What is the great dragon which the spirit is no longer
inclined to call Lord and God? “Thou-shalt,” is the great
dragon called. But the spirit of the lion saith, “I will.” – F. Nietzsche (‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’)
What is a government? It is a group of people who claim the exclusive right to initiate the use of force over other people (citizens) in a certain geographical area.
What are parents? They are people who had sex and had children, and claim the exclusive right to “take care” of them.
Is there a difference between a situation where you feel obliged by people such as “the government” to do certain things for them (say, pay your taxes), and a situation where you feel obliged to do certain things for children? No. They are both obligations that have no rational justification whatsoever.
You may baulk and be very offended at this claim. But the truth is that you cannot explain why it is that you should take care of your biological children (or pay your taxes). You just feel is “bad” not to…
You have a thing inside you, a “government”, that forces you to care for this person who has newly arrived in this world. It isn’t just you; it’s all the people in the world, really, who would feel it and damn you for even thinking about neglecting this moral principle.
But the problem with the principle is that, when you are forced or coerced to do something, you don’t have a choice, and if you don’t have a choice, you don’t have reason: you cannot argue that you did the right thing. You only have force, and coercion, and bad feelings.
You are looking at a small human being who needs help, protection and other things, and you feel obligated about it. The child’s crying and moods also trigger this in you, but you project these adult feelings onto him or her, as if it was his or her fault that you feel morally trapped. This makes you either want to overdo your duty or neglect it, resented, as you give up a relationship that could have been mutually beneficial and true.
Of course, your response is understandable, but it is not rational. The problem is not with you; it’s with the principle that lives in you.
The “family”, in whichever form, is a dangerous concept if you place it before the fact of the real interactions among its members, who are intelligent humans that can always see whether they can trust you or not, unconsciously or consciously, as you can too. Any such moral obligation, like a government, is a force that has been initiated within a certain social space, and as such it cannot allow humans to choose their relationships at any moment, and so build rational, stable human groups.
Let’s stop this madness of family obligations. You must start there if you want to be trusted and respected by children for as long as they keep being born rational. You will never know what to do with a child if you don’t know why you make the decisions you make, and for that you need to throw the mental shackles of morality.
Once you realise you have the choice, you will see that it is love that takes care of the children, not force or lies. Love is not moral, volitional. You cannot will love, or demand it. Love is the not the way to take care of children. Love is just the way children get taken care of, because they want to cooperate with you.