Wisdom of a six year old.

Our daughter is of the misconception that I can fix anything.  Whenever anything is broken, she says to my wife:

Don’t worry, daddy can fix it!

This came out in an unexpected way the other day when the two of them were out looking at garage sales.  The hostess of one of the sales commented that her cell phone wasn’t working any more.  Our daughter offered helpfully:

You should have your husband fix it.

The hostess replied in a stern but somewhat embarrassed tone:

I’m divorced!

Our daughter replied with a frown:

Oh, I’m sorry.

This entry was posted in Divorce, Fatherhood, Post Marital Spinsterhood. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Wisdom of a six year old.

  1. Buck says:

    When I hear “I’m divorced” from some gal I generally respond with, I’ll bet you are…the F-you looks are priceless!

  2. Roger says:

    This is priceless, and it speaks volumes. Thanks for sharing it.

    [D: Thanks! Welcome to the blog.]

  3. anonymouse-1 says:

    “Out of the mouth of babes” it is said…

  4. Theotheryoshi says:

    This post speaks vollumes about how truthful the most innocent of us are. Amazing what can come out when it’s not shamed to death lol. Thank you so much for posting this Dalrock, been here a long time just reading all the wisdom on this blog and I finnally see something that just make me want to comment. It’s too adorable / 10!

    [D: Thanks! Welcome to the blog.]

  5. greyghost says:

    Little kids are not aware of PC.

  6. uncleFred says:

    So I find this amusing and sad. Amusing because of the fact that a child says something that inadvertently confronts the notion of “happy divorce” and the woman was embarrassed.
    Sad because a couple of decades ago, tell some, of either sex, empathy for the pain they experienced from divorce would have been seen as genuine thoughtfulness.

    The price of feminism and political correctness is has been and remains so very very high. How unfortunate that it is not paid solely by the perpetrators.

  7. uncleFred says:

    sorry typing error there should have read
    “… telling someone, of either sex, you feel empathy…”
    I’ve been using keyboards for four decades and still can’t type worth a D*mn

  8. Ceer says:

    What’s great about living in a real family with two parents is that you see that as normal and good.

  9. Opus says:

    I am fairly certain that as a six year old I would not have known what a Divorce was. Children pick up a lot from their parents, (and I aged five shocked my mother, in response to a question from an aged Aunt, that I was from a Barnardos Orphanage): Miss Dalrock appears to be no exception to the principal.

  10. whorefinder says:

    Don’t forget that toddlers are also evil, evil racists:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037050/Racists-aged-THREE-Children-accused-bigotry-broccoli-head-calling.html

    They haven’t learned yet to quell common sense. The union-run schools will fix that.

  11. Anacaona says:

    Heh gold! I hope the lady reflects in that. The wisdom of children🙂

  12. Jason Rennie says:

    Did your daughter mean, “Sorry I didn’t mean to offend you” or “I’m sorry to hear you are divorced”?

    Anytime I hear someone is divorced I always say i’m sorry to hear that. Even if the divorce is justifed (infidelity/spousal abandonment) it is never a good thing. Although some peoples lives may be improved after going through a divorce, it is still tearing apart bonds that are never meant to be unmade.

    Jason

    [D: We are pretty sure she meant it as “sorry to hear that you are divorced”.]

  13. Eumaios says:

    “Although some peoples lives may be improved after going through a divorce, it is still tearing apart bonds that are never meant to be unmade”

    Mealy-mouthed platitudes.

  14. Jason Rennie says:

    @Eumaios

    I don’t think so. I was thinking of the case of getting away from a violently abusive spouse. Certainly is a corner case.

    Jason

  15. Pirran says:

    How far we’ve come in just a few decades. When I was a child, for someone to have divorced parents was quite a novelty. Now, to have both parents is the same for many children. It makes you wonder if you’re observations would even be possible (or irreducibly quaint) on the blog equivalents of a few decades from now.

    Haven’t noticed the uptick in the sum of human happiness, though.

  16. Buck says:

    Pirran,

    Your comment is true for me also. I’m 50 and in my Catholic grade school exactly one kid was not from a two parent home and his father passed away. In my old neighborhood one woman was a divorcee and we kids all gave her a wide birth; she was always bitter and angry and nasty to us kids.
    I think of my kid’s peer group (teen) well over half the classmates are from single parent/ broken homes. And, the kids of divorce are all “issues” candidates…many are openly hostile to my kid for being from an intact home.

  17. felsenburgh says:

    Dalrock
    This is an article on marriage in modern societies, which you will no doubt find very interesting: The Empty Cradle.

