the means chosen to become a father or mother. Naturally, if you are a man, you can only choose adoption, since the option called “surrogacy” is not legal in Spain, but if the protagonist of your story is a woman, you could choose to adopt, or to become pregnant at through in vitro fertilization, or you could study your menstrual cycle in order to have complete sexual relations with a man during the fertile period and thus become pregnant naturally. The man (the donor, as he is called in “sperm banks”) would not have to know that he was being used to conceive a child (and it is even likely that he preferred not to know). If he presents this last situation to a group of men, that his friend is going to look for someone so they can have sexual relations and get pregnant, she will see how it will not take long for one of them to volunteer. Draw your own conclusions from that comment.

But apart from the “voluntarism” of some men for getting a woman pregnant without assuming the responsibility that this entails, look at the opinions aroused by the decision of “their friend” (or “friend”).

The opinions you receive may vary from the complete rejection of anyone having children while single, regardless of whether they are adopted or conceived by another means, to the opinion that it is a wonderful idea, that denotes “bravery” and provokes admiration. In any case, nowadays, it is not strange to meet a single person who has adopted one or more children, much less strange is it to talk about “single-parent families.” This situation is being accepted in our society without excessive difficulties.

This is the first part of our little investigation. The second part is simpler. The modus operandi is the same, raise in a conversation with friends that you have decided to eliminate all televisions and screens (tablets) from your home; indicate that you have thought, together with your spouse (or you alone if you are a single mother) that you do not want your children to be exposed to screens on a daily basis, beyond what is necessary for studies or work. Note that naturally you don’t mind being seen from time to time, if they go to friends’ or grandparents’ houses, but that you prefer there to be no screens, televisions, or tablets in your house. Then sit back and listen carefully. From my experience, I will tell you that you are likely to hear poorly considered opinions, even someone raising their tone of voice. You will be very unlikely to hear that your decision is “brave” and, on the other hand, it is easy for someone to say that your children “are going to turn out weird.” In my experience, it has happened every time I have raised it.

The most frequent result of our small trial is that a large part of the people who make up our society consider that having a child while single is a “brave” decision, that growing up without a father or mother will not significantly affect the child’s development. , nor to their relationships with others, and yet, growing up without television and without a tablet will cause the child to grow up “strange”, which will alter their development and will have difficulties in social relationships. Draw your own conclusions, and allow me to express mine.

The conclusion is that, in the opinion of many people, in a house, in a home, the father or mother can be missing without any problem, but under no circumstances should television and tablets be missing, since it would entail serious risks for development normal of the child.

If indeed, as many people affirm, there is no lack or problem because a child grows up without a father or without a mother, and it does not matter growing up in a single-parent family or in a family formed by a father and a mother, then the work of one of the two, the father or the mother, is absolutely dispensable.

Today’s society proposes that fathers or mothers do not need us at all. It is enough that there is one of the two, as we said at the beginning of this reasoning: the father (or mother) is dispensable, superfluous. This is serious. Even more. It’s very serious. (And if my opinion bothers you, change blogs, but allow me to exercise my freedom of thought and expression).

This is the situation of today’s society. Not only does it largely consider that parents are to blame for the problems, and even mental pathologies, that our children may suffer, but also that we are expendable.

Now, dear reader, think in personal terms, think about yourself. Who are you? How did you become who you are? What influence has your father and mother had on you and who you are? Would you be the same if you had grown up without your mother or father? Which of the two could you have done without, without it having had the slightest influence on you?

Perhaps you grew up as an orphan of a father or mother, or, simply, you are the son of a single mother or father. Do you think it would have been different, would you have grown up in a different environment, if you had had your mother or father with you?

On the other hand, if you are already a mother or father, do you think your children would grow up the same without you? If we did without you and your children grew up only with your spouse, would they grow up exactly the same?

This is what today’s society is screaming: you or your spouse are expendable. Slowly reflect on this idea and draw your own conclusions.​