MM Music Challenge — Teach Your Children Well


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In college I was taught that a human being was a mesh of their biopsychosocial components. I believe this is true. I also believe that “social science” is inexact at best and actively harmful at worst. A person is a custom-designed, ever-changing, unique palette of biological influence (e.g. genes, chromosomes, physical attributes), psychological influence (e.g. executive functioning/decisionmaking, cognitive capacity, personality/disposition, learning styles), and social influence (e.g. economic, class, neighborhood, interactivity with others environments.) When you’ve got that many influences going on at the same time that are ever-changing, just as the person who is being influenced is ever-changing, there is no existing equation that can spit out any “answer” with any certainty.

In Jim’s introduction, he talks about how Graham Nash was influenced not only by his relationship with his father but also seeing a youngster holding a weapon of war with a troubled look on his face. Graham’s crappy relationship with his dad may not have been much fun, and there are lingering negative feelings Graham wanted to dispel from it, but was whatever “bad” things his dad did to him or neglected to do with him something that shouldn’t have been? Maybe it made Graham a better father? Maybe he repeated history with his own children? This is why I say social science is fuzzy at best, because there is no way in telling how any influence will affect an individual, especially when you have a zillion other influences that you know nothing about. The youth holding the weapon of war is a similar unknown. Maybe the kid grows up and joins the military and kills “the enemy” without question. But maybe, just maybe that child grows up to be a war protestor.

Getting into what the song said, you will be teaching your children your every waking hour, no matter what you do or don’t do. You can have a plan to teach them right from wrong but be blind to your own weaknesses and so appear to be a hypocrite or make terrible decisions for your own life that they are watching. After raising two sons and working for many years with young people and their families, it is clear to me that TALK IS CHEAP. You can lecture until you’re hoarse, but it is what you DO that teaches. This is anything from whether you can hold down a job, what kind of food you eat, how you interact with others, any kind of addiction, whether or not you’re able to protect them from harm, and whether or not they feel loved and cherished by you. So, about the code you live by, that means walk the walk not some meaningless piece of paper that you throw in your kid’s face and say do it.

So important for every parent to know is that you WILL fuck up and maybe even fuck up often. Also know that it’s a crap shoot as to how those fuckups are going to influence your growing, developing, learning, and watching child. There is a secret ingredient found in the empty spaces of all of this biopsychosocial mumbo jumbo gobbletygook, and that is the grace of the divine. If grace smiles down upon your flawed and hypocritical self, your children will grow up to be able to think for themselves and have mercy and forgiveness for your sorry ass. You have ONE important thing to remember. JUST ONE. Be humble and receptive to that forgiveness if you are so graced with it. Get your ego out of the way and apologize for every shitty thing you did to your child and apologize for all of those things you should have done if you had had your act together as a parent.

Good luck to all of the parents out there. It is a thankless job that never ends, but it is the most important job in the world. If you’re blessed you may even bask in the love of your children, which is the greatest.

The End.

Jim Adams is the host of Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Music Challenge.  Jim says:
The challenge today is to focus on [the song, “Teach Your Children Well”] and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.).  Alternatively, if you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, it would be awesome if you could post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if there is another Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song that you like to write about, that will be fine, so basically this writing challenge is wide open.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. I just knew that you would be able to write something awesome on this prompt. Way to go Li!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 I tried to be as real as I can be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hanspostcard says:

    Very thought provoking- I had to read it twice. Excellent stuff!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you Hans, your appreciation is appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That was brilliant Lisa. I really enjoyed it. Being a parent and grandparent, i often wonder if I did/and am still doing it right. 🙂💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Christine. Glad you connected with it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. iScriblr says:


    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Richa!

      Liked by 1 person

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