Get Over Yourself, and Take Care of Your Kids

Below is an excerpt from CNN commentator Jack Cafferty's new book, "Now or Never."

I don't know the status of parenting in America. But I know a little about the status of education in America. Parents' growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it's parenting that's on the decline, more than the schools.

Exhibit A: My wife and I have just been seated for dinner when the maitre d' walks over and seats a young family at the table next to us and the kids start carrying on like orangutans on a leash.

The parents are going, "Timmy, that's not nice, don't throw your food, stop stuffing your mashed potatoes up your nose." Are mom and dad having fun yet, picking food up off the floor, apologizing to people like us, and wiping food flung across the table off their faces?

Some parents still have this attitude that their kids are too special to be burdened by discipline. And the rest of us are supposed to put up with their little mutants. That attitude really pisses me off.

I hate to break it to them, but the kids aren't special, and I don't have to put up with their behavior. If you can't control your obnoxious little brats, leave them home.

They don't belong out in public annoying other people, period. I don't remember a generation of kids ever so indulged and enabled to behave so badly. What's going on?

I remember as a kid I was expected to behave myself out in public or suffer the wrath of one very angry father. And of all the things that used to piss him off, those expectations didn't seem unreasonable. Something's gone terribly wrong here. My guess is it has to do with the breakdown of authority, the collapse of strong family structure, and the abdication of parental responsibility, dictated in part by the necessity that both parents work.

Plus, we have a whole generation of Baby Boomers who are too busy feeling entitled to prolong their own self-indulgent, self-absorbed adolescences to rein in their own kids.

Just a theory.

He definitely has some good points. Some kids out there behave like little nightmares. How often do you go to the grocery store, and hear a child screaming bloody murder? Too often. Inversely, how often do you see parents treating their kids miserabley? I understand the frustration involved in trying to manage your childrens behavior, but yelling at them in public isn't acceptable. Spanking, hitting, slapping, sqeezing your kids in public (or hurting them in any setting) isn't acceptable. Kids are hard, it takes patience, it takes love, it takes understanding. If you don't have those tools, develop them.



Anonymous said...

Just keep in mind that some of these bouncing-off-the-walls-uncontrollable-kids may be autistic.

I've got three of them at home and I know what I'm talking about.

Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Autism" means "parents don't know how to discipline!"

To which I could only say: Walk a mile in our shoes, Jack. Autism is hell. Sheer. hell.

Notoriously Conservative said...

"Yes, I know what you're thinking: "Autism" means "parents don't know how to discipline!""

I certainly wasn't thinking that. My older brother is severly retarded, and has had to live in a group home for most of his life.

JCook said...

I hate to break it to Mr. Cafferty, but it's raging leftists like himself that are to blame. If you touch little Timmy, you're going to jail for child abuse. Check it out: Whores of the State: Social workers target rural families

Don't take away all my tools and expect me to do a great job. Duh.

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