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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The end of discipline

I'm going to sound very old with this post but I'm going to write it anyways.

When did it become acceptable to not discipline children? I don't mean spankings or things like that. I mean, a general expectation that kids should obey.

I am contantly amazed at the behavior of kids, especially in public settings. My children are far from perfect, but I can't imagine letting them get away with some of the things I see other kids doing.

Last week I attended a show at my older daughter's gym class. The children there were between 3 and 5 years old. There are always some kids who don't take part in the activities and wander around the gym by themselves. No big deal. However, on this particular day, when all the parents were in attendance, one boy decided to repeatedly jump on top of another boy. The boy being jumped on was obviously very upset about this, but the offending child's parents did nothing.

So I am now on the verge of starting to reprimand other people's children. This was actually quite commonplace when I was growing up. I couldn't get in much trouble in my neighborhood as a kid because some other adults would see me getting into trouble and tell me to stop and call my parents. My parents were always grateful that others were looking out for me.

Not anymore. I can already imagine the wrath I will face if I reprimand another person's child.
"Who are you to tell my child what to do???"
I've already rehearsed my response:
"Well, when I see your child throwing rocks at cars and smoking week, I'll just ignore it. That sound good?"

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