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pantodragon

Fathers and Sons: the psychology

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Posted (edited)

There is nothing remotely interesting about an 11 year old boy. Absolutely nothing. Especially when that child is indulged and cosseted by its so-called “loving” and “devoted” parents. Even MORE especially when the death of that child’s father is an excuse for him to go on the rampage and indulge in all sorts of appallingly bad behaviour, behaviour which all the adults he pesters both condone and encourage……

…..I mean, the way that child talked to his mother after his father’s death!!!!! Shouting and screaming at her and telling her he wished she was dead instead???!!!!! A child that is SO wrapped up in himself, so me-me-me ALL THE TIME, that he is oblivious to his mother’s grief, oblivious to her own need to come to terms with the death of a spouse, that he makes inexcusable demands on her, expecting her to have all the answers, with absolutely no awareness that she is only human too. Any parent worth their salt would have given that child a thick ear and sent it to bed without supper. But no, not a bit of it. Well, if parents will indulge their children, they get what they asked for…..

And then the dreadful way that child bossed and bullied other adults and, as I said, their own atrocious behaviour in both condoning and encouraging him. But they allowed this because the boy had all the Sympathy Cards in his hands: (a) being a child and ( b ) his father had just died.

Do film makers seriously expect ANYONE to actually LIKE such a brat, let alone watch 2 screen hours of him???!!!!! Clearly the answer is “yes”.

I am, in fact, referring to the film “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”. The boy’s, Oskar’s, relationship with his father WAS extremely close --- far too close for comfort, far too close to be healthy, if you ask me (which I know you are not!).

As if the behaviour of boy and adults wasn’t enough to make the viewer gag, one is subjected to even more of this sort of stuff, this “child worship” when the adult actors are interviewed and tell us that the child actor, a newcomer playing the main character in the film, could teach them a thing or two about life and acting etc, etc. Oh, p-lease!!!

A similar brat is encountered in the film The Road (based on Cormac McCarthy’s book). A father and his son are survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. They are walking the road to the coast where the father thinks there is a better chance of survival. This son, another screen brat, is just as self-absorbed and idiotic as Oskar. He is just as oblivious to the pressures on his surviving parent, his father, as Oskar is to his mother. The son in this film, however, is presented as being “compassionate” and “caring” and “kind”. In fact, he reminds me of children I encountered in teaching who were diagnosed as having “no sense of danger”. Talk about a candidate for the Darwin Awards --- his idiotic behaviour nearly gets both him and his father caught and captured by cannibals, who would imprison the pair in their “larder” to dismember alive and eat. Geez! And the son’s “kindness” is obsessive to the point that it puts so much pressure on his father who is having enough difficulty keeping them both alive that it does, finally, kill the father. But then again, the father, the “responsible adult” brings this end on himself. Like Oskar’s father he indulges and spoils his child, and suffers the consequences.

These father and son relationships as depicted on screen are insufferable. But there is an exception; a pleasant surprise; something less ga-ga. The Way (Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez) a refreshing father and son story, by today’s standards rather more down-to-earth --- only this time it is the son who is the making of the father.

So, is the psychology convincing? Do you think these depictions of children/parent relationships are realistic? Do you advocate sparing the rod and spoiling the child or do you prefer teaching children self-discipline?

Edited by pantodragon

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I work with many kids. There is indeed a psychological factor with young males with no father. You can beat them all you like but you will only make them angrier and create a b line for prison.

True. They need discipline, but they need positive role models more. A system of operating values and positive expectations works much better than "the rod".

There are many things that happen in the minds of children, thank goodness we have actual scientists thatstudy these things so that we can understand them rather than wiping out the good ole belt.

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I grew up with out a father, it was all on my mom and grandma and I never had any male role model, I have a deep love and respect for my mom and grandma and I knew the belt was always an option, hell my uncles kids have felt it plenty times. Iv never been one to need that type of discipline though, I was different in every aspect as a child because I had a disease that made it extremely hard to participate in the things my cousins and even peers where doing at the time. But I mean as far as those movies go, aren't those children given a script and supposed to act that way.

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My kids grew up without a father, he died when they were very young. My two sons no doubt got up to some devilry, but on the whole, they were good kids. My child raising philosophy was holding them accountable, love the heck out of them, and teacj them to think for themselves. They are now terrific adults, and looking back, I suspect the blessing was for me, to be given the care of three such beautiful souls. It would have taken a lot of bad parenting to have changed in any way who they were when they were born onto this planet.

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Yeah I never had the chance to really rebel, and again it wasn't really my mind state to do the types of things you hear kids getting in trouble with, I guess I was wiser than most at a very young age.

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. But I mean as far as those movies go, aren't those children given a script and supposed to act that way.

Yes, but most of the substance of the film is about the character of an 11 year old boy (characterisation --- a very British/US disease) which suggests that the film makers think that the character of an 11 year old boy is actually interesting --- and anyone who likes the film has little else to like and therefore must be of the same opinion. I would have no argument with a film of, say, Treasure Island, where ther main character is also a boy, but it's just a rollicking good yarn, and any characterisation serves the purposes of the story and is not an end in itself.

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love the heck out of them,

I'm interested to see that it was your "policy" to "love the heck out of them". Policy? Love? As far as my understanding goes, love is nothing to do with policy. You can't make up your mind to "love" somebody". You can make up your mind to be supportive, tolerant, to be approving etc, etc, but love is something deeper, something out of your control --- in my understanding, humble understanding.

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Yes, but most of the substance of the film is about the character of an 11 year old boy (characterisation --- a very British/US disease) which suggests that the film makers think that the character of an 11 year old boy is actually interesting --- and anyone who likes the film has little else to like and therefore must be of the same opinion. I would have no argument with a film of, say, Treasure Island, where ther main character is also a boy, but it's just a rollicking good yarn, and any characterisation serves the purposes of the story and is not an end in itself.

OOOOhhh so you just didn't like the way the kid was portrayed?

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