No, not me. Not yet.
But while we’re waiting, I recommend perusing this little ditty by Jeffrey Earl Warren over at Ricochet. It’s entitled, The Death of Mischief:
As kids, my friends and I were constantly in trouble. Oh, we weren’t sent to jail or juvenile hall. But we spent a lot of time in detention, running laps, cleaning trash on the school grounds, and getting the “pow pow”—yes, at my junior high school, after certain offenses, we were sent to Room 8 to get paddled by the teacher with a board that mirrored the “Fraternity Paddle” featured in Animal House.
Over the years, I have written often of our youthful transgressions. They still seem funny to me. Maybe Mrs. Vance didn’t like thumb tacks being placed on her chair before English class, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And since her girdle was so thick she couldn’t feel them, what was the harm?
I’m not sure rural kids today can egg police cars, get chased through the vineyards, get caught, and then have the police chief laugh and say he did the same thing at their age. The punishment? We had to wash their cars.
Contrast the world Warren describes with this article by Bryan Paul Rouleau :
“Christian Adamek hanged himself on October 2 and died from his injuries 2 days later – a week after he streaked at his high school football game. He was arrested and school district recommended he face a court hearing. If convicted of indecent exposure, he’d have gone on sex offender’s list.”
We live in a world that considers a few swift swats to the ass to be “child abuse”, but permanently damaging his future educational, relationship, and job prospects isn’t. Today’s Tom Sawyer‘s mind wouldn’t “be for rent”, it would be fried with Ritalin.
Childhood used to be a learning process, an experience of action and consequence, give and take, a chance to learn when you’ve got to follow the rules and when it’s worth breaking them. Today, no such luck. Rouleau:
Just look at these headlines:
“7th graders suspended for playing with airsoft gun in own yard”
“Kentucky bans postgame handshakes for high school athletes”
“8-year-old Florida boy suspended for making gun shape with fingers: ‘It was a game.’”
“Joseph Lyssikatos, 12, suspended over gun-shaped key chain”
“New York school bans balls, tag during recess”
This idiots who impose this crap consider themselves to be far more enlightened than the cop who grabbed a kid by the ear and dragged him home to his father for a whoopin’. Corporal punishment is barbaric, but charging a girl with a felony for a failed science experiment is civilized.
So what’s the result of this new kindergentler focus on child-rearing? It’s sure as hell not preparation for adulthood:
Amy (not her real name) sat in my office and wiped her streaming tears on her sleeve, refusing the scratchy tissues I’d offered. “I’m thinking about just applying for a Ph.D. program after I graduate because I have no idea what I want to do.” Amy had mild depression growing up, and it worsened during freshman year of college when she moved from her parents’ house to her dorm. It became increasingly difficult to balance school, socializing, laundry, and a part-time job. She finally had to dump the part-time job, was still unable to do laundry, and often stayed up until 2 a.m. trying to complete homework because she didn’t know how to manage her time without her parents keeping track of her schedule.
I suggested finding a job after graduation, even if it’s only temporary. She cried harder at this idea. “So, becoming an adult is just really scary for you?” I asked. “Yes,” she sniffled. Amy is 30 years old.
Her case is becoming the norm for twenty- to thirtysomethings I see in my office as a psychotherapist. I’ve had at least 100 college and grad students like Amy crying on my couch because breaching adulthood is too overwhelming.
Good thing we got rid of that oppressive patriarchy!
A “helicopter parent” is the opposite of a father, just like a teacher who panics upon seeing an aggressively-shaped chicken nugget is the opposite of an educator. The former is a nanny, the latter an indoctrinator. Neither prepares a child to support himself in adulthood. Both help kids become weak-willed, dependent, followers.
Paranoid me suspects that’s what some of them want.
If you favor marring some kid’s “permanent record” for some youthful indiscretion but would rather fry in hell than put a bruise on his ass, you have no business being anywhere near other people’s children.
We can’t trust people with discretion to raise our kids, we instead need laws, bureaucrats, inflexible rules of “zero tolerance”. The cops in Warren’s article weren’t just agents of the State, they acted in a fatherly capacity. They inflicted punishment, but the kids mattered as people, as kids. They didn’t need to involve paperwork, incarceration, and lawyers for throwing TP all over somebody’s front yard. Today, cops are becoming something altogether different.
Of course, it’s a vicious cycle. The more we raise our children as subjects to be socialized and indoctrinated, the less likely they’ll grow up to be citizens. Adults who can’t manage their own lives need even more “help” from the State, especially with how they raise their own children.
Don’t expect this trend to reverse itself. Adults who don’t know how to take care of themselves like being
told what to do given all sorts of government goodies. They often claim that responsible adults were just lucky, that they deserve to be taken from.
May the State take care of us from cradle to grave, confiscating and distributing wealth as we see fit. Throw the little bastard in jail for misshaping a Pop-Tart, just don’t ever swat his precious behind.
Coddling our children is such a disservice to them.
I could go on and on about this but this guy says it much better:
HEM: Why do you believe that adolescence is an artificial extension of childhood?
RE: In every mammalian species, immediately upon reaching puberty, animals function as adults, often having offspring. We call our offspring “children” well past puberty. The trend started a hundred years ago and now extends childhood well into the 20s. The age at which Americans reach adulthood is increasing—30 is the new 20—and most Americans now believe a person isn’t an adult until age 26.
The whole culture collaborates in artificially extending childhood, primarily through the school system and restrictions on labor. The two systems evolved together in the late 19th-century; the advocates of compulsory-education laws also pushed for child-labor laws, restricting the ways young people could work, in part to protect them from the abuses of the new factories. The juvenile justice system came into being at the same time. All of these systems isolate teens from adults, often in problematic ways.
The whole article is well worth the read and a friend really liked his book though I still need to pick it up.
gun joke 🙂
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