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 Your kid's an asshole - and guess who's to blame? By BOredAtWork in Op-EdSat Jul 14, 2001 at 01:57:37 PM EST Tags: Culture (all tags) So, you've just been woken up at 2:30am by a knock on the door from the local police department. Your kid was arrested at an all-night rave for selling acid. Or maybe you've just gotten a phone call from the high school principal. Your kid is being expelled for threatening to turn his classmates into swiss cheese. Or maybe you just noticed $150 missing from your purse, and your kid has a brand-new pair of shoes that you just told him you won't buy him. Congratulations, your kid is an asshole. Guess whose fault this is? Not the news media's, television's or the school system's. Not your neighbor's, the internet's or music industry's. It's YOURS. I've seen you before. You're the one in the 4 bedroom colonial house with the fairway-like lawn, two german cars in the driveway and the SUV on the street. I've been watching you for years. I've seen you dress your sleeping toddler in his Tommy Hilfiger jumper and seen your wife drop him off at the day care center before dawn. I've seen you wake your four year old at 6:00am sharp, check your voicemail while he groggily shovels down his cereal, and drop him off at his private school's Early Entry program. I've seen you watch your seven year old daugher's first school play while you makes notes on your PDA. I've seen your wife pick the toddler up at 6:00pm on her way home, as you join a teleconference while you wait in traffic to pick your daughter up from swimming lessons. I've seen you get home at 7:30pm and ask your nine year old son how his day at school was as he carries his microwavable pizza and the telephone up to his room and you plug your laptop into the docking station. Now your kids are teenagers. You've got a great career, and great kids, right? Wrong. As you're quickly finding out, your kids have grown up, and while you've been there for all of it, you've not been a part of most of it. They don't have your interests, your tastes or your values. And now they won't accept your authority, heed your advice or even thank you for the material posessions you've worked so hard to shower them with. ... We've read article after article and seen interview after interview where parents say "I had no idea they were going to do this" after their child shoots someone. We've seen politician after politician say with tears in their eyes how society can't afford to lose one more child. We've seen society blame just about everything when children "go bad". This rant is NOT directed at the families where both parents are working so they can make ends meet. This rant is NOT directed at the single parents who work long hours as miserable jobs so that their kids can go to school in a safe area. This rant is NOT directed at the parents who come home at night too tired to play catch with their children, but sit on the stoop and cheer for them as they play with the neighbors. This rant is aimed square into the wealthy suburbs. It's aimed at the parents who work 55 hour weeks so that they can buy a new Lincoln. It's aimed at the parents who donate$1500 to a school for new supplies so they can pat themselves on the back and not feel guilty about missing every PTA meeting that year. It's aimed at the parents who buy their 14 year old daughter $300 worth of jewelry so she forgives them for forgetting that her first dance was THIS weekend. It's aimed at the parents who are amazed that the child they take to church every Sunday would start idolizing Marlyn Manson, even though they haven't had a conversation about God or religion with them in years. It's aimed at the parents who can't understand why their 19 year old won't bring their girlfriend home for dinner, when they haven't eaten an evening meal outside the office in three weeks. In a nutshell, this rant is aimed at parents who are neglecting their children in favor of pursuing wealth. Kids all across the country are committing acts of violence, indecency and outright stupidity that their parents would have never guessed they were capable of, and act absolutely shocked when they see that their children aren't something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. These parents aren't bad people, don't get me wrong. Irresponsible, definately. Unobservant, perhaps. The question is, how do basically good people do such a great job of screwing up their kids? Again, the answer is MONEY. The endless pursuit of the Green God - the all-mighty dollar. The values they were brought up with - hard work, honesty, family, faith, etc - are quite likely what enabled them to find their way into the upper middle class (trust fund families are a whole separate breed, and won't be addressed in this article). These values have all enabled them to make money hand over fist, so much that they've become blinded by their own success and ambition. The goal for a large number of people seems to have shifted from "comfort for myself and my family" to "absolute luxury for myself and my family." People seem to have shifted the goal of "let my legacy be my children" to "let my legacy be the estate left to my children." The result is parents that spend more time chasing wealth than raising their kids, and a whole generation of children growing up in pricey day care centers, private schools and elite summer camps that never learn who their parents really are or what values they actually hold. These kids grow up to say "but I was just playing WWF" when they beat another child to death. They grow up to say "but it's just a little bit of acid, it can't hurt you" when they get caught with drugs. They grow up to say "but he pissed me off" when they're asked why they attacked a teacher. They grow up to say "but she's just a whore" when they explain away their girlfriends' abortions. They grow up to say "but I don't care" when they're told it was wrong to shoot a group of classmates. And their parents always say, without fail, "but they were such a good child! I just don't know what happened!" And THAT is the whole problem.  Sponsors  Login  Poll My child would never  Try drugs 2% Rape someone 67% Denounce God 6% Assult someone 4% Build a bomb in my basement 19%  Votes: 121 Results | Other Polls  Related Links  Display: Threaded Minimal Nested Flat Flat Unthreaded Sort: Unrated, then Highest Highest Rated First Lowest Rated First Ignore Ratings Newest First Oldest First  Your kid's an asshole - and guess who's to blame? | 282 comments (273 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)  Biggot (3.66 / 18) (#2) by Betcour on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:40:10 AM EST  Well at first I liked your article - at least someone ready to go after this fake lifestyle and those hypocrits who don't really raise their children while thinking they are very good parents. Then I read this : It's aimed at the parents who are amazed that the child they take to church every Sunday would start idolizing Marlyn Manson, even though they haven't had a conversation about God or religion with them in years. So for one if your kids love music you don't approve of, there's nothing to be worried about. For two, you can be an atheist or agnostic and be a very fine person thank you. As for myself I'll feel my kids have gone wrong if they do go to the church.  There's no problem (4.71 / 14) (#6) by BOredAtWork on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:57:07 AM EST  I think I should have been more clear here - if a parent wants to raise their kid to be a devout Christian, that's all well and good, but they certainly shouldn't be surprised when the kid doesn't pick up Christianity by osmosis. I've seen one too many parents drag a child to church for an hour a week, and say to themselves "yup, my child is a good little *insert denomination here*". That's bullshit. If a parent wants a child to have particular values, they should foster those values, teach them, and explain them, not just plop them down in front of a speaker and expect them to suddenly absorb and understand. I'm not saying it's good or bad for a parent to want their child to grow up religious, I'm just saying that if a parent wants a religious child, they need to teach and talk about religion at home rather than expect them to suddenly "get it" from 1 hour a week in an old building. [ Parent ]  Example speaks louder than words (4.20 / 5) (#29) by dzelenka on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:21:34 PM EST  Showing a child what's wrong and right by example is much better than telling a child what's wrong and right. Telling a child not to smoke while holding a cigarette won't work. "Are you talkin' to me?"[ Parent ]  Which example? (3.75 / 4) (#36) by wtfai on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:07:59 PM EST  Just going to church once a week and ignoring religion the rest of the time is not going to make a child religious. Talking about religion a lot might. I'm a non-believer myself, but I think that as a child, I would have been more likely to follow the example of parents who cared about religion than ones who treated it as a reason to get up on sunday mornings. [ Parent ]  The example set by parents :) (4.40 / 5) (#42) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:28:08 PM EST  Don't do as I say, do as I do. Religion, all that stuff, I judge neither fair nor foul. I suspect a good parent will use the tools with which they are familiar to steer their child. If one of those tools includes religion, in my opinion that is neither success nor failure. If it works, it works. :) A happy, well-adjusted child/young adult is a good thing, pretty much irregardless of how they got there. :) I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  That's true for anyone, not just kids. (4.50 / 2) (#41) by mauftarkie on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:23:01 PM EST  There's a reason for the phrase, "Actions speak louder than words." People do NOT like to be told what to do (or not do). I've learned that the best way to convince anyone of anything is to lead by example. Or employ reverse psychology. :) --Without you I'm one step closer to happiness without violence. Without you I'm one step closer to innocence without consequence.[ Parent ]  naysayers say "nay" (4.00 / 2) (#120) by Pink Daisy on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:13:53 AM EST  The same people who blame poor children on stereotypical wealthy suburbanites would probably call that brainwashing. They're a bunch of people in search of a problem, and whatever you do, they're going to find it. I've seen the discussion on Slashdot. Apparently, half of the people think that it is irresponsible parenting to let children do things independently while the parents do something else. Half of them think that any monitoring of what children do is totalitarian. Guess what? They're the same half; the other half doesn't get involved in that argument. But you probably shouldn't trust me. My parents did what you say, and now I'm a Christian. Even worse, I hope to some day live in the suburbs and have children. I'm probably just trying to assign my blame on someone else early. [ Parent ]  American Beauty... (3.89 / 19) (#5) by ScottBrady on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:54:47 AM EST  If you want to see an excellent and thought provoking movie about Normal Suburban America watch American Beauty. I have never seen any movie ever capture with such accuracy the many issues and contradictions of a modern upper middle class family. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the film already, but in the course of two hours this one work tears off the shinny facade of middle america and shows you what really lies underneath. I grew up in and around suburbia and feel like I've met almost every character in the movie. I think anyone who's been around suburbanites would agree. -- Scott Brady "We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed." YHBT. YHL. HAND.  And all Hollywood movies are mirror images of life (3.60 / 10) (#46) by OOG THE CAVEMAN on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:04:38 PM EST  I saw American Beauty about 3-4 times, thought it was a great and entertaining movie, but that is hardly typical of suburban life. It was heavily melodramatic and purposely made to be as fucked up as possible for the shock entertainment value, and to satire suburban life through hyperbole. How many girls do you know have had a mentally ill drug dealer neighbor spy on them with a video camera, enter a relationship with him, and then run away with him? How many suburban fathers have you seen leave their well-paying jobs to work at a local fast food joint (and of course catch their wives cheating on them through drive-thru)? How many retired military officers with hillariously exaggerated "homophobia/closet homosexuality" have committed murder in your neighborhood? Obviously I'm exaggerating too, but the whole point is that this movie is a mockery of traditional American life and is not meant to be taken at face value. The joke is the notion that supposedly bland suburban life could hide such dark and bizarre secrets. Not to say that suburban life is exactly squaky clean like it seems on the surface, but American Beauty is nowhere close to being a valid indicator of how it works. OOG BREAK HEAD WITH OPEN SOURCE CD!!![ Parent ]  We seem to agree... (4.00 / 5) (#55) by ScottBrady on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:21:29 PM EST  "...the whole point is that this movie is a mockery of traditional American life and is not meant to be taken at face value. The joke is the notion that supposedly bland suburban life could hide such dark and bizarre secrets." Exactly my point. We seem to agree. Suburbia in the U.S. is often painted as the ideal American Dream. The good job. The big house. The fancy car. The nice furniture. But what do these people really have? Do they have happiness? They might, but not likely. Happiness in Suburbia is certainly not guaranteed. You may not be able to see the subtle means and hidden dialog of American Beauty, but I did. And what I saw reminded me exactly of what I see around me every day. Perhaps you've read a book are watched another movie that captured modern suburban life in a more accurate life. I haven't. This is the closest image in the mirror that I've seen to date. Feel free to share the name of another work if you know of something better. -- Scott Brady "We didn't lie to you... the truth just changed." YHBT. YHL. HAND.[ Parent ]  I guess I said it wrong (4.16 / 6) (#65) by OOG THE CAVEMAN on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 06:41:14 PM EST  IMHO, the key to American Beauty's entertainment value and status as a satire is its sheer absurdity. The whole well-woven chain of events depicted in the movie would never (extremely rarely at best) occur in real life. It is such an atypical, unrealistic, and overdone portrayal of suburban life that is not supposed to be taken seriously. Instead it's just supposed to mess with the viewers mind and make him say "Wow, that's fucked up... it would be funny if real life were really like that." The suburban backdrop just acts as the one aspect at life people can identify with to keep the film from being a full blown fantasy. Then it becomes more of a "what if" thing: "Wow, that would be funny if my neighbors were like that since they are actually nothing close to that in reality." For the most part, suburban life IS straightforward and plain like it appears to be: not romanticized like 50's sitcoms, not twisted like American Beauty. I know not everyone fits the model of "normal" and that people may have hidden thoughts, motives, and desires, but for the most part they remain hidden and unacted upon for the sake of functioning in society. American Beauty shows what would happen if everyone were to freely let loose all of his secrets and act upon his hidden impulses without the constraints of a community. The mockery is that the existence of society in a suburban setting makes people behave in ways that may be contrary to their personalities. It's a good, entertaining movie, but to call it anything close to a valid reflection of society is something left reserved for hardcore conspiracy theorists. If you're looking for good satire of the suburbs, I'd go back to Sinclair Lewis (Babbit or Main Street for example), which does a good job of criticizing and mocking society without getting too far off the ground. Of course, like almost all satires, they're exaggerated as well, but not to the point of losing touch with reality. OOG BREAK HEAD WITH OPEN SOURCE CD!!![ Parent ]  Not Absurd (4.00 / 1) (#139) by SpaceHamster on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 04:59:45 PM EST  IMHO, the key to American Beauty's entertainment value and status as a satire is its sheer absurdity. The whole well-woven chain of events depicted in the movie would never (extremely rarely at best) occur in real life. It is such an atypical, unrealistic, and overdone portrayal of suburban life that is not supposed to be taken seriously. Oh my. America Beauty is not an atypical, unrealistsic, etc. portrayal of suburban life. All the characters in the movie are dead-on mirrors of real life people, except that they act without inhibitation. Ill go through character by character, though forgive me, Ive long forgotten the names. Kevin Spacey: wants to quit stressfull job, buy dream car of his childhood, get high, nail highschool hotty. You don't think every married-father-of-two wouldn't at some point like to do this stuff? Hell, Im 19 and I'd like do all that stuff. But I never do. Maybe I should. Thats the point of the whole fucking movie. Mom: bored with marriage, wants affair with more 'powerfull' guy from work. Uh-huh, Im sure most wives don't look at the really succesfull guy at work and go, "Shucks I wish I married him." Ill admit the shooting at the end was a bit over the top, but do you really believe that people in failing marriages don't at times have those thoughts? Daughter: She's the only one that seems to act normally. Or perhaps I simply can't fathom the innermost desires of teenage girls. Neighbor: You don't think most father's nightmare is that there boy is gay? Or that at some point they really want to smack the kid around? Im getting bored (so are you), so Ill stop. OOG, I know you said this already ("American Beauty shows what would happen if everyone were to ... act upon his hidden impulses"), but I think that you missed the point. American Beauty isnt so much a satire as it a fable or parable. The writer wants us to be aware of all those desires (even the darker ones), both in ourselves and in the people around us, and to realize that life's way to short to never act on them. [ Parent ]  Lives of Quiet Desperation (3.00 / 1) (#100) by Happy Monkey on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:51:35 PM EST  "American Beauty" has a similar conceit to "Falling Down" - A normal, everyday life with problems that ought not to be normal and everyday. The main character finally breaks down and acts out his frustration in a way that many people might secretly wish to. The idea is that the stories are realistic, but more so. ___ Length 17, Width 3[ Parent ]  Oh, come on (4.04 / 21) (#7) by jacob on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:24:40 AM EST  I hate people from the suburbs too, but I realize it's irrational. Saying things like "This rant is aimed square into the wealthy suburbs. It's aimed at the parents who work 55 hour weeks so that they can buy a new Lincoln ..." is every bit as bigoted a statement as "This rant is aimed squarely into inner-city neighborhoods. It's aimed at parents who are never home because they're too busy smoking crack and prostituting themselves every night ..." except that the former statement stereotypes a better-off group than the latter. I realize that among city-dwelling young intelligent vaguely liberal people, it's very fashionable to disdain the suburbs. Since I am one of those people, I am supposed to have that same disdain, and I certainly do. But that doesn't mean it's right. -- "it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring --Iced_Up  Suburbs v. Inner City (3.77 / 9) (#25) by Your Mom on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 01:58:40 PM EST  The difference between condemning (generally) poor inner-city parents that don't spend time with their kids and the suburban parents described in the article is that the inner-city parents have no choice in the matter. If they have a job (or two) that they can work at all the time time at to make ends meet, they consider themselves lucky. They have to to that to put food on the table, pay the bills, etc. Mere survival is not a problem for the suburban parent (again, I'm generalizing), yet they choose to deprive the children of they attention they need, leading to the same result. -- "As far as I'm concerned, Osama bin Laden can eat a dick." -trhurler[ Parent ]  You're missing my point (4.50 / 4) (#112) by jacob on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 02:31:26 AM EST  It wasn't that you shouldn't condemn suburban parents for the parenting deficiencies listed in the article because those deficiencies are understandable, it was that assuming that suburban parents have the given parenting deficiencies is itself bigoted. The only difference between negative stereotypes towards inner-city residents and negative stereotypes towards suburb residents is that the latter are more socially acceptable. Doesn't make them righter. -- "it's not rocket science" right right insofar as rocket science is boring --Iced_Up[ Parent ]  brings up a good point about families (4.50 / 16) (#8) by gibichung on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:29:49 AM EST  Sure, this article is a bit of a rant, but it points out something I think needs more attention than it seems to get today: children need their parents! My parents were both intelligent, productive people in their youth: if they had chosen the path of so many families like the one the author of this piece talks about, their combined incomes could have given them considerable material wealth. But, they wanted children, and they wanted to raise them right. So just how did they find enough time for their kids? When I was born, my mother quit her job. She stayed home. She spent time with her children. She read us books, She took us places, she'd spend hours answering any question we could imagine to ask. When my father wasn't working, he did the same. And now that their children are growing up, it shows. Many couples simply choose not to have children. In others, both parents "have to" work to maintain their lifestyles. Still others have no choice but for both parents to work to put food on the table. And an increasing number have kids they simply can't take care of, as single parents. And you know what? Anyone who has children they can't take care of is selfish. Bringing children into the world without being able to give them everything they need to become productive citizens is selfish, what else can you call it, besides "stupid"? I'm not saying that better families will solve all the world's problems. Nature sets the limits on people, and many can't overcome them. But without the right kind of nurture, children gifted with potential never live up to it. -----"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt  You left out (3.95 / 23) (#9) by Jin Wicked on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:33:16 AM EST  "I refuse to breed because I have better things to do with my life," in the poll. Kids are for the people that have the time and energy for them. Obviously the people you're ranting about don't. It's too bad that when someone with a more objective outlook says, "No, I don't want kids," their parents, neighbours and everyone else in creation insists otherwise. Part of this problem might be because people are so pressured to breed by our baby-obsessed culture. The parents might've "selfishly" pursued their wealth and remained child-free if their mother-in-law hadn't hassled them for years about having a baby until the poor wife thought she needed it to be a whole person. I personally can't stand to be around kids for longer than a few minutes at a time. Especially the little monsters like the suburban soccer moms drag into my restaurant. They think it's funny that their kid makes a huge mess everywhere within a five-foot radius of their table and disturbs everyone around them babbling and yelling. And I have to tip the bus boy extra because I don't want to clean it up. This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.  these kids grow up (2.09 / 11) (#32) by www.sorehands.com on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:37:07 PM EST  These kids group and and become teenagers that post their pictures on their own website on their own domain. Then they think they are cool, just because they can do it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.barbieslapp.com Mattel, SLAPP terrorists intent on destroying free speech. -----------------------------------------------------------[ Parent ]  If you have a problem with me... (3.66 / 9) (#59) by Jin Wicked on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:35:51 PM EST  Then let me be a living example that beating your kid, chasing it around the house with a leather belt and veins popping out of your neck until it cries and begs for mercy, screaming at it, not allowing it to ever visit any other kid's houses or go to parties (or socialize away from school -- can't trust other kid's parents), never displaying an ounce of trust, searching its room with a fine tooth comb regularly for the first fifteen years of its life (until it develops BPD and goes nuts on you), regularly lying to it (and denying any wrongdoing when caught), routinely underestimating and insulting its intelligence, never discussing anything until it turns into a frothing shout-fest, confining it to its room for weeks on end for getting an occasional C in school, and utterly ignoring all attempts said child makes to impress you... are certifiably bad things. I am lucky that I have managed to make anything of myself at all. Besides, if you don't like me, I already promised not to breed, so what's your God-damned problem? This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.[ Parent ]  It's your choice (5.00 / 1) (#146) by theR on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 08:17:59 PM EST  You can't stand to be around kids, and that is your honest feeling on the subject. I suppose it may have something to do with your childhood, but I don't really know. Couldn't it also be possible that you haven't been around enough kids to really know? And sometimes it is funny when a toddler makes a huge mess of food within a five foot radius around himself. Everybody was a child at one point, and we all did things like this. Watching a child learn how to eat, talk by babbling, etc, can be amazing. They are just learning and growing machines. I would clean up after my child as best I could in such a situation, and tip well for the trouble, but I don't see why it is that big a deal. Kids should be allowed to be kids, up to a point. Would you rather have the parent(s) resolve the matter in a similar way to how you were treated? [ Parent ]  I would rather (5.00 / 1) (#164) by Jin Wicked on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:40:01 AM EST  have the parents not take their spawn to a nice restaurant if they are incapable of behaving themselves and not irritating everyone within a ten table radius, waitstaff and other guests alike. I have seen some very polite and well-disciplined kids, and believe me I do not mind catering to them in the slightest (or bringing them free cookies), but also believe me when I say that at least 75% of the kids that come in my restaurant are allowed to leave their booth or table and run around (I have to herd a couple out of the beverage/kitchen area every day because they are unsupervised and just wandering around), yell, holler, cry, throw food, and perform all other sorts of obnoxious behaviour with no punishment what-so-ever from the parents. They actually think it's funny and laugh that their kids do this, then offer no apology for the mess they make or the disturbance to the other guests. They do not even feign an attempt to clean up the huge messes their kids make, nor do they tip extra as you might suggest. I don't know about you, but my idea of a night out does not involve going out to what I assume to be a nice, quiet restaurant, only to get stuck sitting next to the women with two munchkins each, having to step over crackers ground into the carpet, baby wipes, and crayons tossed several feet away, and listen to them cry and bang silverware on the table for 45 minutes. I personally think restaurants should have designated "children-free" areas, and likewise sit all the parents with their kids in a seperate room so they can realize just how irritating they really are. I also want yellow tape on the floor with clearly defined boundaries for each table, with the parents required to clean the mess their kids make themselves. You pay a daycare to clean up after and watch your kid...not waiters and bussers. This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.[ Parent ]  Again, the problem is parents. (5.00 / 1) (#172) by tzanger on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:10:31 AM EST  ut also believe me when I say that at least 75% of the kids that come in my restaurant are allowed to leave their booth or table and run around (I have to herd a couple out of the beverage/kitchen area every day because they are unsupervised and just wandering around), yell, holler, cry, throw food, and perform all other sorts of obnoxious behaviour with no punishment what-so-ever from the parents. I would think you agree that the problem lies squarely on the parent's shoulders for not teaching the children how to behave. I have three of my own (5y, 1.5y and 5mo) -- the first two (yes even the year and a half old) knows when they're being good or bad without any intervention from my wife or I. If they decide to misbehave, then they also realize that they will be punished. On the other hand, my 5yo stepson knows a lot more of the "finer" rules of manners and behaviour than my 1.5yo daughter does. Manners is definately a construct with many exclusions, exceptions and confusing contradictions. An example: when Cameron belches and it rattles the dishes in our cupboard, yes we laugh. Hell I'm of a toilet humour family and so is my wife. It's funny. But he also knows that a genuine-sounding "excuse me" is required after the laughter dies down. Further, he knows that if he does that outside our own kitchen that laughter is not appropriate and he should skip right to the "excuse me" part. He is learning that burps shouldn't be forced out (most times) and that there's a time and place for everything. Am I going to tell him never to burp? Of course not. Am I going to tell him he's an evil, bratty little boy because he burps and laughs? Hell no. But I will do my best to teach him when a good solid burp is funny and when he should try to get it out as quietly as possible. Even something so simple as a burp has a confusing set of social rules associated with it and he's going to need time and practise to get it right. My daughter does not understand that it's inappropriate to fart around other people. At one and a half years, she has managed to figure out that she can make hellish stench come from her rear and thinks this is a damn funny thing. (Definately my child, but I digress.) She's not a bad girl because she does this. She is learning too -- Whether it is because she feels she needs to be comfortable with her surroundings or because my wife's and my teaching is starting to work with her, she rarely farts on purpose outside the home. Is she bad? Hell no. Do we try and correct her? Definately. I know I'm veering off topic here but I believe that my point remains -- When kids act poorly, it is because they have not been properly educated by the parents. If I were at a restaurant with the kids you mention I would make a point of asking my kids -- loudly -- if the kids across the way were being good or not. I usually get the right response from them (and a dirty look from the parents of the brats). With my own children, I make a point of not being afraid to punish them no matter where we are: at a friend's, a restaurant or in the car even. They know that "being away from home" is no way to avoid being punished. As they get older we won't be putting them in corners or anything like that -- with age comes the ability to connect a punishment with a crime when it's handed out after the fact. I dunno... this all seems like pretty basic parenting to me. I suppose that like common sense, it's going the way of the dodo. It's all little lessons... And as many people have said, "do as I do" is a lot more powerful to a child than "do as I say". [ Parent ]  You are wise :) (3.40 / 5) (#38) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:12:30 PM EST  This is a completely serious comment. We need to pay attention to our own goals. Somewhere along the line reproduction went from being an important life decision to being a prerogative. A lot of people have apparently forgotten, or do not know, that there's a price to be paid for reproduction, and we're not talking about money. I completely, thoroughly respect someone like you who is goal oriented recognizing that right now you do not have the time or the energy to dedicate to raising a child. That is very responsible -- you are to be commended. I wish more people had your sensibility. Hats off to you! I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Hah (4.00 / 2) (#97) by Wah on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:02:23 PM EST  Part of this problem might be because people are so pressured to breed by our baby-obsessed culture. Ummm, I think it's a bit more of our baby-obsessed genes. I believe you're female, so when you start to get around 30 or so and start to feel strong natural urges to reproduce ask yourslef if it comes from TV or within. Now we do have a sex-obsessed culture (kinda, more of repressed sexual urges culture) and a youth obsessed culture (teens are easy to market to) and those are a part of the problem addressed in the article, but I don't see much baby obsession outside of natural urges. I personally can't stand to be around kids for longer than a few minutes at a time. Like parents like child it would seem (referencing your other post). I know you hold the conviction that you shouldn't reproduce, just make sure to hold onto it strong when your body wants to betray you and maybe one cycle of abuse can stop. -- Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life ©® | SSP[ Parent ]  I don't buy that... (3.80 / 5) (#104) by Jin Wicked on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:38:14 AM EST  Do you seriously think with all the millions of dollars people spend on fertility drugs, treatments, and desperately trying to have kids, that Americans are not baby-obsessed? Childless couples are typically seen as either something's wrong with them, or selfish. And as freaks. Men and women who can't reproduce are made to feel inadequate. I'm not talking about not enjoying sex -- I'm talking about not being able to breed. Why else do we grin like idiots and send every TV crew on the planet the next time someone comes up with a litter of six or eight babies? We know the hell the parents are going to go through... but we don't feel sorry for them. It's six babies! What a blessing, it's a miracle! If women around 30 feel the sudden urge to have a kid, it's only because they realize they don't have much time left, and with all the drooling sprog on the television, being paraded around in strollers, oohed and ahhed over, and all the dirty looks from the family and friends... "So, when are you going to have a baby?" Of course they're going to feel like they need to have a kid. The fact is that many women who choose not to have children are quite comfortable with the decision, but I have read many personal accounts and they almost all share the experience of being hounded by their friends and family, treated like they were selfish freaks, and inevitably told, "Oh, you'll change your mind." All you need to do is search on Google for the phrase "childless by choice." You can read all the horror stories there about the harassment and grief "childless by choice" women (and men) are put through. I myself realized that there is a very powerful influence on women by society to make them feel like they must breed to be a whole human being. I, for one, refuse to become slave to a slobbering mountain of strained peas and Pampers. I did try to have myself surgically sterilized when I had health insurance, but I could not find a single doctor in Minneapolis under my plan that would perform the procedure on a 20 year-old. The excuse? "Oh, you'll change your mind." That's precisely why I wanted it. I want to make sure I don't do something stupid when I turn 30 and everyone comes howling wanting to know when I'll pop out a brat. No, thank you! I'd rather have a dog. They're easier to train, quieter, cuter and less messy. Maybe a cat too. This post was probably not written by the real Jin Wicked. Please see user "butter pie" for Jin's actual posts.