Modern children frequently do the exact opposite of what their parents tell them to do. The children go on their merry way, doing what they want to do. In other words, modern children do not listen well to commands from authority figures, including parents. This phenomenon has been going on for many generations since the late 1950s. Parents lost their power during the era of Dr. Benjamin Spock and his “bible,” Baby and Child Care. This practically eliminated the practice of spanking a child on the behind to get his attention so he would listen to the parents.
This loss of power by parents changed the American family’s discipline, creating a revolution in American culture. Children started to talk back to their parents and even punished them by being more contrary and even screaming back at the parents’ commands.
Children became empowered to challenge their parents by not listening to them. Parents turned to soft, gentle, loving suggestions that were still ignored. This did much more than change American families; it created a drastic change in American culture.
As the ridiculous message of becoming friends with your child was reinforced by so-called child development experts, it gained almost biblical certitude. The traditional spank became a vicious act. The ineffective “loving chat” with the child ended with a smirk on the child’s face. Almost as soon as the child escaped from the “loving chat,” they immediately returned to their antics. Even with obtaining specific bribes promised by the mother, the child went right back to destructive behavior, but with greater intensity.
The gentle approach of authorities: grandparents, law enforcement, and others does not work in our modern culture since this gentle and sweet approach to discipline has turned adults into more non-compliant citizens. “Don’t tell me what to do; I’ll tell you” has become an increasingly voiced attitude of citizens toward any authority figure who attempts to tell them what to do. The children who were allowed to get in the last word are now adults who are doing the same thing.
“My child should not lose privileges for annoying behavior and deserves special treatment to succeed, which ultimately is the teachers’ responsibility.” To these parents, this means it is the teacher’s job to be sure their child gets higher grades. No extra homework or consequences should be assigned.
Powerful organizations have started to dictate to opposing groups or people that they will prevent them from operating by canceling them.
Celebrities, politicians, products, and even historical figures have received attempts to eliminate them; some attempts have been successful. We see people tearing down beautiful historical statues to eliminate their historical significance and hear reports of ugly rumors and lies to downgrade the reputation of opposing people or groups.
Cancel culture is an attempt to eliminate anyone who says something contrary and damaging to a particular person or group. It can be a company like Parler, specific celebrities, or politicians who support a cause that is offensive to another’s interests. It can be a political idea, like stopping tearing down statues. Rather than discussing the idea like mature adults, cancel culture requires that we destroy those who believe or think differently.
In the past, when parents were the boss in no uncertain terms, teachers, police officers, judges and the majority of governmental officials stood on the side of order and justice. They were backed by the majority of Americans who understood the importance of law and order, even when the decision went against their own cause. The entire concept of authority figures is not just being questioned but disregarded as not worthwhile.
Where did this disrespect of authority figures come from? Disrespect of authority stems from the lack of fathers or mothers, dysfunctional families, the disrespect of male discipline, not following the Biblical discipline of children and the ridiculous psychological diagnosis of children with no plan of how to remedy the misbehavior. The creation of disorders by withdrawing traditional discipline is the driving force of much adult disobedience.
Instead of civil, peaceful discussions, we have tantrums similar to what a child does with his parents. We too often do not discuss; we just demand what we want instead of weighing what is best for solving a particular dilemma.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.