  18. Pirran says:

    @ felsenburgh

    Yes, it’s the demographic time-bomb that most Malthusians ignore. The world may well reach 9 billion by 2050, but what happens after that? A hundred years later, a gerontocracy with an endless sense of entitlement and no-one of suitable age to provide it. Star Trek vessels are more likely to be crewed by octogenarian Asians than square-jawed Americans.

    The other factor with replacement fertility is that it will only replace the population at the rapidly reducing numbers of those of child-bearing age. Each successive generation has a smaller and smaller pool available to reproduce. To get back to the demographic spread of the past (or even today) would require women to have 3, 4 or 5 children. Somewhat unlikely, I feel.

  19. Lavazza says:

    felsenburgh: Very interesting and well researched article.

  20. dannyfrom504 says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! your daughter owns. great response.

    i’ve haven’t been around here much. i need to make it a point to stop by more often.

  21. Joe Blow says:

    OT, but how about this little tale from Marriage 2.0: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dui-setup-20111017,0,7922829.story

  22. That all the messages from daytime TV to ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ are not affecting this group?

    And arguably, those messages are being written in that college educated group with high socio-economic status. One could argue that the somewhat higher IQ of the women in this group may influence their ability to think ahead and view divorce as nonviable for their children and their status, or these women are simply far more content with their husbands than their lower SES sisters. As I’ve said before, high SES women tend to pick beta providers who can assure them of some degree of middle class respectability, but lower SES sisters may not find that in their male counterparts. I suspect that the media has influenced these women into believing that their male partners are fundamentally useless, and that they can get by with out them. In other words, if he isn’t the beta provider dream, why bother?

    We’ve already noted that low SES backgrounds have lower marriage rates, so we can’t use the magical “college educated women don’t get married theory”, but I suspect that the urban core non-marrying college educated woman may simply be a bit of a statistical fluke, while her suburban dwelling cousins drop out earlier and find husbands at an earlier age.

    [D: I didn’t see your comment until after I left mine inline. It looks like we are both on the same track here.]

  23. Anonymous says:

    AS far as the “Low-IQ : High-Divorce Rate” correlatin, there are so many variables involved in it. Low-IQ women marry low Low-IQ men; Low-IQ men are more likely to cheat, use drugs, engage in violence, etc., all behaviors associated with low IQ and all understandably could contribute to a higher divorce rate. Low-IQ women are also more likely to do all those things, including cheat.

    Furthermore, I”ve heard the theory that high-IQ men can earn more money and therefore fulfill the expectations of their wives. Whereas low-IQ women, having bought into the media theory that they “shuldn’t settle”, aren’t able to attain a similar level of materiel comfort.

  24. Anonymous says:

    sorry, david alexander beat me to the second point.

  25. Rarfy says:

    I don’t think that’s very healthy of your daughter, assuming men will always come to the rescue.

    [D: Almost all women are raised to rely on men to fix things. The difference is most just don’t admit it.]

  26. hurpadurp says:

    Managed to find this:

    http://www.contemporaryfamilies.org/marriage-partnership-divorce/marriagemyths.html

    Paper:

    http://www.contemporaryfamilies.org/images/stories/homepage/orange_border/ccf012510.pdf

    Relevant quote:

    Those who marry at younger ages both have a higher likelihood overall to
    divorce and they’ve had more time to do so. These differences are stark: 49% of male
    high school graduates who married before they turned 21 had divorced before they
    turned 30. In contrast, only 10% of male college graduates marrying in their mid-30s
    had divorced within the first 10 years of marriage. Overall, 27% of white male high
    school graduates marrying since 1990 saw their marriage end in divorce within the first
    10 years, compared with just 13% of white male college-graduates.

    Make of it what you will.

    [D: Thanks! The problem with the stats in the quote is they are comparing apples to oranges. College grads as a group have higher IQs than high school grads, and people with higher IQs have lower divorce rates. So it could be that higher IQ people delay marriage for college, but that they would have had the same low divorce rate had they married before 21. The other factor which makes this difficult is that divorce rates are highest when women are youngest and most attractive; so I guess if you want to be really safe from divorce, marry an older unattractive woman. But certainly no one should marry before they are mature enough to make a lifelong decision and commitment.]

  27. hurpadurp says:

    Oooooh, my apologies for double posting, but I also found this, from someone who’s a faculty member of the University of Denver:

    http://www.prepinc.com/docs/content/articles/What_is_Divorce_Rate_8-3-2007.pdf

    Takeaways:

    Approximately 31% of your friends, aged 35 to 54, who are married, engaged, or
    cohabitating have already been previously divorced. (NOT a projection, but this would
    vary by a lot of things that are too numerous to go into. But, if you have average friends,
    this would be the average likelihood (or close enough for this argument’s sake).)
    • If your parents have been married many years (let’s say 35+ years) and have never been
    divorced, the likelihood of their marriage ending in divorce is nil.
    • The rate of divorces per year per 1000 people in the U.S. has been declining since 1981.
    • A young couple marrying for the first time today has a lifetime divorce risk of 50%,
    unless current trends change significantly. (And, they have not changed all that much but
    the variations for groups and types of risk factors have been changing.)