[ Parent ]  that's a hard assumption to make. (5.00 / 1) (#175) by chopper on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:50:18 AM EST  that is, that you'll feel that way forever. lifestyle choices, by nature, change. i know that practically every choice i made at or before 20 was wrong, so i'm actually pretty glad i didn't stick with them for life (besides, it would kinda suck to grow to be a 35 year old straightedge guy)in fact, most everyone i know who made a conscious choice to be someone outside of the norms of society (sXe, skinhead, etc) and live that specific lifestyle gave up quite a bit of it by the time they hit 30.myself, i hate kids. always have. still dunno why they like me tho. either way, that doesn't mean i'll never have them. its easy to get antagonized by those who think you're a freak just cause you don't want to become a 30-year old baby factory, but why sterilization? bit drastic, isn't it?BTW, there is a special place in Hell for those who bring crying infants on airplanes. and the subway. give a man a fish,he'll eat for a daygive a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish [ Parent ]  Hear hear! (4.75 / 4) (#162) by kitten on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:08:25 AM EST  I personally can't stand to be around kids for longer than a few minutes at a time. Especially the little monsters like the suburban soccer moms drag into my restaurant. They think it's funny that their kid makes a huge mess everywhere within a five-foot radius of their table and disturbs everyone around them babbling and yelling. And I have to tip the bus boy extra because I don't want to clean it up. Preach it. I'm a waiter as well, as I've ranted in my diary, and I can't STAND to see little kids come in, because I know they're going to spread their mess across the hemispheres of creation and scream and throw things. I realize that kids will be kids, so I don't fault them entirely. What irritates me is that the parents don't do anything about it. They laugh when the kids throws things on the floor or lets out a blood-curdling shriek like a banshee, irritating the rest of my customers. I personally have no memory of this, but my parents tell me that they used to get compliments on how well-behaved my sister and I were in public places like restaurants - not that we didn't want to bicker with each other and throw things, but because we had been taught not to by parents who knew what was what. If we did act like heathens, we were warned once, and if we continued, we were removed from the restaurant, end of story. That taught us a lesson very fast: Conduct oneself in a socially acceptable manner. Kids today are more or less rewarded for acting like brats: If they scream loud enough in a store, mommy will by them a toy to shut them up. If they throw most of their dinner on the floor and then scream because they're hungry, daddy buys them a dessert to placate them. The problem with these scenarios isn't that the kids are young and don't know how to behave; it's that the parents have no idea how to deal with misbehaving children, and oftentimes reinforce their actions. Then they wonder why the kids grow up and really don't change that much. It's a shite state of affairs. mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.[ Parent ]  Do me a favour. (5.00 / 1) (#174) by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:50:08 AM EST  If you're not already a parent, become one someday. I'm always happy to see someone who "gets it" having kids. Not like the mother that I was speaking with in my mother-in-law's store, with the kid screaming for candy. She told him no repeatedly, while informing us that his behaviour was caused by ADHD. After saying that, she caved. Being the blunt bastard that I am, I said "lady that's not ADHD, that's clueless parenting." The kid may well have had ADHD, and I don't mean to belittle those who suffer from it, but he clearly had his mom trained. I suppose my mother-in-law lost a customer. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]  delusions. (3.90 / 11) (#10) by nickco on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:42:34 AM EST  If you are going to blame 'wealthy' parents for their children's problems, then you must also blame society. To say that children are the absolute result of how their parents raised them is in my opinion as ridiculous as laying the blame completely on social influence. I don't think we can assume that showering your kids with material possessions is inherently bad. I don't believe anyone has come up with a 'right' way to raise your kid; it's all just opinion. There are, conceivably, good ways and bad ways, but who says the all the good ways are compatible? I don't think there is a real prevalence of violence in society today, just a perceived one. The media knows what people want, and that is anything shocking. And now to the tangent.. They grow up to say "but it's just a little bit of acid, it can't hurt you" when they get caught with drugs PLEASE don't associate taking LSD with murder! I don't know why you assume that only 'bad' people take LSD. Frankly, I think society would be improved if the plurality did it. Before your demonize a drug, or drugs in general as you did in this article, at least consider the actual faults and benefits of the substance. Drugs are not always done to satisfy some escapist. Acid can, to put it bluntly, enlighten the fuck out of you. So, I implore you, do not spread ignorant propaganda!  woops.. (3.00 / 2) (#11) by nickco on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:45:10 AM EST  the quote was supposed to be: These kids grow up to say "but I was just playing WWF" when they beat another child to death. They grow up to say "but it's just a little bit of acid, it can't hurt you" when they get caught with drugs. [ Parent ]  Who is society? (3.80 / 5) (#20) by thedward on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 12:34:55 PM EST  "Blaming Society" sounds like a way to avoid responsibility. Just because the problem is endemic to the whole society doesn't mean that it makes any one individual less responsible. Society is people. If everyone stands around "blaming society" instead of trying to fix their own little chunk of it, things are just going to get worse. [ Parent ]  yeah (4.33 / 3) (#24) by nickco on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 01:57:15 PM EST  That is my point. You can blame society to an extent - but that does not mean you(the parent) is not still responsible. If my kid comes home and tells me he killed everyone at school that was making fun of him, who am I supposed to blame? Certainly I would wonder about my own parental abilities, but I sure as hell would not blame myself completely, nor would I use society as a scapegoat. As far as fixing things go, from my fictional parental perspective, I can't go around trying to fix the name calling. I doubt the parents of the victims would appreciate that. The parents of those kids that died aren't likely to do anything either, as they would be forced to admit that they are somewhat responsible for their children's behavior and therefore indirectly responsible for their death. The majority of people I talk to about this issue, or other issues involving the various school shootings seem to think these kids were simply born insane. They believe that being made fun of is a natural part of going to school, and after all, they endured it, why can't everyone else? They don't really care about the 'problems' of society. I have found that the average of my demographic is interested in nothing but instant gratification. I've concluded that the reason half of America does not vote is because they simply don't care. I can extrapolate and conclude that they don't care about a whole lot. [ Parent ]  Thank you (none / 0) (#45) by kezgin on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:50:04 PM EST  PLEASE don't associate taking LSD with murder! I don't know why you assume that only 'bad' people take LSD. Frankly, I think society would be improved if the plurality did it. Before your demonize a drug, or drugs in general as you did in this article, at least consider the actual faults and benefits of the substance. Drugs are not always done to satisfy some escapist. Acid can, to put it bluntly, enlighten the fuck out of you. So, I implore you, do not spread ignorant propaganda! It's about time people stop believing the trash that all drugs are bad because some poilitician said so. [ Parent ]  acid CAN hurt you (5.00 / 1) (#49) by alprazolam on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:20:21 PM EST  if you put it in your eye. i would recommend oral ingestion. [ Parent ]  Or... (none / 0) (#99) by Happy Monkey on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:42:37 PM EST  If it's hydrochloric... ___ Length 17, Width 3[ Parent ]  Woah... slow down... (4.00 / 2) (#54) by BOredAtWork on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:05:53 PM EST  I never said LSD is the root of all evil. I suggested that a teenager getting arrested for posession is something that most parents would regard as a "bad thing" and that if this "bad thing" happens, it's their own damned fault for not teaching their children what THEY believed to be the truth about LSD. Parents can want their kids to think drugs are God's Secret Sauce; they can want them to think it's going to make Baby Jesus cry in agony - I really don't care which - I just don't think that a parent should expect a child to learn either one by osmosis, without the parents guiding them. That was the point I was trying to make. [ Parent ]  My kid just won't do what I tell him too. (4.44 / 25) (#12) by your_desired_username on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:05:46 AM EST  My kid just won't do what I tell him too. I don't understand. I gave him our basement, some spare pipes, schematics, radio-controlled igniters - I even paid for the amonium nitrate. But I just can't get him to build that bomb. I've told him he has to keep up with the Jones's kid, who held up a local WalMart, but he just won't listen. He's a lazy, good for nothing juvenile delinquent.  What do your kids get up to? (4.45 / 11) (#14) by spiralx on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:25:08 AM EST  Have a read of "The Lost Children of Rockdale County", a truly disturbing look at the sort of thing that can be happening without parents being aware of it. And the sad thing is, even after all this came out, most parents in the community didn't want to know - it didn't affect them as they saw it. You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey  Have you *seen* the documentary ? (none / 0) (#68) by mami on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:23:24 PM EST  What the transcript doesn't get across is how much it did affect the involved parents and how. I think the facial expressions of the ones who accepted to be interviewed and cooperate with the documentators, speak for themselves. Nevertheless, I do think that the author's rant is too simplistic. I don't want to comment because of that. What exactly is dysfunctional in many of those well-to-do families has very little to do with their money, IMHO. And there are definitely outside causes, which lead kids to become lonely, lost, confused, depressed, angry etc... to the point that they don't care and want to be "a**holes" (most are just desperate). BTW, the documentary showed also very well, how "the problem of becoming an "lost kid" crosses over the lines of socio-economic groups, from suburbia to so called *inner-city* or *ghetto kids*. It's just not that simple. ------ Few blame themselves until they have exhausted all other possibilities. -- anonymous [ Parent ]  The Uncomfortable Truth (4.00 / 10) (#16) by SPrintF on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 12:08:40 PM EST  Sorry, but the truth is that no one thing or small set of things determines the outcome of the child rearing process. Parenting, peer-group relationships, economics, culture, genetics... these all play their part. A lot of it, maybe 50% of it, is just luck. And that's what, I think, makes people uncomfortable and inspires their eagerness to find something they can control that will assure them of a positive outcome. They blame money or drugs or the lack of prayer in public schools when their kids turn out wrong, because these are tangible things that they can, in principle, control by imposing the appropriate restrictions on society. But the simple truth is, you just don't have that much control over the results. There's no guaranteed path to success. You can do everything right and still have your kid turn out to be a monster. All you can do is do your best and hope that things turn out OK.Sorry, but that's life.  that's a horrible way to look at it (4.80 / 5) (#18) by gibichung on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 12:28:48 PM EST  There's no guaranteed path to success. You can do everything right and still have your kid turn out to be a monster. All you can do is do your best and hope that things turn out OK. Yes, but if you do everything right, you've got a hell of a lot better chance than if you just give up. Even if a parent's possible influence on a child could ever be absolutely measured (this is of course impossible), what's the excuse not doing everything in your power to make sure your kid comes out ok? -----"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt[ Parent ]  no, it's reality (5.00 / 3) (#102) by Ender Ryan on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:05:56 AM EST  He never said that you shouldn't try your very best to raise your child, he was just introducing a dose of reality into the discussion. There are millions of factors that determine who someone turns out to be, and the reality is that most of those factors we have no control over. So, while people shouldn't be so quick to blame video games, or T.V., or The Current Evil Of The DayTM, you really shouldn't be so quick to blame parents either. That said, I think this article is mostly dead on, a hell of a lot of parents really fuck their kids up. From my experience, it's mostly upper middle class yuppies and lower class parents that are popping out the most fucked up kids. I went to a school full of yuppies, and since being out of school and seeing the real world I have found that very few people are like the people I went to school with. I am actually surprised at how decent about 40% of the population can be. Needless to say, I am bitter about my school experience and I will not be going to my HS reunions. Actually, I think one might be coming up soon, hopefully they won't find me ; ) - Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire! We are Kuro5hin! [ Parent ]  Why do we have more teenage murderers today? (4.20 / 5) (#35) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:04:38 PM EST  That's an alarming trend for the genome. :) Responsibility. That's where it starts. It begins with the parent(s) in the home (who actually have to find time for their kids between work, the yoga class, and the investor's club.) You teach values. You teach morals (hopefully you have them.) You teach consequences. You reward. You punish. You spend more time with your kids than they spend with complete strangers in the guise of television, computers, and music. I am not saying kids should not have these things -- far from it -- but I think we'd all agree than MTV, an Eminem CD, or AOL chat room is a damned shitty substitute for a parent. As for schools, values and morals definitely have their place, not as imposed structures but as respected and rewarded virtues. (Although you know, I do remember praying in school, and I never felt opressed or compelled. Some kids were even silent ...) I have seen demonstrated again and again, with my own eyes, not from a book or an article: if parents prepare their children well they'll have a strong sense of self with strong values and be able to navigate, with their parent(s)' guidance, through almost anything else thrown at them from the various sources (music, schools, television, movies, computers, video games) cited as the roots of the wrongs present in today's society. Of course parents actually have to be around to make this work. They have to be willing to participate in the rearing of their child. That might mean forgoing that yoga class, or getting your Master's degree some time after the kids move out. I think, yes I strongly suspect, that there is burden to having children. In every other part of the animal kingdom, expenditure of effort is the price of reproduction. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  No agruement with your central idea.. (4.00 / 4) (#75) by Sawzall on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:45:58 PM EST  I agree with that. But you might want to go back into history and look at teenage murder rates. They have been much higher in the past than now. Actual teenage crime is going back down again. The baby-boomlet distorted the stats the last decade. Secondly, the "war on drugs", which was more like the war on us, really had more to do with it than anything else. Regretably, many of those murders were black on black, street crime. It is why we have 20 million people in the criminal justice system. We have a reality testing problem here. [ Parent ]  Very true ... (4.00 / 2) (#82) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:28:39 PM EST  The difference between now and then is now we are supposed to know better. :) Unforunately that would not seem to be the case. :( I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Do we? (5.00 / 1) (#98) by Happy Monkey on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 11:40:47 PM EST  Do we have more teenage murders today? The last statistics I saw showed a downward trend in teenage murders. One fluke incident (Columbine) and a couple of copycat events do not show a societal trend. ___ Length 17, Width 3[ Parent ]  We do have ... (4.50 / 2) (#107) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:13:18 AM EST  problems with school safety. We didn't need metal detectors in schools until the last decade or so. Does that reflect propaganda? http://www.svrc.net/Statistics/Statistics.asp This is the best collection of numbers I have found -- draw your own conclusions. Columbine and its copycats, to my knowledge, were unprecedented. Above and beyond that, is there a need for parents to be present in their childrens' lives? Congress gives a lot of lip service to v-chips, and guidance stickers, and calls a bunch of studio execs to special panels every few years and gives them a lecture, but aren't parents the people ultimately responsible for raising their kids? How can we as a community be so against government and corporate control and yet be supportive of those same bodies raising our children? We don't trust these people to tell us the truth, why are we ready to hand our children to them? Don't we see and hear things happening today that simply did not happen years ago? What do you see and hear in the media? More importantly, what do you see and hear around you? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  A Few Points (5.00 / 3) (#122) by Happy Monkey on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:17:36 AM EST  We didn't need metal detectors in schools until the last decade or so. We still don't. The metal detectors are worse than worthless. It's absurdly simple to bypass them. For example, fire regulations require that there be many unlocked doors on a school, but there are generally only a few metal detectors. Therefore, if a school wishes to force everyone through the equipped doors, they must either post sentries by all other doors (waste of resources), lock them (against fire regulations), or put fire alarms on them (expensive, and will drastically increase the number of unplanned fire evacuations). All of these options decrease the safety and/or educational value of the school. Therefore, many schools do none of them, eliminating the usefulness of the detectors in the first place. From the 1998 report on http://www.svrc.net/Statistics/Statistics.asp: "The data in this report show a decline in school crime and a reduction in the percentage of students carrying weapons to school. At the same time, the data indicate a substantial amount of crime, including violent crime, against both students and teachers. It is also very important to note that students are more fearful at school today than in the past. These conditions highlight the importance of accurately measuring incidents of school crime so that we can improve our school environments and make them safer places." This seems to indicate an increase in both school safety and student fear. Perhaps it is the "safety measures" such as metal detectors, random locker searches, and the draconian and irrational zero tolerance policies that are driving the fear, rather than the actual safety of the school. Columbine and its copycats, to my knowledge, were unprecedented. Columbine, perhaps - though the report I cited was in response to a different sensationalized school shooting at West Paducah High School. The copycats obviously were not unprecedented. They have pretty much stopped now that the media coverage has died down. Above and beyond that, is there a need for parents to be present in their childrens' lives? Congress gives a lot of lip service to v-chips, and guidance stickers, and calls a bunch of studio execs to special panels every few years and gives them a lecture, but aren't parents the people ultimately responsible for raising their kids? How can we as a community be so against government and corporate control and yet be supportive of those same bodies raising our children? We don't trust these people to tell us the truth, why are we ready to hand our children to them? No argument here. Don't we see and hear things happening today that simply did not happen years ago? Weapons are better now, so its easier for a fluke event to be more dramatic. I don't see a trend of increasing numbers of fluke events, and even the numbers killed in said events were not enough to overcome the decrease in the number of such events. What do you see and hear in the media? More importantly, what do you see and hear around you? In the media, I see nonstop coverage of anything that happens, increasing the likelyhood of copycats. Around me, I see an increase in draconian and dehumanizing measures to "save the children." Children must file slowly into school, past uniformed security guards. They must have clear plastic backpacks and/or purses. All school implements must be non-metallic, if the child does not want to be checked out with the hand scanner every morning. Zero tolerance policies kick a child out of school if they draw a gun on a piece of paper, if they bring nail clippers to school, or even if they bring some Advil to school when they have a headache. It's getting to the point where I doubt even the good intentions of the policy makers anymore. ___ Length 17, Width 3[ Parent ]  I like the way you think. (4.00 / 1) (#131) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:31:18 PM EST  Thank you for coherent analytic replies. I know that crimes in schools are down, on the other hand it seems that violence in schools is more dramatic, perhaps because of the increased lethality of weapons, perhaps because everyone and their uncle has a video camera surgically attached to their shoulder. I think back to my high school in rural Ohio. only a few years ago a kid put a hole in the gymnasium floor with a pistol he brought from home. That's the first bullet hole since the school had been built. When I graduated in the mid 80's guns happened in school parking lots, when kids left their hunting rifles in their vehicles, but the idea of bringing one into school to actually shoot someone was unthinkable. My gut tells me that America has changed, and not for the better. I guess it could be attributed to falling follicles, but I suspect there is something more. Safety in school was not just an ideal, it was a feeling. Granted, I could still get the shit beaten out of me outside the school, but in the school there were certain standards of behavior that were not only enforced, but respected. There was never, ever any need for scanners -- that was unthinkable, even from the people who were routinely beat on. Me, for example. :) Again, I think respect and accountability goes back to the parents. Both must be taught beginning at home, preferably by example. that's a kind of ideal too, I know, but I would hope that perhaps we as a society can get back to valuing virtues more than karate classes, yoga, dance recitals, and the hundred other extracurricular excuses that keep parents and their children apart. Thank you again for your well-argued logic and calm thought. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Control, control, you must learn control! (4.25 / 4) (#64) by warpeightbot on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 06:37:53 PM EST  But the simple truth is, you just don't have that much control over the results. As Norm Schwartzkopf said, Bovine Scatology. Homeschool'em if you've the time. Private school'em if you've the money. If you have neither, at least make the time in your schedule to read to them at night, and give them a real damn good set of BS detectors/deflectors. Teach them to defend themselves with both mind and body. I've seen it done, hell, I've helped; they've turned out to be good kids despite the idiocy that is public schools these days. Yeah, at some point you have to let go. But you don't have to let'em go unarmed (and I don't mean weapons; they have to wait 'til they're 21 before they get their permits :).... sharpen those little minds to a fine edge, do your best to make their lives a pleasant challenge instead of a hellmouth, and watch'em tear into life like a big cat on fresh zebra. [ Parent ]  +1 FP, and fix all the spelling. (3.81 / 11) (#19) by skyhook on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 12:31:36 PM EST  Loads of spelling mistakes that are enough to distract the reader from the message. Title should be "Your Kid" and line two it says "high school principle" instead of principal. While I have not read all of the other comments, I did see several commenting similarly. As for the message, right on. I realize that k5's audience consists of many nationalities, and that describing this in terms of American cultural shortcomings artificially limits the argument, but I live in the U.S. and can only comment on what I know. Americans base their societal values, it seems to me, more on Liability than Responsibility. People seem to spend more time looking for some place to lay the blame for the bad things in their life than they do looking inward at their own shortcomings and responsibilities. I have always called this "Victim Culture". I try to make my decisions in life based on being aware of whether my actions constitute an attempt at shifting blame. A doctor diagnosed me with ADD several years ago and I could easily use that as an excuse to fail. (Which I did for a while after the diagnosis) Now I rarely tell people of the diagnosis and try daily to analyze every action by filtering it through awareness. It has mitigated my symptoms greatly. The argument of Nature vs. Nurture with regards to child behavior can turn contentious. My wife has worked as an elementary school teacher for three years, and her mother has spent thirty years in education working with special needs children. Both would eagerly tell you that Nurture, or parental involvement, seems to be a stronger determining factor in a child's abilities, both cognitively and behaviorally. My two children, ages five and three, are given love unconditionally, but given punishments appropriately gauged to any bad behavior. Their kindergarten and pre school teachers tell us that both kids behave much better than their classmates, and follow directions much better. Several of their classmates have varying levels of behavioral problems that will only get worse as time goes on. Those kids will fit the description of the stealing money/dealing acid profile you list above. P.S. - If this comment seems oddly worded or unecessarily verbose, forgive me. For the first time, I have tried to write something in E-Prime, i.e. without the verb "to be". I think I have done well, but if you find something I missed, feel free to flame me :)  re: Disipline (4.00 / 3) (#27) by Your Mom on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:08:12 PM EST  My two children, ages five and three, are given love unconditionally, but given punishments appropriately gauged to any bad behavior. Their kindergarten and pre school teachers tell us that both kids behave much better than their classmates, and follow directions much better. Several of their classmates have varying levels of behavioral problems that will only get worse as time goes on. Those kids will fit the description of the stealing money/dealing acid profile you list above. That's probably the biggest thing that I have my parents to thank for, and seems to be missing from younger kids nowadays. When I was good, my parents let me know, but when I wasn't, I definately heard about it. Because of that, I was usually among the better behaved in my classes, and came out on top (graduated from college, got a good job, etc, etc...) -- "As far as I'm concerned, Osama bin Laden can eat a dick." -trhurler[ Parent ]  You thought you could escape my pedantry? :-) (4.33 / 3) (#84) by reeses on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:51:50 PM EST  Loads of spelling mistakes that are enough to distract the reader from the message. Title should be "Your Kid" and line two it says "high school principle" instead of principal[...] [...]Both would eagerly tell you that Nurture, or parental involvement, seems to be a stronger determining factor in a child's abilities, both cognitively and behaviorally. My two children, ages five and three, are given love unconditionally, but given punishments appropriately gauged to any bad behavior[...] [...]For the first time, I have tried to write something in E-Prime, i.e. without the verb "to be". I think I have done well, but if you find something I missed, feel free to flame me :) Don't worry, you can count on me. :P [ Parent ]  I have based my life on your pedantry. (none / 0) (#126) by skyhook on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:08:00 PM EST  "I can do this" I thought. I think of myself as a relatively intelligent guy with a slightly above average grasp of the language. So I decided "Let's Go For It!" Overall, I felt happy with the result, and submitted it while thinking, "I should consider myself lucky that I have chosen to submit my first attempt at this to a relatively neutral forum, and not 'that other place' where the pedantic bastards would pick me to shreds." Apparently, I can consider myself safe nowhere on the net. :) I did not expect to get the process right the first time, and I consider it a learning experience. I find the concept of E-prime fascinating. During a dalliance with Lojban which you may recall, I rember reading a paragraph or two on the basis of the Loglan/Lojban research, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which essentially states that man shapes his thought processes though the filter of the language he speaks. (Though this probably grossly oversimplifies the concept, especially when you remember our recent discussion that "Skyhook doesnt know anything about anything"). And now, for your pedantic pleasure, you have received a second helping of my flailing immature attempts at a higher order of thought. Have at it. But make it a clean thrust, and let me die as a warrior. [ Parent ]  identity language and child-rearing (5.00 / 1) (#121) by iGrrrl on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:46:23 AM EST  Although reeses busted your instances of "to be", congratulations on trying to use E-prime. One can do good things by avoiding identity language, especially for kids. For example, parenting magazines made a big deal in the mid 90's about not damaging your child's self-esteem. This advice came with no tempering discussion of discipline and limits. Like some of the the kids who's parents raised them with "family meetings" in the 70's and 80's, some of these esteem-raised kids have a huge sense of entitlement with no sense of responsibility. What does this have to do with E-prime? One can separate a child's actions from a child's self. In other words, telling someone they've done a stupid thing often has a different impact than telling them they are stupid. I don't find this distinction trivial, and applying it can help one keep a less-judgemental attitude. Children sense judgement, which may lie behind the nonsense about not disciplining them so as not to hurt their self-esteem. One can judge actions without judging the person. As you said, skyhook, one can give unconditional love and still not tolerate bad behavior. [E-prime] -- You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localrogerremove apostrophe for email.[ Parent ]  Parenting. (none / 0) (#129) by skyhook on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:25:16 PM EST  Although reeses busted your instances of "to be", congratulations on trying to use E-prime. Don't mind reeses too much. He and I know each other from 'some other place'. He enjoys poking holes in other's pretentions :) The rest of your reply describes alot of how we try to raise our kids. We try to keep aware of the difference between telling our children "You did something wrong" and "You are a bad boy/girl". (Yes, there's an "are" there. I have not yet started attempting to remove identity language from my communication with my children.) During discussions about particularly bad behavior we always make sure to work in a phrase along the lines of "I love you. I'm just very disappointed/upset". And I always attempt to avoid the use of the word "But" in between those sentences for similar reasons. [E-prime attempt #3] [ Parent ]  Thank You (1.00 / 1) (#147) by asqui on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:06:10 PM EST  Scrolling through the abundance of comments, yours was the first to consider the fact that there is actually a world outside America. This article applies to Australia as well. It irritates me the way many Americans see the USA as, not only the centre of the universe, but the be all and end all of it. This is by no means pigeon-holing all Americans or anything like that. It just irritates me. anywho, Thank You for actually considering the rest of the world. asqui People who live in stucco houses shouldn't throw quiche.[ Parent ]  What else is new? (3.80 / 10) (#21) by sventhatcher on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 01:18:44 PM EST  Browsing through the comments I seem to be seeing a lot of "this brings up important issues" and "I'd like to see this discussed". Now there's no doubt that this is a well written piece and I enjoyed reading it (thusly I voted it +1), but this isn't a particularly new angle on the issue of parenting (Eminem anyone?), nor do I think it lends itself much to discussion. It's hard to debate the ideas it expresses. Obviously kids need the love and attention of their parents. Obviously money isn't an adequate replacement for said love and attention. Obviously any parents that miss their children's lives preparing for thier future is making a grave miscalculation.  Repitition my friend (4.00 / 1) (#90) by Wah on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:15:44 PM EST  your advertising friends know it, as do many others. Think of it as a simple reminder, if you agree with it, if not then debate it. And I think the point of the article is that all the things you point out as obvious aren't. Especially your second obviously. -- Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life ©® | SSP[ Parent ]  Root causes... (2.62 / 8) (#26) by Zeram on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:02:26 PM EST  Well perhaps instead of condemning the yuppie scum proxy parents we should look at why they do it. Because you know when they were young mommy missed their dance rehearsal, and that impacted them deeply! <----^----> Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...  Taxes, Too (2.60 / 10) (#28) by SEWilco on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:09:56 PM EST  Let's not forget both parents having to work so they can pay for the house, the car, and the one-fifth of their income which their governments take.  Too much taxes yes, but... (4.16 / 6) (#30) by dzelenka on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:27:54 PM EST  More common than tax problems is the urge to live beyond one's means. Having to get a job to pay for the$40K Lexus SUV is not a sign of good parenting. * "Are you talkin' to me?"[ Parent ]
 Funny thing... (4.00 / 3) (#34) by liberalmafia on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:48:36 PM EST

