What’s wrong with kids today?

Tonight, Amy and I went out to eat at Ninfa’s, here on Westheimer in Houston. It’s the first time we’d gone there during normal evening dinner hours.

We were seated between two tables with large families, each table having three or four children (all looked to be under the age of 10). Throughout dinner, the kids threw temper tantrums, cried, screamed, yelled, and failing that, got out of their chairs and *ran* around their table and the restaraunt, disturbing everyone else around them who was trying to have a nice dinner.

If Amy or I had done that as children, we would have been told to sit our asses down and shut up. If we failed to do that, we’d have been taken outside and given a spanking, and then probably another after getting home. These kids didn’t seem to care, and their parents either didn’t care about making them behave, or were scared to properly discipline their children in public.

Is fear of getting in trouble for “child abuse” so bad nowadays that parents aren’t even allowed to spank their kids when they need to?

It reminds me of something that happened when I was around the same age. I was grocery shopping with my mother, and was acting up. She told me “Behave, or I’ll spank you.” Like the little smart-ass I was at the time, I looked at her and said “You cant! You don’t have a belt!”

She looked at me, walked down to the cowboy (this was rural Oklahoma) at the other end of the aisle. “Excuse me sir, can I borrow your belt? I need to spank my child.”

He said “Yes, Ma’am.” Took off his belt, and handed it to her. She walked back, gave me a sound spanking, and thanked the cowboy as she returned his belt.

That was one of the times I learned to never underestimate my mother.

8 thoughts on “What’s wrong with kids today?

  1. “Is fear of getting in trouble for “child abuse” so bad nowadays that parents aren’t even allowed to spank their kids when they need to?”

    Well, at least here in .at that’d get you in trouble with law enforcement, as it’s explicitly forbidden to use physical violence to discipline children. And a good thing, that law, IMHO.

  2. Same in Belgium, actually after the Dutroux affair fathers that would bathe their children would get police attention. Not good.
    In any case I agree that physical violence in general is a bad idea, and against children even more. We find that having a policy of always carrying out threads, not doing ‘parenting from afar’ and not wavering to take actions in socially difficult situations works. Of course having to say on the phone to a client ‘Excuse me a second I have to punish my child’ or going out of the line at the counter to put your child in ‘time-out’, with all the crying and sobbing this generates, does generate strange looks.

  3. My wife and I brought our son to many places when he was younger. He was as well behaved as they come. On more than one occassion we’d get eye rolling from people when we walked into a restaurant. At the end of their meal the same people that were rolling their eyes would stop and compliment us on how quiet and well behaved our son was. If I ever felt he was bothering others we’d leave ourselves. We never had to.
    It’s all in the discipline. He understood that he got a verbal warning the first time, the second time he was taken away and talked to, the third was/is rarely reached. Yes, the third is a spanking. It is never painful, it’s not a beating, it’s more of an ‘attention getter’. I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve gotten to the spanking level and I feel it does work.
    Just before Christmas we took our son to see King Kong. In the theater there was a lady that brought a 9 month old kid. The kid screamed for the last 20 minutes of the film. The lady stood up with the kid and bounced it but never left. It completely ruined the movie for us. I even talked to the manager about it and he comped our tickets. It also cemented why I don’t go to movies but once or so a year. I’ve got my giant HD TV, loud as hell surround sound, and big comfy chairs. Why should I go to a theater and have the experience ruined by a baby or some idiot’s cell phone? Plus, food is cheaper and I can drink beer. I used to love going to the movies almost weekly but as people have gotten ruder and ruder I just can’t stand to be around them.

  4. There’s a vast world of difference between a spanking and a beating… and as long as the spanking isn’t given by a “raging” parent who has lost their own controls, I have never seen the problem.

    Like Tony, we have a warning system that can culminate in The Spanking. VERY rarely do we get to that point – primarily because my daughter is absolutely clear on whether I will deliver it.

    I’m not altogether sure whether the problem with (mis)behavior in certain kids is so much a result of fear (of child abuse wierdness) as it is lax standards. If everybody you know has kids that are poorly disciplined, then allowing bad behavior in public becomes the norm.

    I have to agree, though, that it is a problem.

    Interesting post.

  5. Don’t worry I am sure GW Bush has plans for a youth corps to go over and fight in Iraq soon. As soon as our toddlers and grade school kids can go over and die for some filthy subhuman arabs in the name of freedom we will have a peaceful dining and theatre experience again.

  6. I have three children; two are step-kids. Because of this, I have to be more careful about discipline. We are currently being monitored by the State while I am trying to adopt them. However, the kids have learned quickly, that I follow through on threats of punishment, and that arguing with me about the punishment (or refusing to partake), will only make it worse. (Although they have grown to like Lima beans now.) Early on, my daughter had a habit of throwing screaming fits whenever she was told ‘no’ to something. One day, she refused to close the bathroom door because she didn’t like the noise the fan made when the light was on. I told her three times to close the door, and then when she refused the third time, I closed it and blocked it from outside. She screamed for ten minutes that she hated the dark and the noise of the fan. After that she turned on the light, finished what she needed to do, washed her hands, and has never again given me any trouble with the door or fan (that was four years ago now). Discipline is possible without spanking. You just need to be more creative! My (11 yr old) son can now hold ten pounds in each hand with his arms outstretched for five minutes, and can do thirty sit ups without stopping. It seems that physical exersion gets him to calm down and think.

  7. Aaron – wasn’t it Dennis Leary who did a routine about making kids mow the lawn be good punishment? 😎

  8. Kids nowadays are so expose to all kinds of media hype-t.v, violet video games, mtv (with singers/rappers that curse a lot in their songs like Eminem for instance) still we wonder why we are producing a generation of unruly noisy kids and worst…disrespect for their own parents. If spanking accused you of child abuse than we should take out the word DISCIPLINE in our dictionaries if it would only prove meaningless! Or maybe we can’t blame some parents either if they don’t know anybetter since parenting doesn’t comes with a Manual!

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