Friday, July 16, 2021

63. Post-Nuclear Family: Insulating Children from Parental Disputes — Demographic Doom Podcast Transcript

Below is the transcript for my Demographic Doom Podcast episode #63, released on 16 July 2021. The "home page" for this episode—with annotations, links, corrections and a place for comments—is the YouTube version (? minutes). The audio version is housed at Podbean and is available on most major podcast platforms, including iTunes and Google Podcasts. The main website for this project is Twitter: @DemographicDoom. Glenn Campbell home page: See bottom for notes on this transcript and how it was generated.

I'm Glenn Campbell. I call myself a demographic philosopher. I'm looking at life and trying to predict the future through the lens of demography, or the study of human populations.


in an episode i released yesterday i listed five reasons why parents should not live in the same household as the children in my proposed post-nuclear family and i woke up this morning and realized i had forgotten one there's a sixth one and i forgot to put it in and i debated whether i should just re-record the previous episode or add an addendum and it turns out this is an important enough issue that it really deserves its own episode so that's what i'm gonna do now what is the sixth reason that you don't want parents living in the same household as the children they're raising and that reason is to insulate the children from the parents disputes so this is a complicated management challenge you have at least eight adults trying to raise between nine and 18 kids without killing each other and i recognize that it's a huge challenge because each of those eight people each of those eight adults are going to have slightly different ideas about all sorts of things about how the children should be raised they should not clash on the basic principles because if they did not already agree on the basic principles they would not have formed this alliance to begin with but once the basic principles are decided then we have all sorts of uh policy disputes and and granular ex disputes about what we should do in general and what we should do in in specific situations this is especially important in this system where i'm proposing that you can be a on duty parent only one day a week if there if a parent comes in only one day a week and the parents are have different ideas about parenting then if a child can just go to the parent that they think they're going to get the best deal from so the parent on monday might seem very strict so you don't ask him for things uh that you know he's probably going to deny you go to the nicer parent on wednesday who's more likely to give you what you want and this is a challenge the the parents have to be on the same page they have to be in agreement on what the rules are otherwise you have what would be called parent shopping where children shop around among the parents to get whatever it is they want so this is a complicated situation the whole policy of of what we should be doing how we should be raising kids what privileges we should be giving them is a complicated debate and it goes on and on and on among the parents and my contention is it should all go on and on completely outside the hearing of the children so the children if they ask one parent something some sort of permit permission they should get exactly the same answer from that parent as they would get from another parent and that's because the parents should have worked it all out behind the scenes so if if you come in your day is monday you come in uh you're going to interact with your kids these are all your kids you're going to interact with them in in a special way you have your personality you have you click with some of the kids in ways you don't with others you're going to distribute your attention as you choose but when a critical question comes up from a child can i do this they should get the same answer ferment everybody and uh maybe they maybe the the parent doesn't know the answer uh the parent should at least know that okay this is something i can resolve on my own or this is something i've got to consult with the other parents about and and you could be quite explicit about that is someone asked to see a certain movie that you don't think is too appropriate well you have to say i'm going to have to consult with the other parents on this and that consultation happens outside the view of the children so they just get an answer they don't see the process the process can be kind of messy there can be a lot of heated debate about what should be done but it shouldn't happen within the view of the children likewise the relationships between the parents should be outside of the children's view now i suggested that one way to start this family would would be for four couples four romantically involved couples deciding to raise their children together what happens if one or more of those couples decide to get divorced decide they can't live with each other in a traditional nuclear family that would be just devastating to the children because their whole existence depends on mommy loving daddy if that's not going to be the case they they feel justifiably threatened in the case of the post-nuclear family that relationship takes place mostly outside the view of the children so instead of one there being one parent on any day of the week there could be a couple that comes in on a certain day of the week and at some point the couple can say you know we're not going to come in together we've decided to get a divorce you're still going to see us but you might not see us on the same day and the kids are gonna kind of shrug and say you know so what uh it's a lot different if the uh parents have their dispute have their pre-divorce dispute right there in the household with the children so it's a pretty good bet if you start out with four loving couples it's a pretty good bet that within the next 10 to 20 years one or more of them are going to split up there's going to be internal disputes among all of them that should not be visible to the children in any way now the disputes between parents i do not expect to be violent i do not expect major conflicts between couples i expect couples to say okay we we really don't want to live with each other but we're still friends and the reason i can expect that is there's a filtering process before these adults ever get together based on their personalities they already have certain personalities that are conducive to working with others to peaceful dispute resolution and finding diplomatic ways to solve problems that's expected of all the parents that's part of their personalities and in the next episode i'm going to dive into it what kind of personalities would be forming this consortium 


Written, recorded and edited by Glenn Campbell. For annotations, links and corrections, see the description on the video version of this podcast. You can also leave comments there. See here for all my podcast scripts on this blog.

The transcript above is based on the automatically generated YouTube transcript, corrected by me based on my memory of what I said. In general, I make only the minimal changes necessary for clarity. I have not re-checked the transcript below against the actual broadcast. Editing consisted mainly of inserting punctuation and paragraphs and removing repetitive words and phrases. Passages in bold text are ones I consider particularly quotable. Items in [square brackets] are added words or minor grammatical corrections. Items in {curly brackets} are factual corrections or amplifications. —Glenn Campbell

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