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Saturday, April 30, 2005

People Who Piss Me Off: Parents who don't PARENT!

I guess that, unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, you've heard about the 5 year old brat who was arrested in Florida. After seeing that footage, I was struck by one thing, the same thought I have all too often when I go to virtually any public building, especially stores: HASN'T THAT KID EVER HAD HER BOTTOM WARMED?! I'm not talking about beating, because that's wrong. I'm talking about spanking, and there is a distinct difference. The child on that tape was systematically destroying that room, and when she tired of that, she resorted to HITTING a school official. For 30 minutes, this hellion's antics continued until the local boys in blue came to arrest her. People may debate whether or not giving the child the kind of bracelets no one wants was excessive, and that's fine. Guidelines need to be set. However, what should NOT be a topic for debate was whether or not the situation should have devolv ed to that level. It's very clear that, in direct opposition to what should have happened, what would've happened when I was a child, that it was the CHILD, not the adult, who was in control. This is wrong. Were it not for our culture that has so twisted things that the children have far more rights than the adults whose job it is to mold them into the good citizens of tomorrow, the administrator would have done the right thing and popped that kid on the ass, or called her mother, or put her in a corner in a room with nothing she could destroy, or done SOMETHING. I'm not all that old. I'm only 27 years old, but I would never have THOUGHT to behave that brattily when I was 5 years old, because I knew that I had actual PARENTS who would have made sure that I saw CONSEQUENCES to my bad behavior. That isn't to say that I wasn't raised in a loving environment, because nothing could be further from the truth. Growing up, I knew that I had parent s who loved me, and it was for that reason that they set boundaries so that I would grow up to be a responsible adult like I am. For that, I'm deeply thankful, and it is for that reason that I get so angry at parents today. People may think they're doing children a favor by coddling them, by insulating them from the consequences of their actions, but the reality is the exact opposite. They're doing children a grave disservice by allowing them rights without teaching them responsibility and the fact that every action has a consequence, and that if they want positive consequences, then they should engage in positive actions. By failing to teach children this early on, all her mother, and mothers and fathers just like her all over the nation have done, is create the next generation of people only qualified to flip burgers at best, and felons, swindlers, cheats, murderers, and other wards of the state at worst.

I don't think spanking is always necessary, and may not be effective for all children. The deeper point is that parents and adults in authority have to find punishments that work, whether that means removing their television, telephone, video game, play, and other privileges; or if that means tanning their bottom. This may cause the child some pain and discomfort now, but it's far better and kinder to have them face minor consequences now than to have them facing a judge 15 years from now and being ordered to spend several years in prison, or worse. Let parents be parents. The consequences of failing to do so are not worth it.

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