I saw a poster today that read, `I`m afraid to live in a world run by people who weren`t disciplined and got trophies for just participating.` This, along with other things like `The Supper Nanny` and `That Super Dog Trainer` guy (I only get one English channel) lead me to believe that the tide may be finally turning on the ridiculous fad of parenting and educating that Americans have embraced for the last ten or fifteen years. I call it the Pamper Method of raising children for two reasons; they coddle the children abusively, rendering children defenseless to the realities of the real world and because they are full of shit.
The Pamper Method of child raising goes a little something like this: Spoil your children like they were Turkish royalty, NEVER tell them NO, never allow them to either take or feel responsible for anything they do, no matter how sociopathic in nature it may be. Always as convincingly as it is fierce, blame someone or something else for their obscenely wretched behavior. Shield the child from all negative aspects of the human experience as if real life were something only poor people have to deal with and finally but most importantly, the ONLY acceptable form of feedback on anything and everything should be overwhelmingly positive in nature no matter how small or undeserving the deed.
The Pamper Method of child raising is ABUSE plain and simple. The Pamper Method of child raising looks at discipline as a form of punishment instead of responsible child rearing. Again, kind of on par with something only poor people have to do, as opposed to what it actually is which is loving, responsible child raising…which leads me to the Serenity Prayer which every alcoholic as well as anyone on Facebook now is familiar with that begins:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Now think of this in terms of raising kids; what is something you cannot change in children? How about crying. Every kid cries every now and again, yeah? Some more than others but the fact is all kids cry. This is something you cannot change and need the serenity to deal with.
Now what is something you can change in regards to children’s crying? Well, you can start with your reaction to the crying. Do you drop everything you are doing, panic and start dangling new and shiny things in their face in an attempt to get them to stop? Do you blame the other parent for not jumping at the chance to do exactly what you are doing, and them some? Do you hold the child, sing a song and let them cry it out?
This is where the wisdom comes in. Does one reaction offer a quick solution that will condone the behavior in the future. Does one put the burden on someone else and cause tension in the adult relationship? Or does one allow the child to feel loved, secure and able to move on and know that annoying behavior will not always get you what you want. It may seem like I`m biased towards the last response and perhaps I am but I know that every situation calls for its own reaction, thus calling it wisdom.
That seems the problem with this generation of child raisers. They have lost the wisdom to realize what is changeable and unchangeable in the children they are responsible for. I actually saw a teacher of 3 year olds who thought it was her responsiblity to be a human shield against the lovely little darling children she was teaching and the door while she tried to have an informative conversation with the parents she `taught` limiting their running around wild from pouring out to the street where they would surely be smashed like little bugs by passing cars. Not a lot of serenity in that. After taking over the class it took me a week to teach the class of 15 three-year olds the Three S`s: Socks, shoes, sit down. While the children were busy putting on their shoes I was able to have a calm, adult conversation about what went on that day and the other various kinds of `improvements` I was making with the class.
How was I rewarded for this turn around in the little princes and princesses progress? Getting them to eat by themselves, having them take responsiblity for their own belongings, sharing and not hoarding toys like little sociopaths, etc…? I was fired. Yes fired from this school which I will not name but only say that it is an International Pre-school…in Kakuozan. Fired for having the audacity to set standards and boundaries and just an ounce of structure.
These were fairly wealthy families and apparently it did not fair well with the parents that I was actually teaching their children something…anything. No, if they wanted that they would have sent their kids to the public school down the street where kids were actually happy and played together. Their kids were special and the thought of treating them like peasants was more than they could bare.
This is to be accepted in wealthy society but it seems Americans have ( like christianity, guns and Facebook) taken it and made it religion. All it takes is to see one 20-year-old audition for American Idol (again, I get one English channel) who thinks they are the next Diana Ross, who has never been told anything other than that she is special and talented and is entitled to a life of fruitful rewards for her one long day of waiting in line in her hometown to audition only to be absolute shite and finally be told the truth, that she is mediocre at best and have her completely break down in front of…well whoever still watches that show but me.
America, you have fooled this generation into thinking that hard work is Blue Collar and you deserve that and well beyond what your parents earned by just being the strongest swimmer in your Daddy`s bag. It`s cool to reach for the stars but foolish to think you can grab one by jumping on your trampoline then blame your mother for telling you that you could have. Blame later, now it`s time to man up, get a suit and for god sake stop smoking weed! You`re not Paul McCartney for fuck sake, get your head straight (sorry Vodka, I mean not what I say) and get a job, work hard AND smart, just don`t be lazy. This is YOUR life! Cut the cord, grab the reigns and get going kid. You can do it.
Also by this author is Boug Boys by Mike Black available on amazon.com. An e-book through the free kindle app. The book is ironically contradictory of what I just said. But I`m not a kid anymore.