Tiger Woods's Dad as Parenting Model

Since it has become apparent that Tiger Woods has voluptuous tastes (of which the mother of his children failed to approve), there has been a strain of sadness - how that would disappoint his father! His wonderful, legendary father!

The Earl Woods love-a-thon is baffling to me. The fact that he could publish books on his parenting technique is also mysterious. Here is a guy who left his kids that he had with his first wife, and concentrating on programming Tiger from infancy to be a great golfer. To the degree that it worked, I suppose his parenting is interesting. But he hardly left Tiger the choice what to do with his own life. In focusing on success in the sports arena, failed to cultivate his whole person. Not to mention, he programmed him to be a golfer. John Stuart Mill's father did a similar Frankenstein move on Mill ("I will create the man I wish I could be!"), and his method also worked: he created the great utilitarian philosopher that he wanted. And I would argue that the works of John Stuart Mill are more valuable the entertainment of Tiger Woods's golf. But Mill's nervous breakdown at 19 showed that his father's move had serious costs, and, on any moral view besides utilitarianism, is seriously wrong-headed.

How is Earl Woods any different than a pushy stage mother or JonBenet Ramsey's parents (on the assumption that they didn't kill her)? Both push their kids to be professional at a young age, both force them into adult-pleasing roles, both develop the ability to entertain over being a good person. Yet everyone hats stage mothers and pageant moms. Is there some sexism here? Is golf that much inherently better an activity than acting? Shouldn't we all recognize that to try to create a person focused only on one activity, we fail to respect the autonomous person are child will become, limiting severely her options?

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