We all know the oft-joke that people can be stuck in, shall I call them, stages on life’s way. And we all know of phallic symbols and oral fixations. Freud, upon reflection, had none of this. So when he said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” he was talking about himself: He was stating that he was a healthy man. I believe him.
In my parenting classes, we learned about approximately 3 or 4 parenting styles and the measured outcomes of each theory. I tried to apply the one I thought would produce a good outcome, which turned out to be an Aristotlean Theory of Virtue Development. It was something I thought of with help from family, friends and teachers. On this theory, a child will grow into a whole person with a plethora of virtues and be self-directing, aiming for goods in life. That does not mean they will be without internal struggle or “tension”–because the Golden Mean is not necessarily about balance but rather specifically about tensions and a forming harmony of the self. I thank the young ladies I met at Teen Parent East (now known as The Chiles Academy) for this theory, whose virtues were abundant, as well as my Mom, friends, family and professors. (And babies!)