 Alleged "socialist hell" Sweden is notorious for its taxes, yet we're not hearing stories like these about wayward youth there. Wonder why? Could theremaybe, just maybe, be factors more important than a supposedly dreadful tax burden? (Technically, it's a liberal welfare state, not a socialist one, but that's another story...) [ Parent ]
 Well probably (4.33 / 3) (#39) by kezgin on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:14:12 PM EST

 because if a state is mostly socialist, there is not a need to pay for many things that may be required to live. Whereas in the U.S., we pay away a large portion of our income, and still have to pay for the same things that other states provide. Personally I would rather not pay the taxes, and pay for things such as health care myself. But we are a country that has the worst of both worlds, where you pay a huge amount to the government and then still have to pay for practically everything else too. Rather half assed if you ask me. [ Parent ]
 But we still pay much less. (3.00 / 1) (#71) by magney on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:31:52 PM EST

 "Large" as our tax burden is, it's far lower than that in any economically stable place in Europe. Do I look like I speak for my employer?[ Parent ]
 yeah, but (4.00 / 1) (#89) by strlen on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:59:36 PM EST

 the tax burden gets us no services. in europe i can get pension funds, health care, public transport (its non-existant in many US cities), day-care for children. that's not available in the united states. a lot of it goes into corporate welfare, miliatary. personally i'd prefer taxes to go mostly into health care and education, and scale down the military (less interventionist == cheaper). -- [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.[ Parent ]
 tax 'burden' (none / 0) (#115) by emmons on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 04:32:20 AM EST

 Granted, the US government is wasteful and inefficient, like any other. But, looking at it from a purely philosophical standpoint, out heavy tax burden 'buys' us our American citizenship. It's the cost of living in an economically and politically stable society. Furthermore, while I usually don't agree with our motivation for doing it, our taxes allow the US to be a very generous country to other, poorer nations. I can't imagine how many billions per year we give away in aid. --- In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. -Douglas Adams[ Parent ]
 agree. (none / 0) (#133) by strlen on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 02:38:29 PM EST

 it would help if we were more generous to our own citizens first though. and yeah, taxes pay for political stability and a part of social contract. -- [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.[ Parent ]
 Military burden (none / 0) (#159) by tjb on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:21:14 AM EST

 You have hit hit on one the major points as to why Europeans get more for their tax money: namely, the US has to provide the military infrastructure for Europe as well as itself. The fact is, Europeans only need to spend military money on the basics: troops, a few planes, and a token navy. The US, on the other hand, spends money maintaining the a sophisticated air force, the most powerful navy the world has ever seen (by far), and a logistical supply train meant to fight two wars simultaneously. Unfortunately, it is in our interests to maintain these things as it prevents direct attack on the US and gives leverage in world affairs. Our intervention in small conflicts around the world is but a small fraction of these costs; it is the maintenance of 7 carrier battle groups (each immensely powerful) and an airforce that has to constantly train new pilots that is sucking up the money. And after the US and Canada, Western Europe (ie, our NATO allies) is the greatest beneficiary of the 'big stick' that the US carries. And yet, they do not pay their fair share. Western Europe has an economy roughly the size of that of the US, maybe even a little bigger. Thusly, our NATO allies should either front up some cash for the military machine that has brought peace through strength for the last 50 years, or they should begin to field a comparable allowing the US to reduce its outlays. Perhaps a European carrier battle group should patrol the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, allowing us to significantly reduce military expenditures. And the Europeans should invest in some lift capacity so that they don't need to call on american soldiers every time they wish to involve themselves in a conflict *cough*kosovo*cough*. As it stands, the alliance is completely unbalanced: the US pays the bills, and risks the blood, our allies just bitch about it. Tim [ Parent ]
 true (none / 0) (#165) by strlen on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:47:17 AM EST

 i'm not a big fan of NATO either, especially for its actions in kosovo, and for its coldwar days of assisting military dictators in greece (and almost including franco in their union). i understand that europe and pacific are vital to US interests. it would be nice though that european union could create a military force that would relieve some of the pressures from the united states or that the european countries contribute more to nato. i personally think the nato out to go, in favor of a smaller volunteer armies for each nation state, which can be cooperate with each other under european union. if they US is gone, france can also join in and take over some of the roles that US have had. western europe is friendly to the united states, and generally it's own interest in europe is america's interest as well, so there's no reason for direct american presence. as for the far east and the middle east, i'm really not sure what is to be done. i'm morally opposed to middle eastern engaments, partially because countries like saudi arabia or qatar are very much reactionary, un-democratic human-rights violators and they receive a lot of american support, for the purpose of supporting big oil. and again, they are wealthy enough to keep sadam or the ayatolah in check. it really bothers me that united states supports countries which execute people by beheading in public-squares for practicing "black magic" and "apostasy". -- [T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.[ Parent ]
 Ummm...a lot more than 1/5 (4.83 / 6) (#80) by theboz on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:22:33 PM EST

 I pay about 48% of my income in taxes before I even get my check. Then, afterwards there is a sales tax on anything I buy, taxes on my vehicle, toll roads, and then all the fees I have to pay to actually get any services from the government. Honestly, I would love if I lived in a socialized country just because my tax money would be used for something. Right now it's all being wasted and very little goes to anything I actually care about or need. People need to think of what they are paying in taxes, then start to demand some accountability in government spending because it's all being wasted now. I think all politicians should live in HUD housing, they should have to ride a bus to work, and not be able to receive gifts from the rich. If being a politician was not such a cushy job then our tax money wouldn't be wasted, and there would be no reason for people to be politicians other than wanting to actually serve the country. Anyways this is off topic but I find your number of 1/5 being taken in taxes to be extremely low. Stuff.[ Parent ]
 Define a 'socialized country' (none / 0) (#119) by yigal on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 08:00:31 AM EST

