Were The Founding Fathers and Mothers Good Fathers and Mothers?

cropped-trumbull-large.jpgThey have been quoted and examined for their views on liberty, freedom, rights, and statecraft, but the Atlantic Monthly asks a question that seems like a natural when discussing the Founding Fathers and Mothers: Were they good parents? With tongue only lightly pressed into her cheek, Heidi Grant Halvorsen examines the parenting models of Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams in an article that explores how one used incentives and the other admonitions to follow the rules when giving directives to their children. It is the difference between what psychologists call promotion parenting vs. prevention parenting. At first blush, the article is an interesting though obvious foray into psychohistory, a discipline that possesses more scholarly weaknesses than assets. But the article succeeds as an intelligent palate cleanser if you need some food for thought to help you get through one more day of the work week before Friday.  If nothing else, you can decide which Founder was the better parent to his or her children.


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Filed under History of the Declaration of Independence

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