List Headline Image
Updated by thuchangphamvu on Apr 23, 2018
8 items   1 followers   0 votes   0 views

7 Reasons Why Walt Whitman Would Be A Well-Rounded Parent




Dramatic, free-spirited, and maybe too enamored with the world, Walt Whitman would not seem like an ideal father figure in traditional eyes. Critics of Whitman deem him to be too candid and open in his writing, but that is precisely why I think he would make an incredible parent. He would understand that growing up isn’t easy and he would do everything in his power to make it an enjoyable learning experience. He would not force his lifestyle onto his children nor expect them to live exactly as he does. He’d want his children to experience the world themselves and find purpose in their own right. He would ask them to seek truths in what they sense in nature as well as in the people they encounter. He’d encourage his sons and daughters to be unrestrained, unapologetic, and unconventional. He’d want his children to make mistakes because from these mistakes a lesson can be taught. He himself has learned so much from experiencing the beauty of nature and people, so he’d implore his kids to fall in love with the world as he has. As a parent, Whitman would influence his children with his bold spirit, loving nature, and thirst for knowledge; he would inspire a unique way of living and hope that his children will choose to live for themselves.


He advocates self-love

“Welcome is every organ of me, and of man hearty and clean,
Not an inch nor a particle of an inch is vile, and none shall be less familiar than the rest (Section 3).”
“Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from,
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.” (Section 24)

It’s no secret that Whitman thinks very highly of himself. Although he embodies confidence, he does so in a way that does not distract from who he is on the inside. He believes every inch of him is beautiful; therefore, Whitman would be the perfect parent to teach his kids self-love. He’d show them the benefits of body positivity and inner and outer beauty. He would be able to show his children the artistry of their bodies and selves because he himself knows it well. Whitman is not afraid to exude his flamboyant and unapologetic confidence and encourages everyone to do the same.


He embraces topics that are considered taboo

“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” (Section 6)
“Through me forbidden voices,
Voices of sexes and lusts . . . . voices veiled, and I remove the veil,
Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigured.
I do not press my finger across my mouth,
I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart,
Copulation is no more rank to me than death is.” (Section 24)

Whitman, as a parent, would not be afraid to tell his kids how the world really works. He would not be afraid to talk about concepts like death and sex: concepts a normal parent might shy away from when talking to his or her kid. Whitman would show his kids the necessity and beauty of death. He would tell his kids that death is not a certainty to be feared, but an experience that they are able to contribute to the world. We all die and we all come back whether we decompose and become part of the earth or evaporate into the air; we come back to world once again. Additionally, Whitman would not shy away from voluntarily talking to his children about sex. Most parents let their kids watch that awkward but informative video about adolescence in school in order to avoid the talk themselves. In contrast, Whitman would be happy to do the honors himself. This unabashed and unfiltered expression of topics towards his children would show Whitman’s brazen and unapologetic parenting skills despite societal norms.


He will encourage his children to not only play in nature but to learn from it as well

He will encourage his children to not only play in nature but to learn from it as well

“Oxen that rattle the yoke and chain or halt in the leafy shade, what is that you express in your eyes?
It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.” (Section 13)
“I believe in those wind’d purposes,
And acknowledge red, yellow, white, playing within me,
And consider green and violet and the tufted crown intentional,
And do not call the tortoise unworthy because she is not something
And the jay in the woods never studied the gamut, yet thrills pretty well
to me,
And the look of the bay mare shames silliness out of me.” (Section 13)

As a Romantic, Whitman exercises a love of and appreciation for nature. Even in a digital age, Whitman would take his children to nearby parks and playgrounds to allow them to experience nature in all of its glory. Not only would he encourage his children to go outdoors, he would implore them to look beneath surface view and truly see the beauty in the truths that nature has to offer. He wouldn’t want his kids to be cooped up in a house, playing on their phones and checking social media all the time; he’d want them to go outside and experience what the world itself has to offer. He would want his kids to know that we can all learn from what we observe in nature.


He doesn’t endorse luxury

He doesn’t endorse luxury

“What is commonest, cheapest, nearest, easiest, is Me,” (Section 14)

Whitman probably wouldn’t be the dad who takes his kids to fancy restaurants for dinner or the one that buys them the most recently-released iPhone from the Apple store. Instead, he would probably be the dad who takes his daughter and son to Mcdonald’s or Wendy’s for lunch and then goes home and gives them a twig from the backyard to play with. He probably wouldn’t mind if an aunt or uncle gives them a few gifts; however, he would not endorse this kind of luxury himself. He wouldn’t take his kids on expensive vacations or splurge on amusement park tickets. He’d advocate a common and easy lifestyle for him and his family.


He would be a fully understanding parent.

‘I am the man, I suffer’d, I was there.”
“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the
wounded person,” (Section 33)

Whitman probably wouldn’t be a helicopter parent nor would he be so laid back that he wouldn’t ask his child about his or her day. As a parent, Whitman would not be indifferent to his child’s life. In fact, he’d probably want to know every detail of his child’s life in order for him to feel like he’s a part of it. If his son tells him that he slipped on a sandwich during lunch, Whitman would internalize the embarrassment and surprise he must have felt in that moment. If his daughter scrapes her knee after falling from the monkey bars at school, he wouldn’t just tell her that it’s another one of “those days”; he would bear the burn of the same gash and shed tears from the pain. Whitman would understand every sad, angry, shocking, awkward, beautiful moment that his children experience. He would not just feel the emotion; he would fully embody it.


He wouldn’t make a huge deal if you slipped up in your classes

“I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they
are won.” (Section 18)

Whitman would be the kind of parent who encourages his kids to hold their heads high even in the face of adversity. He wouldn’t scold his son for doing poorly on a science test. He wouldn’t neglect his daughter for not taking first place in her school’s art contest either. He wouldn’t chide his children; he’d tell them that failing, losing, rejection build character. He’s say that even though it is great to win a contest or to receive a high grade, it is also great to win second place or get a low grade because they can learn from it.


He would treat and love his kids equally

He would treat and love his kids equally

“I will not have a single person slighted or left away,
The kept-woman, sponger, thief, are hereby invited;
The heavy-lipp’d slave is invited, the venerealee is invited;
There shall be no difference between them and the rest.” (Section 19)

Every parent always tells their kids “I don’t have a favorite because I love all of you equally.” They probably say this to appease their inquiring children but kids will probably never know if this cliche actually holds any truth. As a father, Whitman would not only say this but he would truly love his children equally. He would not favor anyone over another and would hold them all to the same standard. He’d love them no matter how they look, how they dress, what career they choose to pursue, or how they choose to live their lives. He loves everyone and will make it known to them as well.