 Honestly, I would love if I lived in a socialized country just because my tax money would be used for something. You make me curious as to your meaning of 'socialized country'. Circumstantial evidence hints at you living in the Netherlands; and while this country is not a socialist state, while things could be done better, while the politicians here are the same bunch of *** you find everywhere else, I do believe that the Netherlands are one of the more socialized countries in the world. So what did I miss? YDD .sigmentationfault[ Parent ]
 I live in the U.S. (4.00 / 1) (#123) by theboz on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:38:22 AM EST

 I'm not really Dutch, I just play one on the internet. (I assume you went to bikkel.com.) The problems with the U.S. is that I pay so much taxes, yet I don't get as much as other countries do for their money. I see that there is decent health care, better free government services, better police force, etc. in many countries in Europe. In the U.S. I don't get much bang for my buck. You would wonder exactly what they are spending the money on when the military and educational budgets seem to have shrunken over the past 10 years as well as some of the other bigger things. Some of the specialized government services have increased but providing people with welfare does not serve much of a purpose to me. Also, I am working with the INS to bring my fiancee to the U.S. and the fees for that are like 450 or something. Why should I have to pay that when I already pay them so much in taxes? Why should I have to pay to get a driver's license, passport, or anything else from the government when I already pay about half of my money in a combination of state and federal taxes? Stuff.[ Parent ]  I see... (5.00 / 1) (#234) by yigal on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:07:11 AM EST  I'm not really Dutch, I just play one on the internet. How curious ;-) \begin{offtopic rant} The problem lies in the fact that in every 'civilized' country, the government services have evolved from a service to a bureaucratic organization, together with the associated costs for maintaining such an org. And politicians being well known for their tremendous insight in long-term solutions, their answer is to make us pay more. Both in the US and in Europe. Oh well, don't know what point I'm actually trying to make. Just a great way to vent a long-living grudge against politics. YDD .sigmentationfault[ Parent ]  Hmmm. (3.37 / 8) (#31) by kevsan on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:35:44 PM EST  I'm starting to believe, judging from the last two front page stories, that k5 is developing an ass fetish. -K  lol (1.75 / 4) (#33) by sonnyjz on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 02:40:08 PM EST  lol [ Parent ]  I'm glad I'm not the only one... (5.00 / 1) (#142) by rwg on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 06:13:13 PM EST  ...that immediately recognized that the first two stories on the front page were about assholes. [ Parent ]  Amen! (3.40 / 5) (#37) by onyxruby on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:12:27 PM EST  I wish I had seen this in the queue to give it a +1 FP, despite all the spelling errors. Whilst I certainly disagree with you that listening to Marilyn Manson or getting an aborton is neccasarily bad, I agree with every other thing you wrote. It all goes to the central tenant of being responsible. There is only one way to get time to spend with your kids, and that is to make time. Most kids would rather have their parents time than their money anyways. Save those that have been taught by their parents that money is more valuable than their time. Those are the ones that grow up and become yuppies. Amen. The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.  Hear hear! (3.14 / 7) (#40) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:18:15 PM EST  I concur with another commentor that this is rather wasted appearing on K5, but I agree 100% with your sentiments. I gain hope for future kids from the fact that I am beginning to see these attitudes appearing in other forums. Perhaps the growing recognition of the responsibilities of parenthood is something positive. Perhaps someone reading this will put a bit more thought into planning their family, and put off bringing a new life into the world until they are ready to responsibly make the commitment it requires. :) On an aside, I gave you +1 to section, but I am glad to see this at the top of the FP (and not just cuz I was tired of that "Anus Surgery" thing. :) ) I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.  Yeah, you're wrong. (3.37 / 16) (#43) by Defect on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:34:56 PM EST  Yeah, let's blame the successful people of the world. I've got news for you, you're not going to be able to look at what a person drives to determine whether or not their kid's a fucking moron. The answer is not money. There's blame to be placed everywhere, and that is where the problem lies, people are trying to blanket blame the nearest associated groups. It's been going on forever, people want answers and they want them right away, if authorities in the matter can place blame, it pleases the masses as now they have something they can look out for. Does it help any? Of course not. Nothing will help and everyone knows it, whether they admit it to themselves or not. It's common fucking sense that blaming one specific product or aspect of society for one specific event does no good. If listening to marylin manson and playing doom causes kids to kick dogs and try to level a high school then why the hell doesn't it happen for everyone? Because it wasn't what caused it. The only thing you can blame the parent of a dipshit for is being a complete fucking idiot. It's a problem with humans; we, as a whole, are incredibly stupid. This wasn't a problem back some tens of thousands of years ago, when everything was simple, where the only thing you needed to figure out for the day was which wooly fucking mammoth would provide the most meat. But ever since the god damned wheel was invented, we've been quickly creating a society where only a very small amount of people can comprehend anywhere near a reasonable bit of it. It's too complicated for most people. Don't bother trying to blame anything on anyone. If you really want to blame a single person, he died a long time ago, unfortunately just after he told the rest of his tribe that round objects roll and can be used to transport things. We're fucking monkeys for christ's sake, we weren't fit to come down from the trees, it's pretty obvious isn't it? But since most people won't take this as a good excuse, just keep in mind the most influencial 3 words you can ever tell your child are: "You stupid shit." Defect, just as retarded as everyone else defect - jso - joseth || a link  It may not be a rule... (2.00 / 2) (#44) by xee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 03:48:48 PM EST  But it certainly is a trend. You can't deny that. Proud to be a member.[ Parent ]  Then explain please ... (3.33 / 6) (#52) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:53:46 PM EST  Why it would be that we have had guns in America for several hundred years, but only in the past few decades do we have American schoolchildren using them against eachother. We have had genitalia for as long as we have been around, but high American teen pregnancy numbers are a product of the latter half of the 20th century. We have had chemical escapes since someone ate the wrong mushroom (or let grape juice sit for too long), but American ten year olds abusing them is a recent phenomenon. The conditions about which you speak are not universal. They are cultural. Ask Dutch, or Norwegian, or Swiss citizens about these problems in their cultures. They will look at you with raised eyebrows. I agree with this article's author -- I suspect the biggest fault lies with a culture that believes in parenting by proxy. No time for your kids? The computer/TV/school/music/peers/movies/video game will occupy them. Raising kids is not Eminem's or ID Soft's descriptions. "The Fast and the Furious" is not a certified babysitter. Nice Mr. Harper, the science teacher at school only has you kid for one hour a day. Why did Johnny or Suzie take the gun to school, even though their parents were members of all the local societies and clubs? The most important thing the parents could have been members of, their child's life, was the last thing they thought about joining ... I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Oh please. (4.20 / 5) (#57) by ghjm on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:28:13 PM EST  Why it would be that we have had guns in America for several hundred years, but only in the past few decades do we have American schoolchildren using them against each other. We certainly have not had handguns for several hundred years. In Revolutionary War times, we had muskets, generally stored in a village armory rather than at the homes of townspeople. Handguns have only existed since the mid-nineteenth century; the first service revolvers were issued to the U.S. army in 1889. Popular personal ownership of handguns is mostly a 20th century invention, and American schoolchildren (and adults) have been shooting each other ever since. Things got particularly bad during the Depression / Prohibition era, resulting in the National Firearms Act of 1934. This set the stage for the gun registration "debate" which has been going on ever since. Recent popular sensationalism to the contrary, there has not been any statistically significant recent increase in gun violence or youthful gun violence per capita. We have had genitalia for as long as we have been around, but high American teen pregnancy numbers are a product of the latter half of the 20th century. True. But that's because it is only recently that you find teen pregnancy viewed as a social ill. All Western history up to the late Renaissance records 16-18 as the usual and customary age to begin having children. We have decided as a society that people should delay having children until they are, say, 26-36. This flies in the face of our genetic programming, history and inclinations. The Victorian and Edwardian periods were characterized by extreme sexual repression, which no doubt helped keep the population down. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the "sexual revolution" radically altered our views on things like premarital sex. We seem to be heading back into a repressive climate, which will no doubt reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy - but this is hardly an unambigously good thing. We have had chemical escapes since someone ate the wrong mushroom (or let grape juice sit for too long), but American ten year olds abusing them is a recent phenomenon. Hardly. One of the classic American stories was Dad or Grandpa catching the kids smoking his tobacco and making them smoke until they threw up. Prohibition era gangs, notable for excessive drinking of poor-quality alcohol, smoking "reefers" etc etc, were as full of teenagers as gangs are today. None of these things are particularly new. -Graham [ Parent ]  And yet ... (4.00 / 2) (#61) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 06:06:13 PM EST  children shooting children in classrooms is certainly a recent phenomenon. Muskets and pistols -- around for centuries -- are as deadly as hand-held semi automatic weapons, and yet classroom shootings did not occur before the 1970's. Children meeting the definition of an addict (of highly addictive controlled substances) are also a latter twentieth century phenomenon. I challenge you to find me one documented instance of an American child independently pursuing an addiction to cocaine, laudanum, heroin, morphine, amphetamines, tranquilizers, or opium pre 1960. As for teens having babies out of wedlock, it certainly has/does/did happen, but as something socially unacceptable in post-Victorian American society it certainly did not exist in today's numbers pre 1960. Show me any statistics that disprove that classroom killings, the drug addiction of minors, or increased teen pregnancy rates post 1960 are anything but a latter 20th century phenomenon and I'll cede the individual points. :) Otherwise oh please yourself. :) And it is not that I am advocating a return to pre 1960 society. Hardly. What I am advocating are parents taking responsibilty for their children, and actively participating in their lives. That's not a bad thing. :) I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  bleh (none / 0) (#69) by delmoi on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:24:21 PM EST  children shooting children in classrooms is certainly a recent phenomenon. Muskets and pistols -- around for centuries -- are as deadly as hand-held semi automatic weapons, and yet classroom shootings did not occur before the 1970's. Yeh, right. If they're as deadly, why arn't we still using them in wars? Children meeting the definition of an addict (of highly addictive controlled substances) are also a latter twentieth century phenomenon. When did we start defining 'addict' anyway? I doubt you'd find many kids who were noted as having ADD or Dyslexia in the first half of the century. Show me any statistics that disprove that classroom killings, Please, you're more likely to die by having an Airplain fall on you then you are to die in a classroom. Classroom killings are incredibly rare, and thats why they get so much airtime. --"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman[ Parent ]  How convenient an excuse then :) (5.00 / 1) (#74) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:44:08 PM EST  Everybody and everything is responsible except the parents. Hot damn, I'm giving up today. :) No there's nothing new under the sun, no symptoms, no signs, nothing wrong. Arm them all, tell them to fuck like rabbits, and send them out into the world seeking whatever feels good because all you have to do is squirt in a nice warm wet place and then you are absolved of all obligation. The umbilical cord is cut, they're good to go. After all we're nothing but crocodilians deep down, so let's give up trying to aspire, to be something better. What's human but some pearly goo, a snort of this, and tossing a few back on a Saturday night? Who gives a fuck about thought, about meaning. The meaning of life is a rush of adrenaline, an opiate blur, and fifteen seconds of ecstasy stolen on a grubby mattress. That's not the world I want to live in, nor is it the way I choose to raise my children. If it's good for you, then let me know where you live so I can live as far away from them as possible. I have more hope than that, I desire for more than that, and damnit, I am not afraid to accept some responsibility. I want to be more than a few glands attached to a penis. Bleh, indeed. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  By the way, show me your numbers ... (4.00 / 1) (#79) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:21:21 PM EST  I'll step beyond my knee-jerk reaction and try to answer with logic. I do not understand how: "Yeh, right. If they're as deadly, why arn't we still using them in wars?" is in any way a refutation of my point. If anything the weapons around today are, as you note, more deadly. I ask you to show me any stories regarding "Johhnie being felled by musket fyre", because being killed by a bullet is being killed by a bullet is being killed by a bullet. :) As for children fighting in wars, yes it's happened and happens today. I am not certain though how this in any way makes children dying under gunfire acceptable, or any less deserving of refutation. Moreover in a country at peace one would assume that wartime conditions would not occur in classrooms. Is that too much to ask? And it didn't used to happen. If it did, cite examples, I am all ears (or eyes, in this case.) I would suppose that an addict is anyone compelled through an overwhelming physical or psychological obsession to possess or perform. Does it matter? Why weren't kids snorting coke back at the turn of the 20th century? It was widespread, and cheaply available over the counter at any chemist's. So was laudanum, which makes oxy-contin look like aspirin. Where was the abuse? My weakest assertion, as I see it, is that a symptom of societal decay is teen pregnancy. It has always been around, but note that stigmatizing social controls are no longer effective. They used to be. Something is causing that. Here's a helpful site for numbers: http://www.svrc.net/Statistics/Statistics.asp I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Once again, disinformation springs from ignorance. (4.00 / 1) (#88) by Inoshiro on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:16:33 PM EST  Head on over to http://archive.org/, then watch some movies. Start with "Drug Addiction": Drug Addiction 1951 Producer: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. Sponsor: Juvenile Protection Association of Chicago (The) and The Wieboldt Foundation Classic "slippery slope" narrative of post-World War II stoned slackerdom. Descriptors: Substance abuse: Drugs Maybe you need to get a fucking wakeup call. Just becaues you can't remember anyone saying "damned junkies" about the "rosy ol' 1950s," doesn't mean bad stuff happened. You seem to forget the Boston Strangler, organized crime (idolized through Capone, et all), wars, pregnancies of a a lot of house wives by a 13-year-old (it was very scandalous, and documented in Allan Sherman's "Rape of the A.P.E.:the Official History of the Sex Revolution"), etc! I could go on for hours. But I won't, because I think I have the point across. Those who write the history books (in this case, the "Moral majority") control history itself, and how it is perceived (which is not helped by the "grass is always greener" meme). -- [ イノシロ ][ Parent ]  So then parents should just give up. :) (4.00 / 1) (#94) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:38:36 PM EST  That's nice, Inoshiro. I don't give a shit if you're Jesus Christ. Here a whole bunch of numbers: http://www.svrc.net/Statistics/Statistics.asp. Did you miss my original point, that parents hold some responsiblity for the actions of their children? I must have let myself get distracted by side-points. My bad. According to the "touchy-feelie gosh why can't we all just hug and get along" contingent the following items are responsible for kids fucking up, in no particular order: the presence of environmental chemicals the lack of essential chemicals violent movies violent video games sexually suggestive media peers shock rockers like Marylin Manson television rock and roll music gangsta rap genetics bad teachers violent cartoons I probably missed a few, but I suspect the one glaring absence in the list is the one that is apparently not "politically correct" to discuss: the parents. A lot of parents today seem to expect to be nothing more than ersatz seed donors who upon giving their "all" to their offspring send them off to various and sundry surrogate parents. Then when we do have kids unloading guns on one another -- I musta missed the headlines from the 20's, or a kid from a good home participates in a gang rape of a cheerleader -- happened all the time in the 40's, or commits one of a hundred less visible crimes -- all of the sudden we point to all of these outside "causes" and scream to our government "SAVE OUR KIDS!" This community screams bloody murder when a government or a corporation tries to interfere in our work, but we'll nod our heads like good sheeple and hand our kids over to their ministrations because suddenly rearing our offspring has become inconvenient to our plans. I say, "PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS AND BE PARENTS FOR A CHANGE!" Do you disagree that focus on parenting skills has been lost, or will this also produce vehement objection? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Yes (none / 0) (#282) by ghjm on Tue Jul 31, 2001 at 03:37:39 PM EST  I agree. Throw "parents" in with the rest of your bullet list and you have a great resource to answer the question: Why don't people take responsibility for their own actions? You know who's responsible when a kid shoots another kid? THE KID WITH THE GUN. Surprise - kids are people, not slaves to their parents. Kids have personalities, motivations, and the potential to develop responsibility. Like anything else in a human, responsibility develops in direct proportion to how much it is exercised. Saying that the parents are responsible is just one more way to avoid having the kids exercise their own responsibilities. -Graham [ Parent ]  Yah Al Capone, that violent 11 year old ... (5.00 / 1) (#109) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:54:24 AM EST  Didn't know him personally, but I remember reading a history book about him and how he terrorized his second grade class. Didn't he have his third grade teacher "rubbed out" when she gave him an "unsatisfactory" in handwriting? It's all coming back to me, thanks for the refresher. Enough nastiness. I apologize for losing my temper with you. Let's move on. Now in the U.S. we have gangs of 13 year olds with guns, so an eleven year old Al Capone's antics might make the second page of the newspaper, but chances are good no one would make a movie about it, or write a book. There would be no archives to cite on the web, because we wouldn't think twice about reading a newspaper story about a twelve year old with a crack habit, or a sexually active 13 year old. This stuff is so commonplace in the U.S. that it's become passé. The story you cite of a 13 year old impregnating several adult women would be a scandal today, but as for violence if the body count is only one and the perpetrator is older than 14 it's not usually front page news. Things might be hunkey dorey in Europe, but around here you have to shoot a classmate in school to make the national news. Classmates shoot eachother quite frequently out of school (shooting is still the number one cause of death for juvenile black males.) Perhaps desensitization leads people to believe that nothing is different? This is not moral revisionism on my part. I am a politically liberal gay man. I am not a part of your "moral majority." If anything I am on the outside looking in, and the majority I see has big problems. I still believe that with most problem children (including ADD and ADHD) you need only look in the home. Several prominent psychiatrists are now saying that ritalin is highly overprescribed. I believe that the answer to most parent's dilemma is not a pill. How did the species survive the previous thousand generations without modern pharmacology? Again, it might be different in Europe or Canada (wherever you are from that people spell "colour" correctly.) If it is, good for you. I salute your country's common sense. We don't have much here. We need some. Can you give a loan? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  School Shootings (none / 0) (#240) by EriKZ on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:38:10 AM EST  Have you also considered that before 50 years ago most people stopped going to school after getting an 8th grade education? [ Parent ]  This is true ... (5.00 / 1) (#263) by joegee on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:42:13 PM EST  So where were all the classroom killings 30 years ago? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  And actually ... (none / 0) (#264) by joegee on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:43:55 PM EST  No, most people graduated high school ... Show me numbers otherwise. Try the DOE. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Research (none / 0) (#273) by EriKZ on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 08:07:55 PM EST  Hmm, the information the DOE gave online was current. I couldn't find anywhere on the site that gave info of a more historic nature. http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/grading.html This should proove that for the longest time, there wasn't even a high school, and that education stopped at 8th grade. I was looking at the town museum the other day, and the featured woman (1870s) had graduated college and started her own law firm by the age of 19. Ah, here we go: http://www.edweek.org/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=30highschool.h20 "By the turn of the century, fewer than 17% of the 17 year olds even held a high school degree, let alone a college degree" That's an odd way of phrasing it. Hmm, I'm unable to find an exact date of when they finally added grade 11 and 12, but if it was after the turn of the century, then the average person should of graduated by the age of 17. [ Parent ]  The turn of the century (none / 0) (#274) by joegee on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 08:25:26 PM EST  was not fifty years ago. What are the statistics for 1950's? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  You misunderstand (5.00 / 1) (#279) by EriKZ on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 09:02:45 AM EST  I didn't say "The 1950s" I said "Greater than 50 years ago". Which means BEFORE the 1950s. [ Parent ]  Regarding handguns ... (5.00 / 1) (#83) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:51:36 PM EST  Several hundred years: 20th century, 19th century, 18th century, 17th century. I think a handgun is a small gun that could be concealed under clothing and held and fired with one hand. Same concept even if the mechanism is slightly different. Flintlock pistols go back to the mid 1600's actually, as far as I can find using a quick search? Here's a replica: http://www.jastro.ca/itm00022.htm Here's a bit more detail on the weapon itself: http://www.howstuffworks.com/flintlock.htm I cannot seem to find a decent firearm timeline, but the bullet is relatively new, and I'll give you the point about pregnancy. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Nice try. (4.00 / 1) (#198) by Alarmist on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:04:47 PM EST  We certainly have not had handguns for several hundred years. In Revolutionary War times, we had muskets, generally stored in a village armory rather than at the homes of townspeople. Nice try. The average American farmer was able to outshoot the average British infantryman for two reasons: first, he was more likely to use a rifle than his counterpart (better accuracy over range), and second, he had to hunt for his food. Not many people had private arsenals, but you can bet that every household had at least one firearm. Handguns have only existed since the mid-nineteenth century; the first service revolvers were issued to the U.S. army in 1889. Poppycock on both counts. Handguns have existed since at least the middle of the sixteenth century, and perhaps earlier. U. S. Army officers were issued pistols even before the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865), and they were general issue throughout the war (usually some make of Colt or Remington, but there were a few oddball Volcanics and other pieces). There probably wasn't a standard pistol until 1889 or so (there wasn't really even a standard long gun until after the Civil War), which may be what you're thinking of. Popular personal ownership of handguns is mostly a 20th century invention, and American schoolchildren (and adults) have been shooting each other ever since. This statement is based on a false premise - that ownership of firearms is a 20th century phenomenon. This isn't true. Until the early 20th century (and even into it), much of what is now the United States was still wild and undeveloped. These sorts of environments are exactly where you'd want to have a firearm, either to hunt with or to protect oneself from wild animals and unfriendly neighbors. The Victorian and Edwardian periods were characterized by extreme sexual repression, which no doubt helped keep the population down. Are you nuts? The only sexual repression in those periods was in the externally visible arena. Behind closed doors, people had lots of sex. Women were generally taught that sex was for procreation and was a man's perogative, but the birth rate then was phenomenal - probably higher than it is today, since it was not particularly unheard of for a family to have more than six children. If anything, the industrialized societies have a lower birth rate now than they did a hundred years ago. Children then were an economic necessity; they are less so today. [ Parent ]  Huh? (4.00 / 4) (#85) by Inoshiro on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:00:52 PM EST  We have had genitalia for as long as we have been around, but high American teen pregnancy numbers are a product of the latter half of the 20thcentury. Teen pregnancy has always exsited. In the midd le ages when people married at 14 and 16, I think it was fairly common. Only recently (early 20th century and upwards) has teen sek suddenly became taboo. Despite the sexual revolution that is the pill and condoms (when combined, the chances that you could became a parent are such that you'd have to screw for a few years everyday before suh a thing became probable), teem pregnancy happens because people are not educated about responsible sex. We have had chemical escapes since someone ate the wrong mushroom (or let grape juice sit for too long), but American ten year olds abusing them is a recent phenomenon. Maybe you should go to France, or any other European country, where 10-year-olds do have wine with their meals. Your puritan background colours your arguments very obviously. I submit that the problem with the US is the inability to not have a bug up your butt about what other people do behind closed doors. If you all stapped harrasing each other, maybe some people wouldn't feel the need to act out? -- [ イノシロ ][ Parent ]  My puritan background? HAHAHAHAHA (5.00 / 1) (#96) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:54:50 PM EST  God forbid I'd have an opinion and believe in something. After all, this is K5. In France, yah, alcohol's served in schools. And in France (and in Europe in general) teen drinking and driving deaths, and alcohol abuse in general are lower than that of the U.S. So when did kids do coke in the early 20th? Or snort heroin? I suppose you have a film or a document. Yes kids have drank since alcohol was first fermented, but there are considerably stronger substances in being abused today, in greater numbers in the U.S., that fly in the face of what is socially acceptable or even marginally legal. Again, coke, crystal, acid, X ... Yah, kids have always historically been the targetted market for drugs, I am sure the numbers support that ... But that's not the parents fault, because their kids are capable of independent decision at the age of three, and besides they are D.A.R.E. graduates. They even have diplomas. "Let's sign up for another yoga class, Jenny is twelve, she can handle herself. She graduated D.A.R.E." As for teen pregnancy, what used to happen was a strong social stigma, however painful it may have been, kept the numbers lower than they became in the later 20th. Of course though, in the later 20th we kept our puritanical views when we talk to our kids about sex, but we can show it all the time on TV. Christ forbid a school should mention condoms. Nope, schools tell them "abstain." "Just say no." And the parents are either silent, or recriminating. Where are the limits on kids? They're imposed by society? Wrong, they should start, Inoshiro, at home, don't you think? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  18th Century Drug Abuse (3.00 / 1) (#125) by Gully Foyle on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:07:01 PM EST  Well, tincture of Opium was quite commonly given to children to get them to sleep. Bad stuff. If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh[ Parent ]  I read about that ... (none / 0) (#130) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:17:45 PM EST  Quite a few children died, but the key words are "given to". They weren't organizing into groups and knocking over chemists' shops. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  and they're doing that today? (none / 0) (#177) by chopper on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:06:48 AM EST  i'm not really sure, but i've never heard of a ten year old kid holding up a pharmacy these days, either. maybe you could point me out to a news story of some sort? give a man a fish,he'll eat for a daygive a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish [ Parent ]  Here are some stats, some offenders are younger. (none / 0) (#205) by joegee on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:19:04 PM EST  I do not have a specific story involving a ten year old robbing a pharmacy. That was a hypothetical example I drew off the top of my head, which you were correct in questioning. I apologize for a statement that was misleading. From the Dallas area regarding young drug addicts, the following quote comes from http://www.star-telegram.com/specials/98heroin/stories/sun329/heroin.htm: "In the past 17 months, at least 10 heroin-related deaths have been confirmed in greater Northeast Tarrant County; the youngest victim was 13. Plano has recorded at least 11 deaths since January 1996; the average age of the victims was 19." The youngest overdose was 13. I don't know if this kid was a "seasoned," experienced addict or not. The National Criminal Justice Resource Center has all sorts of statistics, this is a compilation from 1999: http://www.ncjrs.org/html/ojjdp/nationalreport99/chapter3.pdf The NCJRS is apparently two years behind on collating statistics from raw data -- this is the latest report I could find. From the juvenile robbery stats of the above report one might assume that wherever there is relatively open public access a robbery might occur, including many pharmacies. According to this report 16% of gang members are 14 or under. The median age for beginning gang association is 13. I think the statistics, which unfortunately only go down to age 12, are more than sufficient to illustrate my original point that in comparison to 40 years ago (although the numbers from dates pre 1980 are anecdotal) there has been a significant change in both the age at which people begin pursuing addictions, and the age at which they begin commiting violent crimes. As Inoshiro pointed out elsewhere, in the past violent youth crime was rare enough that books were written about individual incidents, which were usually reported nationally. Search "violent juvenile crime" on the search engine of your choice -- the amount of data that is returned by searching through today's news is staggering. There's enough early teen crime that most of the individual incidents are no longer national news. I also just found: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/little/, a PBS Frontline Special that discusses this subject at length. Thanks for your comment. