Parenting and Mrs. Palin:

I'm not particularly interested in this story; I read it only because I had a vague notion that I ought to know the name "Levi Johnston," but couldn't remember why. I'm not at all interested in the parts that have drawn the most commentary in the blogosphere.

However, I was intrigued by this part:

The Palin house was much different from what many people expect of a normal family, even before she was nominated for vice president. There wasn’t much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn’t cook, Todd doesn’t cook—the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol would help her youngest sister with her homework, and I’d barbecue chicken or steak on the grill.
I'll excuse the fellow, on grounds of his youth, for not recognizing what he was looking at. Far from being an example of "not much parenting," this is an example of excellence in parenting.

You mean to tell me that, by the late teens, the children are pitching in to such a degree that all the household chores are done? Cooking, cleaning, preparation for school, homework? All of it?

The take-away here is that, far from being unready for motherhood, Bristol Palin was perfectly ready for it. She had learned how to take responsibility, not only for herself, but for those of her family who were younger or weaker or in need of help. She knew how to be depended upon, to carry her own weight, and to help others learn to carry theirs. She knew how to cook and run a household. She was absolutely ready to enter the world of adult life, whether as a wife and homemaker, or in any other capacity normally open to someone of her age: that kind of self-discipline and order will let her tackle any set of problems.

I've known many at the age of thirty-five who weren't ready to take full responsibility for themselves, let alone to have others depend on them. I've known many of any age who never got that family is about taking care of each other, rather than providing you with a never-ending set of loans and benefits.

Raising kids so well as that would be quite an achievement all on its own. Managing a successful business in addition? A great deal of pride should be taken in that. Being a successful governor in addition to all that? Good gracious.

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