    The numbers from the chart:

    People who didn’t graduate from high school have a 60% chance of their marriage tanking.

    HS grads have a 53% chance of it.

    People who got into college but dropped out are at 51%.

    Now, people who’ve managed to get through college are significantly lower, at 36%,

    Sorry for the double post, but I just found it and thought itd be relevant. Hope it halps!

  28. Jason Rennie says:

    @hurpadurp

    Hi hurpadurp,

    One thought on your stats. Any chance that they can be broken down in other ways from the sample of data you have?

    After all, there seems to be a correlation between intelligence and divorce to some degree, but there is also known correlations between things like co-habiting before marriage, number of sexual partners before marriage, etc. I’d be interested to see how those sorts of numbers shake out as well.

    Also I suspect there is more at work than just the level of education here as well. As it is quite common for couples that marry at 18 or 19 as virgins with no pervious sexual experience do actually do really really well in marriage (also some of these might go on to college after getting married etc. The stats probably raise more questions than they answer as is often the case).

    Additionally, it seems like you would need to break out some of the reason for marriages in the didn’t graduate high school, or married only with high school education. I am guessing cases where the husbands chose to marry the girl friend they knocked up and needed to get a job to support them, would likely make for some potentially very unstable marriages. But the data would conceal those sorts of details.

    Also, I think the “life time divorce risk” is kind of misleading as first marraiges fail far less often than second marriages and third+ marriages are usually doomed it seems. Plus there are the factors like sexual experience before marraige etc that fit into the whole thing. The actual lifetime risk of divorce for first marriages with no other sexual partners (ideally no sexual partner prior to marriage at all) and no co-habitation before marriage seems to be really very low compared to the “average”.

    Jason

    Jason

  29. ruddyturnstone says:

    “The problem with the stats in the quote is they are comparing apples to oranges. College grads as a group have higher IQs than high school grads, and people with higher IQs have lower divorce rates.”

    I hardly think that makes the comparison “an apples to oranges” one. If divorce rate correlates with IQ and education level, it is purely arbitary to consider either one of these factors as the “real” one and the other as merely co incidental.

    “So it could be that higher IQ people delay marriage for college, but that they would have had the same low divorce rate had they married before 21.”

    Just like “it could be” that lower IQ people would have a lower divorce rate if they married later. Or if they went to college despite their low IQ and married after that.. Again, you are just assuming that IQ is the controlling factor and that the other factors (age, education level), are simply co incidental.

    “The other factor which makes this difficult is that divorce rates are highest when women are youngest and most attractive; so I guess if you want to be really safe from divorce, marry an older unattractive woman.”

    Marry an older, unattractive woman with a high IQ and a lot of education!

    “But certainly no one should marry before they are mature enough to make a lifelong decision and commitment.”

    Of course.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Dalrock, this is somewhat off-topic, but what do you think of the effect that vampire novels/young adult fiction will have on the next generation of girls? The books strongly seem to celebrate “alpha males”, albeit the protagonists aren’t enganging in promiscuous sex; but everything else is there: arrogant and aloof demeanor, instant chemistry, often manipulative and controlling, etc. Often the female character’s choice between being with an alpha and beta is explicitly drawn out, with the alpha winning, of course.

  31. dannyfrom504 says:

    i had an ex that said she could do anything a man could. we were in the commissary on base at the time. i walked passed the pickles, grabbed a jar, and said, “here, open this.” she GLARED at me. “i hate you sometimes Danny.” i win.

  32. Joe Blow says:

    A little OT, but I’ve been thinking about that Bolick article and the significance of it.

    When the feminists undertook to destroy traditional sex roles, they did it for ostensible liberating reasons. What they wound up doing, however, was creating a separate sort of prison.

    Ignore the effect on men for a second here, and think about women like Kate Bolick. She’s obviously pretty bright in a lot of ways, maybe super book smart, and wondering why she’s not married at early 40-something and whether she will get married. I work in a major east coast city, as a white collar professional, and I know a ton of top quality women who are in a similar boat. They don’t get why they’re approaching biological alarm clock deployment, and unmarried and can’t find good men. Why is this such a peculiarly upper middle class phenomenon with professional women?