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Whoops, ten year old was yours :) (5.00 / 1) (#206) by joegee on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:27:41 PM EST  That's what I get for posting without readding the original comment to which you were replying. The statistics I quote you in the other reply demonstrate that gang participation and heavy drug use begins quite early. Here's a really tragic story from central America that proves that for all its problems the U.S. doesn't have it too bad ... http://www.pangaea.org/street_children/latin/ncr.htm I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  One other quick thought ... (5.00 / 1) (#132) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:37:19 PM EST  ADD and ADHD are the current fad diagnoses for any child that becomes unruly. Prozac, zoloft, ritalin, even valium are available in child doses. This is an honest question: do you think perhaps we are going too far and overmedicating (and overlabeling) our children? I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  How do we know that the *sshole kids are raised by (5.00 / 1) (#181) by Orion Blastar on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:55:19 AM EST  middle-class parents? What about the *sshole kids raised by Rednecks who work minimum wage jobs and beat the kids like a redheaded stepchild when they get home every day? How about the kids that are allowed to run free on the streets and do whatever they want until a Police Officer catches them destroying property, selling drugs, or other stuff? How about the parents that are doing drugs themselves and allow their kids to do the same? Also if we so much as spank our kids, the neighbors will call in the state and claim child-abuse these days. Timeouts hardly ever work for some kids, and taking away stuff only seems to make the kids meaner. They will get upset at the parents for being "mean" to them. Being "mean" being taking away snacks and junkfood, sending them to their room without TV or video games, setting a curfew and enforcing it, making them do chores around the house, etc for punishment for being bad. Some kids just don't want to learn and want to do what they want to do anyway. How do you deal with that? This story, instead of creating Stawpeople and trying to blame them, should have instead suggested ways the parents could effectively discipline their kids and teach them not to be *sshole kids. *** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill *** [ Parent ]  I wonder... (3.58 / 12) (#47) by inpHilltr8r on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:18:00 PM EST  ...how many of you actually have kids? ...and how many of those of you that successfully breed, will raise them any better than the suburbanites you blast away at?  Not me. (3.00 / 2) (#60) by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:54:48 PM EST  At least to the first question. I don't yet know enough to address the second. [ Parent ]  well... (5.00 / 1) (#72) by sullen on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:33:19 PM EST  i do have a daughter. And I won't say with absolute surety that i will defintely be a better parent than anyone. That's the first major mistake. I have no absolute long term parenting strategy other than take a day as it comes, make sure she's fed, clothed, sheltered and loved, and make every effort to not make the same mistakes that my parents made, that hurt me. THAT is what, i think, WILL make people coming into the age of adulthood/parenting now, potentially better parents than the previous generation. They've been through divorce, neglect, alcoholism, cheating, etc, etc, and know the effects. They, hopefully, have learned. [ Parent ]  i agree (none / 0) (#86) by DeathsAngel7811 on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:05:23 PM EST  I'd have to agree, no matter how many times someone says they won't do whatever to their kids, they will. Those rich kids spoken of in the story are the same rich kids who in high school were the "preps" and considered as gods by most. Rich kids, Poor kids, and Middle class kids all commit acts of violence and stuff, but its due to many reasons not just the parents.In closing most of the people who judge others on their parenting skills often don't have kids and a family to support nor do they have any perspective on the subject,In other words they need to shut the hell up! [ Parent ]  I have two. (5.00 / 1) (#183) by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:20:46 AM EST  I fail to see the relevance of your post. No one is saying that well-raised kids can't be bad. However, raising your kids properly will maximise their chances of being decent adults. The article is specifically critical of parents who neglect their children so they can have luxury cars and SUVs. While my children may not turn out any better than the "suburbanites", I'll at least have done my basic duty as a parent. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]  funny little flyer (2.41 / 12) (#48) by dr k on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:19:50 PM EST  Usually when I find one of these funny little flyers, they have been left on a bathroom counter, or on a bus bench, or (my favorite) perched on top of books in the bookstore. But unlike those funny flyers, this one doesn't have a bizarre Christian message, doesn't tell me how Jesus Christ will save me. So I am at a loss, I don't have a fucking clue what the purpose of this story is. But it does fit in nicely with the "front page ass reference" theme we have going. Destroy all trusted users!  chick (4.50 / 2) (#50) by fluffy grue on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:36:44 PM EST  good stuff --"Is not a quine" is not a quine.I have a master's degree in science![ Hug Your Trikuare ] [ Parent ]  D&D leads to the occult? (3.00 / 1) (#53) by Solipsist on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:02:15 PM EST  I find the chick tracks to be some of the more edgy Christian propaganda. Here is one that tell us why RPG's (at least the paper and dice variety) are evil. [ Parent ]  No greater proof that... (4.33 / 3) (#58) by A Dapper M on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:31:00 PM EST  ...the fundies are evil is that Chick tracts uses Microsoft's Active Server Pages on their site ;) All kidding aside, if you'd like to see the truth about D&D, Wicca, ritual magic, and the rest of the benign activities maligned on Chick tracts, please see www.religioustolerance.org. "I sought only myself." - Heraclitus[ Parent ]  Demonic D&D? (none / 0) (#141) by Matrix on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 06:09:55 PM EST  Anyone who says D&D (and other pen-and-paper RPG) players aren't demonic and evil has obviously not spent enough time in their company. I should know, I am one. We tend to have an unhealthy obsession with collecting tomes of power (known as rulebooks to the mundane), keep odd hours, and look unnaturally pale and skinny. ;-) Matrix "...Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress." - Lord Vetinari, pg 312 of the Truth, a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett[ Parent ]  the best one (none / 0) (#178) by chopper on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:20:28 AM EST  a while ago someone made a fake chick tract claiming that D&D will turn you into a satan-loving, metal-thrashing crank-smoking whore. in fact, jello biafra stuck copies into one of his spoken word releases as a joke. hi-lareous give a man a fish,he'll eat for a daygive a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish [ Parent ]  100% dead on accuracy (4.85 / 14) (#51) by Sheepdot on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 04:53:02 PM EST  However I *would* also include families of more than one child where the parents know full well they can barely care for just one. I grew up with 3 siblings. If my parents had had one more child it would have been one too many for them, and they knew it. Four was nearly too much. I myself cannot and will not care for a single child, therefore I will remain childless throughout my life. It is the ability to come to terms with what you can handle that determine if you as a parent can legitimately take responsibility for another life. It is high-time we place the blame for school-shootings, crime, and other stuff where it belongs, on the parents that failed to raise their children. And please don't say, "You have no idea what it is like to raise a child". You're right, but I also *know* that I have know idea, and don't step into areas where I am unqualified to be and think I have everything under consideration. Word of advice: If you are the kind of person that always like to have the newest gadgets and will work an extra 15 hours a week to get them, you are interested in toys and not children. So do the other parents of the world a favor and don't have any, so they don't end up killing someone else's. Note: School shootings are not soley a result of bad parenting. The sheer size of public schools also is a consideration. If this country is to have mandatory public education, then high school size need not exceed the size of some small towns. (ie. 5,000)  actually (4.00 / 2) (#249) by cbatt on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:00:45 PM EST  you probably already know quite a bit about child rearing. Maybe not the details, but the generalities.... This is what leads you to such a careful analysis of the concept of child rearing. IMHO, it's all about proper preparation. Getting the right focus and attitude in order to do it right. You have to consider the enormous impact that the responsibility of a child will have on your life. It's called planned parenthood. If you are unwilling to accept any changes or leave any dreams and desires unfulfilled, then it is best to leave the procreation to others. You will only harbor resentment towards your child, denying them a portion of your caring that might make a crucial difference in their life. I guess this doesn't apply to the poor underclass that breeds like rabbits. But for the moderate to wealthy individuals addressed in this article, this is, I feel, a solid piece of advice. ----------- Before you can understand recursion you must understand recursion. [ Parent ]  I wholeheartedly agree (none / 0) (#276) by anlprb on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 12:27:05 AM EST  I personally love children, I beleive that they are the true mouth of God. I came home running one day, and walked across the street to my neighbor's house, and his beautiful 8 year old daughter came up to me and told me "You stink." By heaven, I did. How many adults would be that honest, and open? My neighbor lost his wife to cancer just after his second daughter was born. His wife would not take the chemo-therapy (sp?) because she knew it would have killed her second daughter. She gave her life for Karen-Marie. With the help of family, and friends like me who are willing to take the girls off his hands for a few hours while he gets some time in to himself, he is raising two bright, polite and happy girls. He has it hard, and he knows it. He is just making ends meet by working for the DPW in town. He CARES about his children. Each day, he does something with them. He does their homework with them, and plays with them, and is there for them. This man will never get written about in any magazine or journal or company newsletter, however, I beleive that he has found the way to both true happiness, and heaven (by whatever definition you want to use). He has problems sometimes, but he manages, and takes an active interest in his chidren. I believe that at the end of the night, he is more fulfilled and truly happy than any six figure household could ever be. In the very true words of Orson Scott Card (Who is a mormon by the way) "'So, you're a career father,' Said Valentine. 'Who works at a brick factory to feed and clothe the family. Not a brick-maker who also has kids."..."'It's a boring life, to read about,' said Olhado. 'Not to live, though.'" I wish more people would be parents who also happen to be brick-makers. [ Parent ]  Then why is crime INCREDIBLY low right now? (4.41 / 12) (#56) by Anatta on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 05:24:13 PM EST  Kids all across the country are committing acts of violence, indecency and outright stupidity that their parents would have never guessed they were capable of, and act absolutely shocked when they see that their children aren't something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Jeeez. Though the media likes to show these rare, rare examples of kids who have gone wrong, and then throw Jerry Falwell and Gloria Allrad up there to blather on about what happened that caused them to become hellspawn, the fact is that crime in the US is incredibly low, and until the economic slowdown, it was constantly falling. We shall see if that continues if and when the economy picks back up. Yes, we have a whole lot of people in prison, and I agree with the writer who said the LSD is not the problem, it's drug laws that limit liberty. Ending the drug war would be the single most progressive thing the US goverment could do for its citizens... Anyway, before you attack the suburbanites who drive SUVs that are larger than your accepted size limit (how dare they make a decision without consulting you!), perhaps you should look at US Crime statistics and read them over. Most crime is committed due to economic status. Whether or not you think that the SUV-driving families in the burbs are screwing up their kids, the facts don't hold up. For example, murder rates are the lowest they've been since 1968. This fact might suggest (horrors) that the suburbanines are doing a fabulous job raising their kids. You, and it seems many on Kuro5hin, have fallen for this phenomena. Strangely I hear a lot of talk here about how the media distorts the truth. I'm shocked that so many fell for the media's line this time. My Music  It's not really that... (4.42 / 7) (#63) by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 06:30:26 PM EST  Yes, you're right about that. The whole "crime wave" is what one might call a manufactured crisis. If the media is not in the pocket of the government on this one, I'd be very very surprised. But what's more important is the vast decrease in people who are willing to accept responsibility. For parents who are adult enough to own up when they've done a piss-poor job of raising children, instead of blaming id software or Trent Reznor. The level of accountability we Americans hold ourselves to has taken an all-time dip. It's Not Our Fault is our rallying cry. A drop in accountability has the effect of magnifying existing crime by misrepresenting who is actually committing crime. Welcome to the era of the Cult of Victimhood, where no matter how much of a worthless fuckup you are, it's Someone Else's Fault. Or, one could do without fancy sarcastic names and just call it Americanitis. -Kasreyn "Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:We never asked to be born in the first place."R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.[ Parent ]  Americanitis (4.57 / 7) (#67) by Anatta on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:10:25 PM EST  But what's more important is the vast decrease in people who are willing to accept responsibility. For parents who are adult enough to own up when they've done a piss-poor job of raising children, instead of blaming id software or Trent Reznor. I'm not so sure there's been any decrease in demand for people to take responsibility for others' actions. In fact, I would suggest a great increase in that. I'm as bothered as the next person by those who say Marilyn Manson is the root of all evil... I listen to music that is much more extreme than MM could ever be, yet I'm not shooting people. I don't go to church, and I don't shoot people, so it's not that either. Have pretty good parents, I guess... no better or worse than what it sounds like many of our fucked up school shooters had. I've done drugs... that's not it, either. I was bullied a fair amount in grammar school, but it taught me a bit about how the world works... so it's not that, either. Maybe it's video games? Nope, played them. D&D? Did that, too. The list goes on and on. The point is that it's much simpler than it's the parents' fault or it's not enough Jesus! We need more Jesus! or whatever. Perhaps each of these groups is a little bit right in what they're saying, maybe each thing is a little bit at fault, I don't know. But it seems to me that the responsibility for the school shooting lays 99.9% in one place: the school shooters. There is the crux of the issue. They pulled the triggers, they acted thoroughly irresponsible with vile disdain for human life, they committed the murder, the most heinous crime in our society. I'm sure many were troubled, and most all would likely have benefited from medical help. Still, there are millions of people suffering from mental disorders that don't go murdering people. Most schizophrenics, who often have no sense of reality at all, don't even go doing it! So it's not even just mental disorders. It's a lack of personal responsibility. I could blame it on our "entitlement" culture, our consumption, our lack of harmony with our environment... but none of that is really it. We've moved away from the simple idea that if you fuck up, it's your fault. If I fuck up, it's my own damned fault. Perhaps its time we moved back. Maybe if the kid is very very young, you might be able to pursuade me that there is something more going on... but the vast majority of the school shootings people talk about are committed by kids 14+... old enough to know what they were doing. By blaming the parents, you're just exacerbating "Americanitis". My Music[ Parent ]  The most heinous crime... (4.50 / 2) (#216) by planders on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 06:07:45 PM EST  ... in our society is not murder. It's "drugs." Run a person over while chit chatting on your cell phone? Where I live you'll get 5 years maybe. Sell a gram of cocaine to a another consenting adult and you are looking at 10 years mandatory minimum. Hell, throw a lap dog into traffic once or twice and you'll serve more than most people ever will for a rape. [ Parent ]  And heaven forbid.... (4.00 / 2) (#101) by sasseriansection on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:00:22 AM EST  Heaven forbid if Trent Reznor and id Software got together!!! Oh wait...they did and Quake was born, which did more to remove alienated, geeky kids with a penchant for violence from the streets, doing more good than all the MEology in the world. Thats why the crime rate's been on the decline since the 90s. Those who would trade freedom for security will get nothing and deserve neither. ------------ ------------[ Parent ]  media's line?! (3.00 / 1) (#93) by Wah on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:27:34 PM EST  Strangely I hear a lot of talk here about how the media distorts the truth. I'm shocked that so many fell for the media's line this time. Umm, this is a different beast. "News" shows cover murder because it helps their ratings. The "media" you mention us falling for here is one person's opinion, hardly a global conspiracy. And I know way too many people who fit this description to blow off the ideas express in the article. However, I do know some who don't fit and I think exploring the factors, or I should says the strategies and tactics, that allow the non-asshole to flourish would be a good follow-up. -- Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life ©® | SSP[ Parent ]  So you think money is the root of all evil? (4.00 / 4) (#62) by maxwell on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 06:24:19 PM EST  LOVE of money is the root of all evil(nt) (4.50 / 2) (#66) by adamhaun on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:01:36 PM EST  -- Adam Haun No, you can't have my email[ Parent ]  the quest for power is the root of most evil (4.00 / 1) (#78) by theantix on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:20:10 PM EST  the love of money is just one route to achieving power in the modern world, and is by no means the root of anything. As the Ayn Rand piece linked mentioned, money is nothing special in itself. It's mostly just little bits of paper or bits in a banks database. People only love money because of the power it gives them, and sometimes this can be evil. Other times it needs not be, such as the power to feed your family, or to explore the world. Other quests for power that have "evil" consequences can involve political (ie hitler) or religious (ie crusades) goals that have nothing to do with money at all. Money isn't even close to the root. If there is a "root of all evil", it's probably linked to the evolutionary-driven desire to reproduce as much as possible, as people in powerful positions often have more children with more wives. This also explains other evil actions such as rape. --You sir, are worse than Hitler![ Parent ]  No, it pretty much is (none / 0) (#92) by Wah on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:20:38 PM EST  the root of evil. And that's the love of the thing, not the thing itself. Money is an abstraction of value, obviously, a bit of labor or resources. As such it is just a symbol. An empty one that only works because we agree that it does. To love the symbol is to love nothing. To love nothing is to waste your love. This black hole of good lovin' would be the root of evil. -- Some things, bandwidth can't buy. For everything else, there's Real Life ©® | SSP[ Parent ]  Money is but a means to an end. (none / 0) (#106) by Ray Chason on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:52:38 AM EST  As noted elswhere, the actual quote is "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). But I think Paul is a bit off-target here. The love of power is the root of all evil; money is but a means to that end. As an extreme example, was the evil that Hitler unleashed in Europe due mainly to Hitler's love of money or for his lust for power? Certainly money was a component; many of those who enabled Hitler did so for personal gain, but Hitler just wanted to rule Germany and kill as many Jews as he could. -- The War on Terra is not meant to be won. Delendae sunt RIAA, MPAA et Windoze[ Parent ]  Theory of Self-Interest (5.00 / 1) (#194) by Lord13 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:39:28 PM EST  Actually there are four prime interests according to the Theory of Self-Interest. Money Sex Power Reputation Any one of the four can be used to trade for another. Using money to buy sex or inversely using sex to get money etc. Which one you or someone else personally favors does not matter. The root of evil, as it is being referenced to, would be general Self-Interest, not specifically money. Growing half a tree, water it everyday.[ Parent ]  he's growing up to be just like his father (3.33 / 3) (#70) by Quietti on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:26:51 PM EST  This whole thread brings to mind the overall issues of parenting, as perceived by this singer I once played with. We were coming back from a rehearsal and she was commenting how her son was turning into somthing that reminded her of everything that was wrong about her ex-husband (the boy's father). Said this other bandmember to her: Now, isn't that something, Julia?! Didn't you say you raised this kid on your own? What does this say about your parenting abilities? Seems to me that if your son is turning into a macho treating women as object, then you have no one but yourself to blame, since your ex wasn't here to influence the boy's upbringing. --The whole point of civilization is to reduce how much the average person has to think. - Stef Murky  What is the single greates influence on children? (3.27 / 11) (#73) by delmoi on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:40:48 PM EST  Their friends. Not their parents, their friends. Whether you like it or not, societal values and trends are not passed from parents to children, but rather from older children to younger children. (One of the most striking examples of this were the daughters or 'liberated' women in the 1970s who still believed that their place was in the home, etc) Maybe this piece of knowledge isn't germane to your discussion, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway. If I'd seen this story in the queue, I would have voted it down. It's crap. It's worse then crap. It's sensationalist crap. It's crap because it flies in the face of statically reality. School shootings are so rare that trying to equate your pet-peeve with them is nothing short of ludicrous. Kids with bad parents shoot people, kids with good parents shoot people. But mostly, kids with poor parents shoot people, at least when you factor in all youth violence, not just the rare school shooting. Please, this piece has zero content. Its nothing more then sensational, emotional, garbage with no factual support whatsoever. And not only does it not have any support, it actually flies in the face of reality. I'll close this rant with one of my favorite sayings: "Show me some numbers, or shut the fuck up." --"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman  Parents set limits ... (4.50 / 2) (#77) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:57:12 PM EST  Unless the job definition has changed recently, kids can only spend the time with their friends that parents allow? I recall limits when I grew up, enforced by real penalties that I knew damned well would be handed down. My mother raised me on her own. I knew that she respected me and allowed me privileges only as long as I earned them by doing my share, and respecting her rules. I was not a problem child because most of the time her guidance was enough to steer me clear of difficulties. She was there, she stayed involved in my life, she sat at the table as I did my homework, she talked with me, she asked to meet my friends, she had rules, she demanded compliance. I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  Numbers :) (none / 0) (#81) by joegee on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 08:23:11 PM EST  http://www.svrc.net/Statistics/Statistics.asp I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.[ Parent ]  That's 1/2 of the problem... (3.75 / 8) (#76) by Dwonis on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 07:53:39 PM EST  The other half is the fact that many parents grew up in the 60s (or their parents did), and they have the notion that disciplining their children is wrong. From day 1, these children learn that they are not accountable for their actions. And guess who has the highest occurrences of these opinions? Wealthy people in rich suburbs. These are the people that tell us that it's "uncivilized" to spank our children, and that blame the teacher/principal/neighbour/T.V./video games when their children get into trouble. These people are obsessed with their own individual rights over the rights of the individual rights of others around them, and think that they should be left to do whatever they please. We wouldn't train animals this way, but we allow children (ours or otherwise) to be "trained" this way. If anything kills the human race in the next century, it will be these non-accountability-minded people obtaining high positions on government, and starting a biological war. It's understandable that people like to blame money, but it's actually the overly-leftist thinking and the abandonment of pragmatism that is to blame.  Think for a minute (none / 0) (#145) by theR on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:42:47 PM EST  The other half is the fact that many parents grew up in the 60s (or their parents did), and they have the notion that disciplining their children is wrong. Also: It's understandable that people like to blame money, but it's actually the overly-leftist thinking and the abandonment of pragmatism that is to blame. Ah, you are so correct. After all, eveybody who came of age in the 60s is overly leftist. Let's see, that's baby boomer age, and as we all know there are no conservative baby boomers. If that was the case, there would be a conservative President or conservative Congress. Nope, I'm pretty sure that no baby boomers are conservative, and especially not anything like half of them are conservative. These are the people that tell us that it's "uncivilized" to spank our children... It's not just uncivilized, it's just plain wrong. If you can't come up with a better way to discipline your children than resorting to violence, it is you that is the asshole. We wouldn't train animals this way, but we allow children (ours or otherwise) to be "trained" this way. Again, you are so correct. Why would we treat people, in this case children, any different than all the other animals for training purposes? That's ridiculous. Obviously, there is little difference between human children and all other animals. [ Parent ]  tongue in cheek? (none / 0) (#160) by kezgin on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:47:39 AM EST  I really hope that the majority of that comment was supposed to be sarcastic [ Parent ]  Of course it was (none / 0) (#193) by theR on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:32:52 PM EST  If I made you think about what I wrote, I hope I made my point, whether or not you agree. [ Parent ]  Bah. (5.00 / 1) (#161) by Canthros on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:51:41 AM EST  [Re: leftism among the middle-class] Ah, you are so correct. After all, eveybody who came of age in the 60s is overly leftist. Let's see, that's baby boomer age, and as we all know there are no conservative baby boomers. If that was the case, there would be a conservative President or conservative Congress. Nope, I'm pretty sure that no baby boomers are conservative, and especially not anything like half of them are conservative. Actually, he said there's a greater incidence of overly leftist beliefs among people in that age range. Not that everyone who grew up in 1960s USA was a hippie-turned-businessman. How are you defining conservative and liberal? Where are you basing your only statistic? If you're going to counter an unfounded assertion, it is (unfortunately) your responsibility to provide facts. [Re: Spanking] It's not just uncivilized, it's just plain wrong. If you can't come up with a better way to discipline your children than resorting to violence, it is you that is the asshole. I'd like to disagree. There's a broad difference between spanking a child and beating them. One is discipline, the other (no matter how well-intentioned) is excessive and abusive. If you can't distinguish the two, you can't really criticise it. If I ever have children, I don't know if I'll employ spanking. My parents used it, I think I turned out fine within the reaches of their influence. I think I'd like to see if I can find alternative approach with my kids that will be as effective. [Re: 'training' children] Again, you are so correct. Why would we treat people, in this case children, any different than all the other animals for training purposes? That's ridiculous. Obviously, there is little difference between human children and all other animals. Ah, sarcasm. Actually, I'd say that for young children, there's a lot to be said for applying behavioral psychology of that sort to the problem. I don't mean denying them privileges, start that sort of thing later, when they're old enough to understand and appreciate what's going on. Nonetheless, the point was that you don't train a dog by turning it loose into the woods and expect it to figure out retrieving a downed duck on its own. You provide guidance and practice. You should do the same with children: they don't figure out right and wrong on they're own. --It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.— RyoCokey[ Parent ]  Spanking (none / 0) (#184) by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:28:55 AM EST  The comment that started this thread seemed to lay some blame for poorly behaved kids on the loss of a parent's "right" to spank. I was raised without spanking, as were both of my parents. There are ways to do it well you know. It can be argued that a parent must make a greater time investment in their children to do it, but it happens. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]  Haha! (none / 0) (#195) by theR on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:46:50 PM EST  Why is it my responsibility to provide facts in response to what you call unfounded assertations? You ask what I am basing my statistic on, but I provided no statistic. I am simply making the same types of assertations that I was responding to. If he stated that there is a greater incidence of overly leftist thinking among a group of people, he is responsible for backing it up. The original post never defined this overabundance of leftism, either. For all we know, he thinks Rush Limbaugh is leftist. With regard to spanking, you will not convince me. It may take more time or energy to provide discipline without spanking, and spanking may work in some cases, but that doesn't mean it's right. Children are very smart. Disciplining them with physical force teaches them that it is ok to use violence. That doesn't mean all children who are spanked will turn out badly or be violent people, but I certainly don't see how it will discourage violence, either. Phil the Canuck's response was succinct and correct, in my opinion. Behavioral psychology is perfectly legitimate, but you wouldn't use the same process to train an animal and a child, no matter if you used behavioral psychology in both cases. Your point about guidance and practice makes complete sense, but I don't think you would want to use the same methods of guidance and practice for a dog and a child. [ Parent ]  Using violence to solve problems (5.00 / 1) (#222) by John Miles on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:22:06 PM EST  Disciplining them with physical force teaches them that it is ok to use violence. [shrug] Sometimes it is. For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.[ Parent ]  Sometimes, (1.00 / 1) (#211) by beergut on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:31:14 PM EST  Sometimes the switch which turns on the ears is located in the vicinity of the ass. Just make sure that the punishment meted out is a) consistent, and b) fitting.  