America needs a spanking

Every good parent knows that if you fail to set and enforce boundaries with a child, that child will end up destroying businesses and tearing down statues. Or otherwise giving his rebellious nature free rein because he can. No one ever held the line when he was young and meted out consequences when he crossed it. He didn’t learn to respect authority nor other people in general. What he learned was, I can do what I want and no one will stop me.

What we’re seeing today in cities across the country is the fruit of permissive parenting. A generation of children raised with little or no discipline is now wreaking havoc as defiant, destructive young “adults.” That’s in quotes because undisciplined, spoiled children do not actually mature. They go directly from unripe to rotten.

I’m far from a perfect parent, but I am certain my children would never be among those vandalizing, looting, throwing projectiles and shouting obscenities at police and others, defacing and toppling statues and daring the cops and mayors to stop them. Because I did discipline them, sometimes in the form of punishment when they disobeyed. If you love your child, that’s what you do.

But so many millennials and Gen Z-ers were not properly disciplined because they grew up in one of these three family situations:

  1. their father did not live with them
  2. parents divorced and mom remarried
  3. both parents work outside the home

Each of these is likely to result in discipline deprivation.

  1. Raising a number of kids as a single mom is hard. She’s stressed and overworked and the difficult task of consistent and effective discipline may prove too much to handle. You “pick your battles,” and just keeping them alive and herself sane is the only battle she can manage. Some single moms who know the importance of discipline do fight hard to teach their children to do right by punishing them when they do wrong. They have my admiration, and their children’s love and respect.
  2. Divorce is really rough on kids, so mom and dad often give in and forego discipline to try and make up for the emotional harm. And if mom’s new husband tries to discipline her children he hears, “You’re not my dad!” It’s a tough situation.
  3. When children are put in day care, valuable training opportunities are missed in the crucial, early, formative years. Even if their caregivers keep them healthy and safe, they don’t love your child like you do and have no vested interest in training him or her to be a mature, considerate, responsible adult. And many working parents try to compensate for the lack of their time and attention by giving in to the child’s selfish desires and ignoring or excusing bad behavior. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

So now these spoiled, misbehaving, undisciplined children are spoiled, misbehaving, undisciplined 20-somethings pushing literal boundaries with the police and city officials, and some of those officials are just as weak and unwise as the miscreants’ permissive parents.

Somebody needs a spanking.