    After reading Bolick, it hit me. The women most likely to be consciously interested in self-betterment are the ones most likely to be buying that feminist crap. They are also the ones who are most likely to be nerd girls, smart but maybe not very well socially attuned. So Bolick is smart, but she’s not smart enough to know that her ex’s fiance letting her help the ex shop for his wedding tux is not the ultimate in French sophistication, but the ultimate in mean girl, rub-that-bitch’s-nose-in-it prankery.

    Bolick doesn’t have the social IQ to recognize that, however. She’s a nerd girl. Sure, there are maybe insecurity issues with some men about marrying a woman who is a strong earner or maybe went to a better school. Most of the blue collar guys I know, however, would be happy to get with a woman who is commercially successful, bright and pleasant. It’s the women who pick otherwise. Why is that?

    It seems to me that a major effect of the second gen feminist claptrap is that women who are most likely to be in need of some guidance, a script to follow in courtship – the high achieving nerd girls – are the least likely to get it. What they will get instead is some half baked feminism from mom, some high quality men-hatin’ goo from their college professors, and blind-leading-the-blind dont-men-suck idiocy from their feminist friends. There is nobody explaining to them how men actually work, how courtship actually was supposed to work (or how it works now) or the reality that you can’t have it all, not at once anyhow, and you need to make difficult choices and those will definitely have long term consequences. As a result of the absence of guidance, you wind up with a lot of professionally successful 40 year old women who are basically socially clueless and wondering where all the men went.

    A consequence of this is that a good number of the smartest women are taken out of the gene pool (Idiocracy, anybody?). Another consequence is that men are left without a script to follow for courtship and you see a reversion to lowest common denominator (hookup and PUA culture). You also see effects in laws favoring divorce, most of which seem to be based on a mixture of misandry and feminist attempts to destroy marriage & traditional fatherhood); and there are trickle down effects where the mid-middle and lower class adopt the mores of their social betters.

    That Bolick comes across as clueless in her article is no accident, nor should it come as a shock. She’s a victim of second gen feminism, as much as she is a practitioner of it.

    [D: Good insight.]

  33. dragnet says:

    OT–

    “He even had some advice for the single men in the audience. “The whole goal is to marry up. To try to improve your gene pool.”

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/1011/pda_5c04fcdd-e326-411c-879b-7b772a31a126.html

    Misunderstanding of hypergamy? Check. Burnished mangina bona fides? Double check.

  34. Anonymous says:

    “Why is this such a peculiarly upper middle class phenomenon with professional women?”

    High IQ people tend to be less instinctual, and more dependant on culture to tell them how to act. Therefore, the higher a woman’s IQ(and professional women do tend to have high IQ), the more likely she is to buy into cultural lies.

  35. Brendan says:

    Ignore the effect on men for a second here, and think about women like Kate Bolick. She’s obviously pretty bright in a lot of ways, maybe super book smart, and wondering why she’s not married at early 40-something and whether she will get married. I work in a major east coast city, as a white collar professional, and I know a ton of top quality women who are in a similar boat. They don’t get why they’re approaching biological alarm clock deployment, and unmarried and can’t find good men. Why is this such a peculiarly upper middle class phenomenon with professional women?

    After reading Bolick, it hit me. The women most likely to be consciously interested in self-betterment are the ones most likely to be buying that feminist crap. They are also the ones who are most likely to be nerd girls, smart but maybe not very well socially attuned.

    I think for some women this kind of thing is indeed happening — women who “appear” to be socially tuned in (i.e., not awkward in social situations or shy) but who have no map at all, socially, when it comes to finding a good mate. It may be that this is more prevalent among higher-educated higher-achieving women, and I’m sure some fall into that category.

    Another category I have noticed among this set, however (having grown up with them and observed them now professionally for about 20 years) is that (1) there are quite a few of the same education/achievement level who are not so clueless and marry around 30ish and (2) there are quite a few who may not marry and may not be clueless but suffer from very high expectations, due to what they have achieved elsewhere in life, and therefore it’s very hard to find a man who is “good enough” for them. That is, there is some percentage of this set who are a very entitled bunch, and I’ve certainly seen this with my own eyes. The panic begins to set in as the late 30s are approached, of course, but how that is dealt with reveals much about the person in question. With Bolick, I get the sense that entitlement will win (it’s strongly reinforced by her own wealth and success).

  36. Anonymous says:

    Here;

    “Abstract
    In previous editorials I have written about the absent-minded and socially-inept ‘nutty professor’ stereotype in science, and the phenomenon of ‘psychological neoteny’ whereby intelligent modern people (including scientists) decline to grow-up and instead remain in a state of perpetual novelty-seeking adolescence. These can be seen as specific examples of the general phenomenon of ‘clever sillies’ whereby intelligent people with high levels of technical ability are seen (by the majority of the rest of the population) as having foolish ideas and behaviours outside the realm of their professional expertise….”

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