In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the creature has been through so much with his creator, and he has a real need for companionship and love. Through Mary’s words, the creature’s is depicted as having a strong desire for emotional help from his creator. Although this novel is fiction, the situation depicted in it connects well to today’s parenting concerns. Some parents believe in being strict, cares about their future, and do not provide their children any additional love. However, there are parents who believe it is good to pour love and protection onto their children. But, there must be a balance: parents should provide their children the love they need to sustain them to push forward towards a bright future.
In the book Frankenstein, when the creature comes to life, his creator Victor Frankenstein does not take care of him, instead, he leaves his creature to fend for himself and to find ways to survive on his own. Actually, to some degree, the way of Victor treats the creature is now becoming a successful way of parenting. For instance, some parents believe that by creating independent surroundings in which children have to navigate hardships on their own, the children will become stronger and more prepared for the future. However, expressing no love and imparting extreme control over their children could cause resentment and hate from their children. Later in the novel, for example, the public was afraid of the creature and even loathed him; he did not even know why. When the creature finally finds his creator he says: “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.” (Mary,130) The creature addresses his madness towards his creator who had left him and did not provide the support and the love that he needed. Being strict and cruel toward children may sometimes cause dire consequences.
Without having enough love and assurance, children may harm themselves or even harm the society. Children may grow negative feeling towards society since they did not experience the sweet side of life such as the love and support from their parents. In the novel, when the creature finds out that the little kid was his creator’s brother, he just expresses anger on the poor child and kills him. “The nearer I approached to your habitation, the more deeply did I feel the spirit of revenge enkindled in my heart.” (Mary, 141) According to this quote, directly spoken by the monster, we notice how deeply the creature hates his creator. In the meantime, it also explained why the creator ended the child’s life and the life of Victor’s wife. But, perfect parenting does not mean creating the perfect conditions for children and offering them everything they want.
The other extreme parenting method is to pour unconditional love and care onto children; this may be harmful as well. Because parents, especially mothers, take care of their children continually, and children could eventually become totally reliance on their parents. They cannot live without their parents; they cannot solve problems without their parents; they could not face society by themselves. Nowadays, there is a popular phenomenon called “Attachment Parenting” in which parents take care of their children all of the time and provide all the things that the children need. Mothers who use this method believe that “When all around you is hormonal fog, attachment parenting offers clarity: follow this and your baby will be happier.” Attachment parenting might make children happier but make their future lives are more miserable. Without their parents, the children struggle and do not know how to face different types of people in society by themselves. The result of attachment parenting not only forges a bad road for their children but also infects the relationship between their parents.
Parents who overprotected children and provide this extreme love may damage the relationship with their partners or even break the relationships. For instance, moms who spends a lot time taking care of their kids, may put too much emphasis on motherly love and not enough on fatherly love. Nowadays, a lot of moms tried Attachment Parenting but fall into the situation that kids prefer to spend more time with their mothers instead of their fathers who work equally hard to support the family. The situation can also happen in a fatherhood family where father is the sole stay at home provider for the children instead of the mother. Eventually family issues arise which may cause the breakdown of the family. “Of my five friends who have attachment parents, three have separated from their partners”. This is a direct quote from the author in an article about Attachment Parenting. According to the author, she used her friend’s experience to relay the negative consequences of Attachment Parenting which made her argument against this method more convincing. As a result, pushing too hard on kids and contributing too much to the kids can destroy their lives and the family. However, there is always a balance.
The best way to parent is to find the balance between giving children the love they must have and letting them face their problems. If parents create a basic line that separates what the children necessarily need and what the children don’t require, the children can experience standing alone in society while maintaining a healthy relationship with parents. Parents are either too brutal or too generous to their children. However, there are also parents who figured the way of parenting through their childhood and figured out what is good for their children. For example, I am growing up in a family in which my parents encourage me when I feel down and take care of me when I am sick. But, they also tell me many truths about society and push me to solve my own problems. Both my parents take a prominent space in my heart. My mother was busy when I was young, but she always spent time with me on the weekend. My father was not that busy when I was young, so he spent most times with me after school. Although now I study in another country far away from them, I am still positive and appreciate what they taught me when I was young. The example of my parents shows that if parents find the perfect balance between too nice and too harsh, their children will be more independent and more positive.
In order to help children become more independent and more confident, parents should find a balanced way to support their children. The book Frankenstein described a dystopian life of a monster caused by his creator Victor. The situation of the monster can happen to anyone. However, to prevent children from loathing society does not mean providing them the life of a king. Parents have to find the balance between the two in order to help them to become more fearless and to survive.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and M.K Joseph. Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.
Freeman, Hadley. "Attachment Parenting: The Best Way to Raise a Child – or Maternal Masochism?" The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 30 July 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.