Philosophy professor gives perspective on parenting

Grace Murphy
Social Media Manager

A philosophy professor led a lecture and Q&A session on parenting in the Gentile Gallery Thursday at 7 p.m.

Robert McNamara, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, spoke about his perspective on parenting. His wife, Caroline McNamara, who was originally supposed to speak as well, skipped due to a stomach bug in the family. McNamara said that he and his wife had discussed the topic together beforehand, so the lecture expressed both of their viewpoints.

“We spent the last half hour or so just discussing the topic so that I could as best as possible not only represent my own experience but her experience too,” he said.

McNamara said he got married last year. He immediately became a dad to his wife’s three children from her previous marriage.

McNamara said, “In this immediacy, something of the immediacy of parenthood became immediately apparent.”

He then shared some of the realizations he had about parenthood. One realization he said he had was that he recognized how self-centered he was in his single life.

Another realization McNamara said he had was that, when you have kids, your body becomes their domain.

He said, “There still is a kind of profound need in the child for parent’s service, for parent’s love, for a parent’s attention.”

McNamara said Caroline had requested he speak on the affectionate attention parents need to have for their children. After finishing his realizations, he spoke on some of the insights she had.

“We as parents need to become sensitive to God’s formation of this child,” he said. “He is forming these children for eternity, and I am taking a role in that vocation.”

After his talk, McNamara answered various students’ questions about parenthood and his parenting style.

Junior Maria Cummings said, “I liked what he said about how our schedules shouldn’t be based on our needs and then serving others; it should be centered around others.”

The lecture was sponsored by Students for Life.

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