Parental neglect versus parental encouragement. (4.00 / 9) (#87) by Apuleius on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 09:14:09 PM EST  Sometimes asshole parents raise asshole kids. Look at this Salon article. Ask yourselves: if your son exercised his Constitutional rights to say vicious things about a girl in his school, would you a. hire a lawyer to ensure his rights are unmolested by his principal, or b. make his life miserable? I would choose b. Such a son of mine would lose his allowance, his car (if he had one), his computer, his free time, and would have to live in fear of either transfer to military academy or knowing that I would not fund his college stay. But some parents obviously think differently. There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)  RE: Parental neglect versus parental encouragement (5.00 / 1) (#134) by pauldy on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 03:23:03 PM EST  Do you realize you will then raise a child fearful of authority unable to cope with that aspect of society. I have mixed emotions on the side of the article you link to however I think you might be a bit on the other extreme there. [ Parent ]  You miss something (3.66 / 3) (#155) by mami on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:14:00 PM EST  A youngster (I would say we are talking about 16 year olds and up) who would be still "impressed" by such measures such as taking away the car, no allowance, no free time (are you going into a fist fight with your son if he just takes his time ?) , no college help etc, is not the kid who is in trouble. If a child still cares for such things and can be massaged into some sort reasoning, then it's an ok child. If the child doesn't give a shit anymore, then your measures don't help one bit. Kids run away and live somewhere else. If you child is a late bloomer and the whole stuff happens when he/she just has passed eighteen, your chances of getting him/her back are almost zero. Bottom line, you learn from nobody more than from your children. I do believe that each parent needs to raise one girl and one boy to understand, fathers learn a lot about women rasing a girl and mothers a lot about men raising a boy. In the end if you happen to have serveral children, you also learn that even if you take great care to raise all children equally with the same amount of care, love, morals, rules etc, all children will react very different and you can't know which one will do what. It's just the ride of your lifetime, full of surprises. You will see... [ Parent ]  i would do c) (5.00 / 1) (#179) by chopper on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:29:33 AM EST  Ask yourselves: if your son exercised his Constitutional rights to say vicious things about a girl in his school, would you a. hire a lawyer to ensure his rights are unmolested by his principal, or b. make his life miserable?c) wonder how the hell this happened under your nose? how he developed this kind of unhelathy attitude towards the opposite sex?all the punishment in the world doesn't make up for shitty parenting. give a man a fish,he'll eat for a daygive a man religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish [ Parent ]  I have to get this off of my chest (4.00 / 1) (#186) by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:33:09 AM EST  Not supporting your kids through college is a really crappy way to discipline them. How does that help ensure that they turn out better? That is the goal of punishment, you know. It's not just cruelty for cruelty's sake. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]  Sometimes you need the LART (3.00 / 1) (#202) by Apuleius on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:51:44 PM EST  and sometimes the megaLART. You think an asshole son would defy a threat to lose college funding? I think not. It is one damn effective way to extract retractions and apologies from such a kid. There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)[ Parent ]  Threats (5.00 / 1) (#212) by Lord13 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:41:44 PM EST  Using threating ultimatums to correct a child/teen/adult is simply moronic. It's a very good example of bad parenting. I really hope you don't have kids. BTW. My parents did threaten to take away my college funding if I didn't behave they way they wanted me to. My response: Fuck you, I'll pay my own way. I did pay my own way (got suckered by some credit cards) and now my parents wonder why I don't visit. Good solution huh? Growing half a tree, water it everyday.[ Parent ]  Not My Fault (4.41 / 12) (#91) by Merk00 on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:20:03 PM EST  I don't think the real reason there's an attempt to blame everything except parents for bad children because parent's aren't willing to accept that they're bad parents, but instead that the parents are unwilling to accept any sort of blame. There has been a distinct lack of accountability and responsibility from the baby boomers on. After the reject of responsibility during the 1960's, it was never regained. Pop psychology has given us any of a number of things to blame our actions on, from ADD to depression (and yes, they do exist just not nearly in the proportions that they've been diagnosed). In criminal court cases, being from a fractured home has been a mitigating factor. Education has stressed the self-esteem of a child and not what the child has accomplished. Society is centered on finding something besides ourselves to blame. We refuse to take responsiblity and we refuse to show children about responsiblity. And that's where the problem lies. ------ "At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes." - FIRST Mission  back at you (4.50 / 2) (#251) by ArsonSmith on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:14:44 PM EST  I don't think the real reason there's an attempt to blame everything except Society for bad children because the society isn't willing to accept that they're a bad society, but instead that the society is unwilling to accept any sort of blame. [ Parent ]  again (4.50 / 2) (#252) by ArsonSmith on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:16:31 PM EST  I don't think the real reason there's an attempt to blame everything except children for bad children because children aren't willing to accept that they're bad children, but instead that the children are unwilling to accept any sort of blame. [ Parent ]  Nothing new... (3.62 / 8) (#95) by dnos on Sat Jul 14, 2001 at 10:40:37 PM EST  Why should this be such a shock? People know this. It's been happening for ages (I wonder if the aristocrats had asshole kids?...) But, I don't see how you can say everything (violence and whatnot) is the parents fault. Imo, you are just hastily generalizing a large percent of the US population...ntm you are basing this on basically nothing. How can you say parents should be blamed for everything? (Maybe because your friend grew up with some of these parents and he turned out to be bad?) Do kids not learn anything at school (besides arithmetic, etc)? Do they not learn anything from TV? Video games? Music? Every person (child) is different. You can take two kids raise them in the same environment and they will be different. You didn't even mention the fact that most kids that grow up in these environments (parents) will come out OK. ("OK" as in not commiting random acts of violence) You can take this rant, replace the suburbian parents/household scenario with whatever you want and say the same thing and it (would seem) to make sense. You are pointing the fingers just as much as the people pointing the fingers at the video game makers, music makers, etc. Try a different perspective, but you'd still be wrong...there is no ONE thing you can blame the "curruption" of kids on. (maybe society, but isn't that including basically everything?)  "Not My Fault" Syndrome (4.20 / 5) (#103) by Trepalium on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:09:00 AM EST  Imo, you are just hastily generalizing a large percent of the US population...ntm you are basing this on basically nothing. How can you say parents should be blamed for everything? [...] Do kids not learn anything at school (besides arithmetic, etc)? Do they not learn anything from TV? Video games? Music? It's just like any other article on the topic of violence and youth, except for the fact, this type of article would never make it into any mainstream media. It's too politically incorrect to suggest that the parents weren't doing everything in their power to raise their children properly. It's much easier to rally against television, music or video games, all of which have tangible businesses that can be regulated to "solve" the problem. The point I think the author was trying to make wasn't that it was exactly the parents' neglect that created these monsters, but rather the fact the parents didn't provide the guidance the children needed when they needed it, for the chilren to make their own decisions. You can take this rant, replace the suburbian parents/household scenario with whatever you want and say the same thing and it (would seem) to make sense. I think the reason all these articles get writen is what I've seen refered to as "Not My Fault" syndrome. The tendancy we all have in North American first-world countries to refuse to take any blame for when things go wrong. The tendancy to pass-the-buck. This is permeated the deepest levels of our society. There's endless examples of this, everything from the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit, to all the other examples you see on the news. Instead of the parents and all the other people who feel they might've had an impact on the tradegy of the day stepping forward and admitting that maybe they failed the children that ended up turning into monsters, we see finger-pointing, but almost never at the parents, and rarely at the educators. I realize that saying that parenting is very difficult would be an understatement, but I think what the author is trying to say is that you have a much better chance of knowing what kind of person your child will grow up to be if you take the effort to support them when they're growing up. Children are not stupid, they know when you're trying your best, and when you're not. Putting effort into parenting will usually outweight any mistakes you might think you're making. [ Parent ]  What you say !! (4.50 / 2) (#143) by kitten on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 06:59:34 PM EST  . How can you say parents should be blamed for everything? (Maybe because your friend grew up with some of these parents and he turned out to be bad?) Do kids not learn anything at school (besides arithmetic, etc)? Do they not learn anything from TV? Video games? Music? The point is that the parents should have raised their little brat to have more sense than to imitate things he sees on TV or video games. If some kid watches MTV's "Jackass" and does something stupid as a result of imitating the show, it's the parent's fault for raising such a brainless kid, not the show's fault. You are pointing the fingers just as much as the people pointing the fingers at the video game makers, music makers, etc. I disagree. Again, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure that their child has enough brains and good sense to not do stupid things. I believe part of the author's point in this article is that parents who say "I had no idea my kid thought that way / was about to do something like that, etc" are worthless parents. If they are that far removed from their child's life, they aren't performing their responsibilities as a parent. I must say I agree with the author's article. Idiot kids are a result of idiot parenting, nine times out of ten. Parents should instill thier children with the ability to detect stupidity and bullshit. It might be a useful item to add to these kid's intellectual toolkits to be able to say, when a wet steaming pile of bullshit lands on their heads, "My goodness, this appears to be bullshit". You can blame the music and the video games all day long, but in the end, you've got to wonder why the kid was such a putty-mind that could be molded and influenced so easily by media images. mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.[ Parent ]  You're missing an important distinction (5.00 / 1) (#187) by Phil the Canuck on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:40:41 AM EST  You are pointing the fingers just as much as the people pointing the fingers at the video game makers... The distinction is that it is a parent's responisibility to do the work necessary to raise their children. It's wrong to blame popular media because they have no responsibility to your children. Eminem, NBC, AOL, Id Software, and the like are not responisble for instilling a set of ethics and a sense of morality in your children. You are. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]  Totally agree (4.63 / 11) (#105) by Draginol on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:43:30 AM EST  I happen to really agree with this post. The problem with so many Americans these days is that they are consumed with the concept of acquiring material things. They want to acquire "Stuff" even if its at the expense of their children. How many times have you heard someone complain how in the "good old days" only 1 parent "needed" to work to make "ends meet" yet today both are required. Often times, both parents go to work purely to maintain a standard that goes well beyond making ends meet. In 1955, the average house size for a family of 4 was 1200 square foot. Today it's 2400 square foot -- twice as big. Typical family of 4 has 2 cars until the teenager can drive and then it goes up to 3 cars. Then we get into how we "need" cable TV, vacations, summer camping, lots of gifts at Christmas, the latest electronic gadgets, etc. All this comes at a price -- our children. Rather than putting our priority the human beings we *chose* to bring into this world, we put our priority into instant gratification and accumulating wealth. And it's a real shame because the results are becoming increasingly obvious -- bad teens who are rudderless. I have neighbors whose teenaged children don't know what to do with themselves. They've never had to work for anything in their lives and are rudderless as they decide what to do for themselves. Our highschools are filled with teens who barely know their parents, have no concept of intimacy or feeling of closeness with their parents. We naturally blame the media or video games or the Internet or the teachers because heck, we've been avoiding our parental responsibilties so long that why stop now? It's much easier to blame someone else anyway. As a culture, we need to decide what our priorities are. Are kids essentially enhanced pets or are they an integral part of our lives?  Well, I need... (4.12 / 8) (#128) by Crashnbur on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:24:01 PM EST  ...very little. I'm what you might call a low-maintenance child. I've never asked for much at Christmas time, I've never caused any serious trouble (sibling rivalries at the worst), and I've had decent grades in school all my life. I don't ask for all the material things you mention, but I have them, and they are not the problem. I was given a car when I was 16. My mom doesn't live with us, so she had the money living on her own to afford a new car for herself, so she gave me her Pontiac. Thanks mom! I love my car, as do most kids, and in most cases these days the third (and fourth...) vehicle is needed. As for the other material needs you mention, I don't care for summer vacations, camping, lots of gifts at Christmas, etc... But I do like reasonably recent electronics. I don't watch much TV, but I do my best to keep up with politics and the way the world works ... which can only be done by watching TV or cruising the internet. As far as what I think is really wrong with the country, I think it's the government. It's trying too hard to put its nose everywhere and to reduce the power of the individual and the family. Government programs for the last hundred years or so have gradually made it necessary for families to work harder to have less time for each other, reducing their bind to each other. And then there's the issue of materialism in America. Has it ever occurred to any of you that perhaps this stuff is so rampant because our loving government wants us distracted from what's really going on in Washington? No, think about that for a moment. Most Americans don't care about politics. They don't keep up with anything "unless it concerns me". The government has done such a wonderful job distracting the American people that it can get away with virtually anything. We are a country of people voting selfishly rather than altruistically, which means that our country won't hold together but for another century at the most before the United States are, well, history. Okay, so maybe this is an unwarranted tangent, but it's not so far-fetched... crash.neotope.com[ Parent ]  Government? (4.00 / 3) (#190) by lb008d on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 11:29:24 AM EST  You've almost got it right in those last two paragraphs - every time you mention government you need to mention corporations. The two go hand in hand, and I'd venture a guess that corporations should go *before* government. [ Parent ]  Well said. (2.50 / 2) (#250) by pixel on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:11:35 PM EST  I could not have said it any better myself. - eric - people see the world not as it is, but as they are.[ Parent ]  Two ways to look at the world. (3.00 / 7) (#108) by driftingwalrus on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:40:42 AM EST  The way I see it, much of this is rooted in the way people beleive the world works. There are realms of thought: Evolution - Everything developed by accident, and therefore can and should be improved upon by intelligent man. Intelligent design without fail produces better systems than randomness. All you have to do to prove that conjecture is compare a clock to a block of iron ore. It took intelligence maybe a week to make the clock, evolution has had billions of years to turn that iron ore into a clock and still hasn't managed. God - God created everything, and God being the supreme being, He employed some durned good engineering and we shouldn't meddle with things we don't understand. Under the former beleif, parents are unnecessary vestiges of the past, much as certain organs in the body have been considered useless throwbacks. Under the former belief, you also find NPK chemistry and bioengineering - systems which are destroying farmers and ravaging the ecosystem. Under the latter beleif, children have parents for a good reason. Neglecting attention to children is disastrous as they where designed with a built-in need for guidance. Also under the latter beleif, you find organic farming systems. These methods exploit habits that have been built into animals for the farmer's benefit, and are very lucrative. For example, pigs, as a matter of course, root. Think rototiller. Chickens eat bugs and grass - pesticide and herbicide that pays YOU to use it. If you don't beleive me that farming can be lucrative, read the book "You Can Farm", it's very educational. "I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates  Evolution Theory as Primary Danger?!? (4.75 / 4) (#116) by snowlion on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 06:18:46 AM EST  Clocks don't reproduce themselves, and thus are not generated by evolutionary processes. Everything that is produced by evolution reproduces. If you believe that God creatured everything (Incidentally, I do too- what else could? Note: I also understand and accept the well founded theory of evolution), and furthermore, you believe that we shouldn't play with what we don't understand- Well, it's just that it's a little vague... Do you think that we shouldn't make computers? How about televisions? Radio? Electricity? It won't be long before we understand the mechanics of how human beings work just as well as we understand the mechanics of how clocks or radio works. Or do you not believe in surgery, or cancer research, or any of these things because "we don't understand it". How long will we not understand things that are hidden right now? Richard Feynman asked his father, "How does gravity work?" His dad said, "Nobody knows," and that's the answer that Feynman sticks with himself. That said, we know a lot of the properties of gravity, and we understand quite a bit of the mathematics about how it works and represents itself. Note that Feynman is someone I would classify as a militant atheist. Almost all scientists understand and recognize evolution. Do you really want to say that they are immoral? Have you met and talked with scientists? Take a class at your local college and tell me that your professor is immoral because he understands evolution. So, do you think belief in evolution is destroying our moral fabric? I find that a rather difficult position to defend; most of my friends who believe in evolution are of fine moral fiber, whereas my friends who believe in creation behave questionably, at best. They are quick to tell me that a woman's place is in the kitchen, that homosexuals are trying to subvert our countries youth (and should be punished for it), and many other statements that conserve the world as they remember it, but not the world as we now understand it. I implore you to recognize that a understanding of evolution does not mean that you don't believe in God, and that an understanding of evolution does not constrict or sway moral character. The mechanics of how God creates worlds has nothing to do with Love; Anyone who tells you otherwise is either trying to deceive you or deceived themselves. Hold onto the really important elements: Loving God with all of your Heart, Mind, and Soul, and Loving your neighbor as your own self, and let the unimportant elements be. If you believe in the Bible, and you have read the bible, than you know that it is not about how electronics works, or how to use an arc welder, or how to put together an airplane. It is about Loving God, and finding God within. Anything else is just stuff; the details of how we got to be here are just that: details. --Map Your Thoughts[ Parent ]  Re: Evolution (none / 0) (#201) by driftingwalrus on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:27:49 PM EST  First thing, as I recall, Richard Feynman died about ten years ago. Secondly, there is a major difference between performing surgery on a single person and messing with the environment. It also cannot be denied that messing with things you don't understand has consequences which must be taken into consideration. Marie Curie pioneered research into radiation, and died of cancer for the privilege. I'm not saying that a beleif in evolution is moral or immoral - personally, I beleive that evolution is false, however that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a question of morality. As an interesting aside, how do you feel that homophilea fits in with a beleif in evolution? A homophile couple is inherently sterile, therefore it would seem logical that they would have been rooted out millions of years ago. Also, it would seem to me that evolution violates Occum's razor. It rests upon billions and billions of highly unlikely chance occurences. However, if God created everything, and employed distinct engineering, there really isn't anything left up to chance. As for God having no beginning and no end, that becomes far more logical when you consider the possibility that time had to be created. If a being existed outside of time, by deffinition, there could be no beginning nor an end to said being. Such concepts are restricted within the limits of time. "I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates[ Parent ]  Strawmen (4.00 / 1) (#208) by cyclopatra on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:50:18 PM EST  Don't feed the trolls, I know, but sometimes I like to set fire to a few strawmen before I start the day... As an interesting aside, how do you feel that homophilea fits in with a beleif in evolution? A homophile couple is inherently sterile, therefore it would seem logical that they would have been rooted out millions of years ago. Well, studies in rats have shown that homosexual behavior increases with population density, for one thing...so there may be some biological triggers. But the fact is that even *if* you believe that every homosexual from the beginning of time has practiced an exclusively homosexual lifestyle and has not reproduced (and considering the level of hatred in society up to the present time against homosexuals, and the number of married homos I know, is pretty damn unlikely) the fact is that these things keep cropping up anyway, because there probably is no one "homo gene", and selection doesn't necessarily *eliminate* non-reproductive behaviors or unfavorable mutations totally - otherwise, we wouldn't still have things like Downs Syndrome with us. But you didn't really want an answer, did you? Also, it would seem to me that evolution violates Occum's razor. It rests upon billions and billions of highly unlikely chance occurences. However, if God created everything, and employed distinct engineering, there really isn't anything left up to chance. Why is it, I wonder, that fundamentalist Xians can't grasp the concept of Occam's Razor? Maybe it's because they're so used to viewing things as absolutes. Occam's Razor is not a law of the universe. It's a guideline, a heuristic. It's in no way guaranteed to produce a correct answer. Besides, evolution is a sort of million monkeys, million typewriters kind of thing. We know we had the monkeys, we know we had the typewriters, and now we've got the original stage directions for Hamlet. We don't need to posit some Cosmic 'Geer who typed it up on his Magical IMac and then said, "all right then, see ya later". Sounds like Occam's Razor to me - IOW, don't bring in external elements to complicate what could have happened without them. All your .sigs are belong to us. remove mypants to email[ Parent ]  Good grief... (none / 0) (#236) by driftingwalrus on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:32:10 AM EST  You people seem to assume that I'm advancing one point of view or another. That's hardly what I'm doing, I was attempting to stimulate a civil, intellectual debate ignoring my personal views. It seems to me, from the response I have received, that those who follow a beleif in evolution are simply not capable of having a logical, rational debate. Boy, it sure sounds like a religion to me. Frankly, I'm disappointed. "I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates[ Parent ]  Not at all (none / 0) (#256) by hypersapien on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 02:35:15 PM EST  It just that we run into so many creationists who steadfastly refuse to even try to understand these unbeleivably simple concepts. We're just tired of explaining them OVER and OVER again. [ Parent ]  Yes, Feynman Died. Sad but true. (none / 0) (#215) by snowlion on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 05:35:21 PM EST  Yeah, sure, Feynman died a while back. I don't understand what that has to do with anything. (I was quoting him from 1967 CalTech lectures.) Evolution is not disproven by homosexuals, or people with down syndrom (who cannot reproduces), If the whole human race were incapable of reproducing, sure, we wouldn't be here. But a given subpopulation? No. That's a gross misunderstanding of biology on your part. Here's how it goes. If I get together with Anne, I can mate with her and have children. If I get together with Alice, I can't. Our genes either don't match up right, or we have offspring who can't have offspring. It doesn't take an understanding of evolution to understand that there are couples that can mate, and couples that can't. Is the human population doomed? No, most combinations work, and we survive. --Map Your Thoughts[ Parent ]  Dead Feynman, poor, dead Feynman. (none / 0) (#237) by driftingwalrus on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:43:54 AM EST  In your original reply, you used the present tense when referring to him. As in 'he beleives...'. I'm afraid, good sir, he no longer beleives anything, nor does he accept phone calls. As for homophilea, if it only shows up later in life, then isn't that more consistent with a mental illness of some sort than being a third sex? If one is born a homophile, you'd think that would be something that would have been weeded out very quickly. If one is not born that way, then it's much more consistent with a mental abberation. Also, a million monkeys working at a million typewriters are just about as likely to wrote the complete works of Shakespeare as a clock is to spring from the ground fully assembled and wound. "I drank WHAT?!" -- Socrates[ Parent ]  Just Silly (4.00 / 1) (#254) by snowlion on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 02:16:09 PM EST  Okay; I see; My mistake! Yep! Feynman is dead. I knew that; Sorry, I'm in the habit of saying things like, "While Protagoras agrees with you, Mark Twain would say that...." Re: Homosexuality. AGAIN. Let's go to something less emotionally charged, and consider people with Down Syndrome. They can't reproduce. Yet they still appear. This is not a hole in evolutionary theory, evolution doesn't "Root Out" anything. There are people that, when their genetic codes mix, produce the sickle cell trait. They don't have to exhibit it, they are merely a carrier. If two of these people mate, they can give sickle cell to their child, who then dies. The carriers are safe, and it's even possible that they mate and produce a carrier child. If they mate with someone else, they can have a non-carrier child. Now, while the vast majority of society is non-sickle cell, and there is evidence of a "rooting out", there is still enough of a trend for it to spread that it's still out there. And occasionally these people mate, and produce sickle cell children. Since being a carrier does no damage to you, evolution can't select against it. There are hoards of diseases out there that function just like this. Evolution is not magic, with a bunch of animals climbing up a ladder to perfection; it's a wild and dynamic process. Homosexuality, if it has a genetic basis, does not defy evolution, much the same way as sickle cell does. Of course a clock won't spring from the ground fully assembled. They also won't be produced by evolutionary processes, unless you're running a computer simulation and selecting based on how "clock-like" something is. --Map Your Thoughts[ Parent ]  Third sex? (none / 0) (#257) by hypersapien on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 02:42:19 PM EST  Who said anything about a third sex. Why do I keep seeing creationists who make up things that evolutionists supposedly said. You keep assuming that homosexuality is caused by something in the DNA. This has never been proven. Also, why does some characteristic that a minority (10%) of the population have to be labeled a 'disease'? [ Parent ]  Cargo for you, my son (none / 0) (#217) by cargogod on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 06:41:42 PM EST  The Cargo God is always happy to find His followers posting comments on K5. The "Evolution Can't Work Because..., So Start Praying" theme is a special favorite. Clearly, if evolution were true, more people would understand it. [ Parent ]  -1 Redundant (3.90 / 10) (#110) by MSBob on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 01:56:14 AM EST  Because "American Beauty" dealt with the subject in a better and more exhaustive way. I hope you've seen the movie. If not go and rent it. It's the quintessence of all that's wrong with the USA's middle class. I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.  also "Heathers" (5.00 / 1) (#267) by h2odragon on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:35:21 AM EST  ...but watching either of those movies doesn't necessarily imply all that's said in this article for most people. "American Beauty" after all, was about middle age men falling to drugs and debauchery... [ Parent ]  misguided (4.00 / 1) (#111) by jeziika on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 02:20:50 AM EST  I realise that there is no substitute for loving parents, whom actively participate in their child's life and upbringing, of course not. But before everone goes pointing the finger at the wealthy suburbanites (from whom I personally recoil with horror), maybe they should look at why they spend so much time in the office as opposed to the sandpit with their kiddies. The cry of, "I don't understand what happened to them", is often the true sentiment of the wealthy, middle class parents of wayward children, because in their eyes they HAVE been doing what they consider best for their children. They have been providing them with the luxuries, the material goods that they themselves may never have had. They are purchasing the best education for them, giving them all the extra classes that will make sure little Jimmy and Sally have a well rounded education, so that they will be strong in both body and mind. In the parents' eyes they are doing their best for their children.They know that it's a competitive world out their and they want their children to be as well equipped (in the educational, material sense) for it as they can be. They want "the best for them" and if they have to spend long hours working for it, well that is the price they have to pay. Most parents do want the best for their kids, and unfortunately for most people the 'best' means financial success. They want their children to be even more successful then they themselves are. They don't want to see them struggle financially, if possible they want them to live in a high level of comfort. Can this mindset be a cause of a child's emotional and moral underdevelopement? Of course. Does it display a pathetic picture of society and it's values? Once again, of course. But in the eyes of a bewildered parent this is not seen, all they think is, "I tried my hardest. What happened?" Before turning to point the finger of blame at someone else.  Christ.. (1.68 / 19) (#113) by xmutex on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 02:34:52 AM EST  Please post some more clueless knee-jerk stories to the frontpage of Kuro5hin so everyone can finally rest assured that the K5 community is 95%drivel. This sort of shit is worth my5 a month? Riiight. bullet the blue sky
 BUT! (3.40 / 5) (#138) by Inoshiro on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 04:57:20 PM EST

