Spoiled Children Become.....

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A year ago, I began to write this post, then things got in the way.  I was buried until last week when a friend sent me an article by John Rosemond.  It reminded me of the post I wanted to write and why.  I loathe the power-hungry, its-all-about-me class of “leaders” in Washington, D.C.  I think they are the product of an age of liberal permissive parenting.

In 40 plus years of working with folks in everything from the military, to the welding shop floor, to the engineering office, to the board room, to the classroom, I discovered that people who functioned well had one thing in common.  They understood discipline and authority and were, themselves, self-disciplined.  Those who were less functional did not respond well to authority or discipline and were personally lacking in self discipline.

Today I see a society that functions at a lower level than in the past.  More people are dependent upon others, especially dependent on government programs.  More people feel that they deserve more than what they get, regardless of what their input is.  Many in the political class feel that if they think something is right for them, it must be right for most others.  They feel that their knowledge is better than yours and that they know what is best.  They have egos that cause them to disregard the input of others and allow them to disrespect others without giving it a second thought.  They are so self centered that they fail to understand the real world around them.  Their opinion of themselves is so grand as to make them believe that if they do something, it must therefore be right.  They feel that they have been granted the right, if not the duty, to redefine truth to fit their world view.

Where does this ego, this me-first attitude come from?  Why is there such a lack of discipline, especially self-discipline?

In the early 1980s, I was fortunate enough to hear John Rosemond speak to a group of parents from my local school district.  His message was strong, simple, and not at all like the fancy “group think” that was the fashion of the day.  He said to be good parents and prepare children for the real world all that was needed was to give children discipline, and love, and reasons to respect others.

The article my friend sent is copied below.  It speaks clearly to the belief I have about the result of liberal, permissive parenting.  It is available like much of John’s work at his website:  http://www.rosemond.com/

Here is the article:

Children ruled by feelings grow into misguided adults

Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England, once said, “One of the great problems of our age is that we’re governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thought sand ideas.” 

Quite so, and it is equally accurate to say that “one of the great problems of our age is that children are being raised and educated by people who care more about their feelings than they do their thoughts and ideas.”

The child’s feelings have been the paramount consideration in both spheres since the late 1960s, when parents became convinced that they should no longer take their cues from their own upbringing, but from mental health professionals.  As a consequence, the focus of American parenting veered sharply away from training the child’s character and mind toward that of protecting his feelings from insult (i.e. disappointment, failure, embarrassment and other basic facts of life) and elevating his opinion of himself.

Psychologist Thomas Gordon, author of “Parent Effectiveness Training,” the best-selling book of the 1970s, said that because children do not like being told what to do, adults should not tell them what to do.  Children who submit to their parents’ authority, Gordon said, grow to be adults who “fill the offices of psychologists and psychiatrists.”

We now know of course, that this isn’t true. Gordon and others like him were pulling this baloney out of thin air.  Research psychologist Diana Baumrind’s decades -long study of parenting outcomes finds that the most well-adjusted children come from households presided over by parents who are loving but unequivocally authoritative.  It turns out that the parenting model promoted by the mental health community compromises child mental health!

Indeed, the mental health of America’s children has been in free fall since the 1960s.  Today’s child is much more likely to become seriously depressed, commit suicide or become a bully.  And researchers have found that high self esteem predisposes people to depression (therefore, suicide) and is characteristic of bullies.

How ’bout them apples?  Feelings have the potential of greatly enriching one’s life.  But unless they are governed by reason, feelings are unruly and destructive beasts. (my emphasis)  People ruled by their feelings say stupid things, make stupid decisions and fail to learn from experience.  The current epidemic of “cutting” among teenagers is a prime example of feelings run amok.

For more than a generation, children have been encouraged to express their feelings rather than control them. They’ve been told that all feelings are valid, which isn’t true. The result is that many young people believe their feelings trump the feelings of others.

When all is said and done, the child mental health crisis in America is the result of raising children who have lots of emotions but no emotional resilience.  They’re full of self esteem but have little respect for others. This cannot lead to a satisfying life.

The emotionally sturdy person is characterized by a high level of respect for other people.  Instead of wanting attention, a person pays attention, looking for opportunities to serve.  That’s what good manners are all about, and learning good manners is where the good Life starts, not by learning to recite all 50 state capitals at age 3 to applause from a roomful of adults.”

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.... Spoiled Adults

I often feel that much of our elite ruling class is the product of permissive parenting – a lack of respect for others, an ego-centric view of the world, and the constant cry that it is “Not Fair” when things don’t go their way.  To read another view of what the ‘poorly parented’ folks in Washington are doing to us, I highly recommend epaautos.com

More on “fairness” in a future post.

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