 According to my records, you are not currently a subscriber. Why not become one? But I have to say, if you're a subscriber. that doesn't give you the right to whine about stories you can very easily choose not to read. Read the intro? Don't like it? Oh, well why don't you not click the read more. Come on, I dare ya! Or maybe you're just whining for attention because you have nothing interesting to say, but don't want to feel left out. -- [ イノシロ ][ Parent ]
 If you want clueless knee-jerk stories, try here. (1.00 / 1) (#144) by Phillip Asheo on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:22:06 PM EST

 http://adequacy.org has them by the bucketload. And no ads either. Seriously, don't bother with this site, it is worse than the other site. -- "Never say what you can grunt. Never grunt what you can wink. Never wink what you can nod, never nod what you can shrug, and don't shrug when it ain't necessary" -Earl Long[ Parent ]
 It's not just a-hole parents who raise a-hole kids (4.00 / 2) (#114) by joegee on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 02:40:08 AM EST

 (a-hole read asshole -- I didn't have room in the comment title. This is something I feel strongly about, my other comments are scattered here and there.) I do not see this as an issue of class or financial status. I suspect there are many nice, well-intentioned, lower, middle, and upper class parents who raise "asshole kids" too, by not setting limits, by not providing consistency, by granting independence instead of giving guidance, by not giving and receiving respect, and by being too removed from their child's everyday life. At least in America we seem to have forgotten that parenting is not a spectator sport. Kids demand attention -- and one way or another, sooner or later, they'll get it. If you are attentive; if you teach things like respect, honesty, and responsibility by example; if you set rules and respectfully demand compliance; if you are consistent and loving; I suspect your child will have quite a boost to help them walk the right path through the maze of school, peers, and any other challenges they may face. I believe there is considerable responsibility in being a good parent. But then again, as others have pointed out, who the hell am I? :) I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.
 Blame. (4.20 / 5) (#117) by mindstrm on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:30:40 AM EST

 Yes, parents in north america tend to blame everyone but themselves for their kids behavior. Well guess what? Sure.. it's partially their fault. It's ALSO society at large; did your kid sell acid at the rave because you made him do it? Taught him how? I doubt it. He did it because he thought it was cool to do - wanted to make some money - probably both. Perfectly understandable. If my kid (god forbid I ever have one) sells acid at a rave, I'll probably not get mad at him; I'll just explain how it's basically illegal, and you don't want legal troubles down the road; you choose your legal battles carefully.
 Oh, so you teach... (3.50 / 2) (#127) by Crashnbur on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 12:11:26 PM EST

 So you teach him how to slither beneath the system until he gets caught? What then? What do you do the next time he sells acid and he gets six months at a YDC? Sometimes it hurts to be angry with your children, but sometimes the emotion is necessary simply to provide the proper effect on your child. If your child has been taught the ability to reason, he will soon realize that you're right, you know, once he's gotten over the initial shock of anger from a parent. (Why this should be a shock, I don't know, but it seems like parents are so afraid of their kids these days... Why?!!?) crash.neotope.com[ Parent ]
 The 11th Commandment is invoked. (5.00 / 1) (#210) by beergut on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:13:09 PM EST

 "Thou shalt not get caught." Teach your kids good judgment. Point out idiocy. Convince them that they don't want to be idiots, even if their friends are. Teach them, and show them, that their actions have consequences. Your kids will figure it out. And if they don't, well, you can look at them and tell them, "I told you how to not be an idiot, but you didn't listen." Perhaps they will be more successful teaching their kids.
 NO, I do not. (5.00 / 1) (#266) by mindstrm on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 06:36:29 AM EST

 I explain to him that, although acid might not be the 'evil' drug that people say it is, he should not be selling it, because it's illegal, and he doesn't want that hassle. I'm not saying 'make sure you don't get caught'.. I'm saying 'why do you need to sell acid.. is it the money? Because it's not worth getting caught.' What should I do? Kick him out of the house? Beat the shit out of him? Yell a lot? Pretend I don't understand? I *DO* understand... [ Parent ]
 Woah, too many reactionary statements imho... (4.36 / 11) (#118) by Mr Obsidian on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 07:37:17 AM EST

 From One to the Next (4.00 / 2) (#124) by Crashnbur on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:57:29 AM EST

 If it's not the radio, it's the TV. If it's not the TV, it's the friends down the street. If it's not the friends down the street, it's... mommy and daddy? Now I certainly agree that parents are more largely to blame than any form of the media or the friends or other influences, but we're still playing the game of shifting the blame to the source most at fault. One doesn't stop to consider that sometimes, just sometimes, those other sources could actually have a large enough impact that they could indeed be at fault. Sure, the parents should be able to invoke their thoughts and beliefs into their children and thereby indirectly control their children's thoughts and actions. But we all know that we, as humans, are capable of thinking on our own, and sometimes we do things just because we know someone doesn't want us to. Humans seek freedom by nature, and sometimes that means flaunting disobedience in the face of authority. Not saying you're wrong, but I'm not saying those blaming the media are wrong either. There are many more negative influences that we probably fail to consider as we should. I'm just saying that pointing out a cause does nothing. Stop blaming the world around your kids and teach your kids. Then maybe, just maybe, the world that they'll dominate in twenty years won't be so bad. (Oh, and you misspelled "definitely".) crash.neotope.com
 no subject (4.20 / 5) (#135) by behzad on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 03:32:48 PM EST

 This is a huge topic, as is everything else regarding man, and really can not be blamed on one issue. Greed does play a part in the dimise of the middle class american family, but so does nearly everything else. Believe it or not, our culture has been influenced through many things, including the experimentations of our parents and friends, the tragedies we witness daily, the media, and everything else! If i were to excrete my humanly dirived flatuance, it would affect the world as much as if I were to hold it in. How can you comprehend that our culture has not been influenced by the media? Is it not the Television, or even the Computer you plug your brain into your entire recollectable existance? We are a society brought up by a bunch of baby boomers who have not thought things out. We have lost our traditions, respect and basic human guidelines along the way. This is a gargantuan subject which can not, and should not be blamed on one thing or a few things. Man is a very complex subject, and trying to understand exactly what makes man tick will drive man insane. What might help us in the future is to learn from the past.
 Stop having children! (2.75 / 8) (#136) by HardwareLust on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 03:39:57 PM EST

 I don't know about the rest of you, but I've met more than my fill of asshole kids. I certainly don't feel the need to add one or two more to the mix. I think the vast majority of these asshole kids are/were just accidents. The parents foist them off onto daycare and then public school to keep them semi-occupied until they can leave the house (or kick them out) at 18 so they can go and make some more "accidental assholes". The cycle then continues... ATTENTION PARENTS: Yes, if *your* kid is an asshole, then it's *your* fault. Period. If he or she smokes dope, steals, rapes, vandalizes, kills, etc., then you are personally responsible. Neither you nor your children are victims of 'violent video games' or anything else other than *you* fucking up the parenting process. Now deal with that and shut the fsck up!

If you disagree, POST, don't moderate!

 Think i've figured it out... (4.63 / 11) (#137) by Elendale on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 03:46:28 PM EST

 Or at least have something i haven't seen much: its not greed, not the green god (i'm going to remember that one...) or anything else: its the god of convenience that people worship. Its easier for these parents to just blow $300 than actually deal with a sad child, its easier to ignore your kids continued infatuation with destruction than to deal with it. Its also easier to say "how did this ever happen to me" and then go straight from denial into grief and blame-placing. Not that i'm exactly guilt-free here as well, but i'm starting to wonder if this convenience god is causing some problems... -Elendale ---When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.  The Nurture Assumption ... (4.25 / 12) (#148) by richieb on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:29:59 PM EST  You really should read the book called "The Nurture Assumption". It's subtitle is Why children turn out the way they do. Parents matter less and peers matter more. See here. I'm afraid that you are falling for the pop-psychology myth of parents that somehow "spoil" their children. The situation is much more complicated with many factors at play, some that are not under anyones control. Kids all across the country are committing acts of violence, indecency and outright stupidity that their parents would have never guessed they were capable of, and act absolutely shocked when they see that their children aren't something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Actually, according to FBI statitics the violence among youg people has been steadily going down. There have been several articles in this on the CNN web site. Check them out. Are you a parent? ...richie It is a good day to code.  Actually, that was not the impression I took.. (4.20 / 5) (#157) by Chiron on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:29:01 PM EST  My impression of the author was that parents weren't in particular showering excess luxuries on their children.. I very strongly disagree that it is possible to overprovide for your children, so long as you do not neglect the most essential part of raising your child: raising your child. Being there, for the child, to guide and to teach, is the part that the author seems, to me, to be emphasizing more than forcing a child to live the same spartan life that some of us remember. ( When I was a boy, I really did trudge two miles through the snow to wait 30 minutes for a school bus with an erratic schedule. ;) ) [ Parent ]  How many parents are there here? (4.00 / 7) (#149) by theboz on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:39:51 PM EST  A lot of people here are giving their "expert" opinions on things. I see people who support neglecting children because they think they are able to fend for themselves, others who think children are the spawn of Satan, and many other opinions that have no basis on reality or experience. Sure, I have my opinions too. I've even helped with two younger sisters and one younger brother, however that isn't enough to make me an expert on children. I have not studied child psychology so I can't really comment on the best way to raise a child, and I know that everyone is different so all children require different approaches. Most of the opinions here are not based on anything but fantasy and imagination. I think I had a point to this post that got lost, but basically it's a shame to read this article and all the posts involved. It's not that everyone is completely wrong, but just that the valid points get lost in an overflow of bullshit. I'm keeping my "expert" opinions from being posted on this article because I admit I don't know much about being a parent. If any of you non-parents out there have intelligence you would do the same. You're all making yourselves look like a bunch of moronic jerks. Stuff.  I am a parent. (5.00 / 2) (#158) by GlennC on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:44:15 PM EST  And my daughter is about to have her first birthday. Does this mean that I am now an expert in the raising of children? Of course not. However, I believe that I am lucky to have a wonderful wife who helps, and the education and skills to be able to support a family on my income alone. My wife and I talked about what we would do long before our daughter was conceived, and we still talk about how we should handle whatever issues will come up in her life. We both want to be active participants in her life, and I am looking forward to play groups, PTA meetings, after-school activities, and hosting sleepovers with her friends. I also pray for guidance every day. The thing I want my daughter to know most of all is that her mother and father love her. That's my take on it. Take it for what you think it's worth.[ Parent ]  True enough, but... (4.00 / 1) (#166) by Mad Hughagi on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:50:09 AM EST  I do have a young son. I see this story as being well-intended, but poorly exemplified. People focus on these particular sensational things kids do, but the fact of the matter is that kids do stupid shit. Part of learning is doing stupid things. Some kid gets into trouble for selling acid? Shit, the world's going to end! While I agree that child violence is a bad thing, who is to say that it isn't any more prodominent currently than in the past? In the old days you used to beat the shit out of people, now you kill them. The degree of the violence is greater, but the amount of it going on isn't (from what I can see). I think more than anything people are a lot more critical of parents than they should be - I have quite a few friends who don't/didn't spend a lot of time with their parents. I think that this is what the author is pointing at as being at fault and I disagree. As long as you spend your time with your children qualitatively and you try to promote independance, I'm sure they will be able to learn and come to their own decisions. I didn't spend a great deal of time with my parents, yet I don't find myself resenting anything or being in a bad situation in life. They taught me well, enjoyed themselves as much as they could as well, and we were all very content with how we spent our time. The problem is with what we teach our children, not how much time we spend teaching them. Overfocusing on material wealth is only one part of the problem. I truly despise the parents that are quick to lay down rules and not justify them, I was lucky in that my parents were very liberal, and as such I never made too many bad mistakes because I was always shown consequences and the most harmonious way of accomplishing and looking at things. And we weren't upper-middle class by any means - but at the same time I do know a lot of good families that did possess a great deal of material wealth. So in the end, I am going to raise my son based on the freedom of the self and the ability to rationalize ones actions. It has always worked very well for myself and although I disagree often with how other people live, I have no qualms with how I live or how my life affects the rest of society. Hope it helps. Having kids definately changes your mentality as to what you truly believe to be important in the grand scheme of things. I would have to echo your view on the actual experience as lending itself to having a better understanding of child-rearing, but at the same time I think people have started making the opinions on how they are going to raise their children before they actually have them. HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.[ Parent ]  Not the case at all. (1.50 / 2) (#150) by Apuleius on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 09:54:49 PM EST  I would bring up a kid who would know better than to shame his surname by acting like a cad. Trashing a girl's name on the Net will cause a son of mine to be demoted from son to alleged son. There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)  WOW (none / 0) (#151) by Desterado on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 10:03:07 PM EST  You sir, kick ass. You've got the flag, I've got your back.[ Parent ]  Whoops. Comment missing its parents. (none / 0) (#168) by Apuleius on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:32:56 AM EST  My error or a MySQL problem. Comment was meant as a response to comment #134. There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)[ Parent ]  Hmm... (4.40 / 10) (#152) by trhurler on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 10:17:26 PM EST  I think maybe YOU grew up a bit too much in the burbs. About a third of the stuff you think is so horrible is not, and your notion of who the parents are whose kids are showing up on TV is mistaken; usually, they're not wealthy, though often they are suburbanites. They usually live in the older burbs with the smaller houses and the more run down cars on the street; if they've got SUVs, they're the cheapo knockoffs of the ones everyone actually wants. Kids who grow up wealthy or even close to it are different; they might be irresponsible and even reckless, and there's always that one in a graduating class who goes on to rape some girl in college, but most of them are just obnoxious - the truth is, they've lived such sheltered lives that when they hang out with the people they meet after high school, they're terrified. They have no idea what this "real world" is or how to act in it, and it shows. Then, they go on to be just like mom and dad - wealthy, ignorant of most of the world around them, and happy that way. Good for them. Nobody else has to care. Of course, all of this is crass stereotyping, but at least my choices for one-size-fits-all are typical; I don't know where you've seen "son of upper middle class parents shoots 30 people" in the headlines, but I certainly haven't. I'm going to reserve my wrath for a very, very unpopular target. You know those poor parents who are busting their asses that you specifically didn't aim your rant at? Well, why the fuck do they have kids they can't even support? If they got divorced and now they're screwed but they were ok before, they're excused, but all you other fuckers out there, what the hell were you thinking? YOU are the goddamned problem. YOUR kids are ones whose parentally motivated inferiority complexes lead them to become bullies, petty criminals, and general underachievers. It isn't politically correct to say it, but anyone who went to a public school knows it is true, if only he'll look back critically upon the experience. What the hell are you doing? Do you think you have some inherent right to fuck up a kid's life and possibly other peoples' too? In the literal sense you do, of course, but that's the same sense in which I have a right to ignore you while you bleed to death in the street in front of my house after the son of some other fucker just like you stabs your dumb ass and steals your wallet. Pathetic shitheads. The best part is, you're the same assholes having eight kids, instead of some reasonable number. Go figure. -- 'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie  Dissent; Correct Battle, Correct Battlefield (3.75 / 4) (#156) by Chiron on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:22:54 PM EST  I'm a newly forged father, and a geek. Until recently, my highest aspirations all involved acclaim for personal glory piece of software. Now, I have a new concern that should, by all conventional morals, outweigh that selfish goal. Reading this article, I very much feel that it is well directed to people like me who feel, in their hearts of hearts, a certain kind of conflict between raising their child to be a worthwhile human being, and some nebulous goal. If the author had posted this on the wall of a some local sports bar / watering hole, it would have been off topic, and out of place. Putting it on the boards of Kuro5hin, or the Well, or other places known to be frequented by the ambitious geeks of the world, is bringing the battle to the right enemy. I would be far more annoyed about a Kuro5hin post about how absentee fathers and wife abusers are poor parents, since they would be preaching to the choir. So, reading something like this, while dealing with an internal conflict of interests definately helps to reaffirm my own internal convictions that the first priority in my new life is my familiy, its protections, and rearing a member of the human race, instead of some animal of creature comforts. More power to the author. [ Parent ]  OT: Kudos for Elevating the Discussion (none / 0) (#255) by Bear Cub on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 02:26:32 PM EST  Kudos, and thanks, for raising this discussion (or trying to) above the level of the original post. Looking forward to reading you, and good luck as as a father, -Chris ------------------------------------- Bear Cub now posts as Christopher.[ Parent ]  I have to ask you... (4.00 / 3) (#176) by Monkey Baister on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:55:47 AM EST  Should childbirth be a privilege or a right? If you want to make it a privilege, then how would you "licence" it? [ Parent ]  Depends on what you mean (4.00 / 3) (#191) by trhurler on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 11:31:01 AM EST  If by "childbirth," you mean "screw, get pregnant, spew forth child," then as I said, I think people have a right to do as they will in this regard, but I also think there are reasonable and unreasonable ways of exercising it. I think gun control is mostly a very bad idea too, but you don't see me advocating carrying your Uzi into drinking establishments. If, on the other hand, you mean all the "modern" expenditures such as doctors, hospitals, and so on, then anyone who is even remotely familiar with my positions knows that I don't think anyone has a right to health care. -- 'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie[ Parent ]  Responsible Excercise of Rights (5.00 / 1) (#258) by Bear Cub on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:00:57 PM EST  This is kind of an obvious point, but I'll go ahead and speak up. (Partly because I'm bored at work, and partly because this seems to need saying.) All of us, obviously, have the basic right to have children. But this right is just like any other: it comes with the responsibility to excercise it responsibly. No, much of the population is never going to understand this. ------------------------------------- Bear Cub now posts as Christopher.[ Parent ]  But what if you're an asshole parent? (4.00 / 3) (#153) by Wondertoad on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 10:49:42 PM EST  Now, firstly, the original story was a pathetic load of stereotypes, willful misunderstanding, fantasy, and tv/movie characterization. Come on, read it again, with that in mind. It's like those eye-trick pictures; once you see it, it's obvious. Children these days are actually over-supervised and over-protected, and the problem is getting worse, not better. The result in about twenty years will be a new generation unable to think for itself. A generation who will never have participated in a sport that wasn't "organized"; who are taught to appreciate and enjoy the luxury of 24-hour camera supervision while in public; who will repeat things in lockstep, absolutely convinced of facts no matter whether true or false. But back to the parents. Take a look at the adults age 30+ in your world. Most of those people have procreated. Are these the people you want to devote their entire lives to their children? Is that what you were hoping might take root? Because when you look around, and to paraphrase Dennis Miller, you can scarecely believe what they threw on to go outside today -- why would you want their kids chained to THAT?  Hmmm ... stereotypes?? (4.14 / 7) (#154) by MoxFulder on Sun Jul 15, 2001 at 11:01:32 PM EST  My best friend in high school seemed to fit your profile pretty well. He had two cars of his own, a Caddy and a Sebring convertible, his dad was the CEO of a small tech company, he played golf, had a cabin on Lake Michigan, etc. etc. But he was a real great guy and in most ways not spoiled at all. Him and his dad did all the repairs on their house and cars himself and his parents were actually real tight-fisted about giving him money. His parents apparently taught him to think for himself a little too much cause he's now a pretty liberal guy, which does not make his Republican parents too happy ... So I don't think all these kids of moderately wealthy parents turn out bad. Sure, there were others at our school who were total assholes, but they seemed to fall practically everywhere across the spectrum, just like the rest of us. "If good things lasted forever, would we realize how special they are?" --Calvin and Hobbes  The difference (4.50 / 4) (#173) by Monkey Baister on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:45:29 AM EST  But he was a real great guy and in most ways not spoiled at all. Him and his dad did all the repairs on their house and cars himself and his parents were actually real tight-fisted about giving him money. And this is where there is a difference. I took this article as pointing at parents that don't spend time doing things with their kids as the problem. It just seems that if you have parents that are more focused on making money than raising a child or two, they should just realize that kids are expensive both in money and in time and not have them. [ Parent ]  Tunnel Vision (4.00 / 3) (#163) by Shampoo369 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:31:37 AM EST  I sympathize with your notion of the problem; there is nothing more tragic than a pair of irresponsible money-minded people with kids. And ultimately society have to shoulder the actions of these handicapped children.I have to disagree, however, that the sole contributers of these juvenile deliquents are the money-bags of the society; nor do I think that their method of "screwing up" children is more deserving of criticism. I think those monetarily endowed children constitute only, more or less, 1/3 of the miscreant population--with the remaining supplied by middle-class as well as the lower class of our community.Of course as Tax paying citizens, we're all entitled to our share of finger-pointing when things go wrong, but perhaps that can take place in a less biased and misinformed way... "If you really want something in this life, you have to work for it -- Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers!" --Homer  The Nature of Causality (4.41 / 12) (#167) by sventhatcher on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:23:41 AM EST  It's a tribute to monotheistic religions everywhere that our society seems to be increasingly obsessed with finding the "cause" of all our social problems when in fact no such thing exists. The process by which a person is formed into whoever they are is not one that lends itself to being described in the cause-effect system, but rather is a complex web that's formed by the combination of social interaction, neurochemical levels, and slices of psychological conditioning. It's a web that has no place for broad generalizations. It's inarguable that certain things will have a negative effect (physical abuse for instance), but given circumstances the nature of that effect. Asking "Why do kids go bad?" is almost as pointless as asking "Why do bad things happen to good people?". People from all demographics and all family situations and all socio-economic demographics manage to turn out to be no good shits. At best, you're just tackling a small percentage of the problem even if you do get the upper-middle class suburbanites to love their kids more than their money. It isn't necessary to resort to misdirection to kill the idea that violence in the media is directly linked to violent behavior. The media doesn't brainwash us. We're not mindless slaves under their control. The media can be persuasive, but it cannot and will not lead someone into doing something which they were not already open to the possibility of doing. The reason that I won't go out and shoot someone for real no matter how many games of the new realistic violent shooter is that I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. If someone can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality, they've likely got a defective brain and someone should give them the latest chemical patch to help them fix it.  Heartily Agree, but This is a Good Start (5.00 / 1) (#253) by Bear Cub on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 02:08:24 PM EST  It's a tribute to monotheistic religions everywhere that our society seems to be increasingly obsessed with finding the "cause" of all our social problems when in fact no such thing exists. Absolutely. It's silly to think that anything as complex as a human being could possibly be formed from a single influence, or even a limited set of influences. But I believe it's difficult to overstate the importance of parents in the process. What we learn from Mom and Dad color everything else in our lives, from cutting in line at the movies to how we form and nurture long-term relationships. Parenting is a multitude of influences disguised as one. We learn about so many things from our parents: honesty, trust, generosity, integrity, thrift, hard work, ambition, and countless other ideas. Whether they are present or not. I've had so many talks with my father, about so many things, that he's influenced my ideas about just about everything, often in contradictory ways. Likewise with my mother, who just gets deeper as I get older. Our families give us a context in which to make the choices that make up our lives. I've been guided to the right choice time and again by the simple thought, "What would my dad think?" At best, you're just tackling a small percentage of the problem even if you do get the upper-middle class suburbanites to love their kids more than their money. True. But by re-establishing children as the priority in parents' lives, we may very well be striking at the heart of the beast. ------------------------------------- Bear Cub now posts as Christopher.[ Parent ]  that's right; nothing is the fault of the media (3.00 / 6) (#169) by streetlawyer on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:41:23 AM EST  Surprisingly enough, the media is the one industry in the world that produces no industrial pollution.Although the entire financial basis of the media industry is that it is capable of conveying powerful messages, it in fact is not.It is, quite clearly, the responsibility of any parent to spend his entire time monitoring the output of the media to ensure that it is suitable for his child; this activity is much more efficiently carried out on a household-by-household basis. Any memories of a Golden Age when media companies exercised some restraint, or thought about the social consequences of their programming, are clearly illusory.America, by the way, has the best television in the world.Strangely counterintuitive ideas ... I wonder why they are so prevalent ... could it be that people heard about them in the media? --Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever  I'd disagree with that (5.00 / 1) (#170) by Betcour on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:00:34 AM EST  Although the entire financial basis of the media industry is that it is capable of conveying powerful messages, it in fact is not. It's wrong - well partly. While commercials manage hardly to convey any messages (despite being paid for), the other content does carry a message. Look at the Gulf War, how the spin doctors managed to make the whole western world believe it was a "nice war", clean and fair. Look at Israelian TV, that make nice reports on 1 Israelian killed and then hardly mention the 10 palestinian shots, even what that includes kids. Not only are the medias powerful, they are actually much more powerful than the policitians. Berlusconi was elected in Italy because he controled half of the TV channels. Medias can make or kill an election, pass a law, etc... Bush has no power in himself, if the major TV networks decide to make him go down in flame him he is as dead as gay boudhist in Afghanistan. [ Parent ]  the best tv (5.00 / 1) (#171) by dru on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:03:07 AM EST  America, by the way, has the best television in the world. Yeah, the way they do it in Europe -- where you can watch a whole movie on TV with only one commercial break -- that sucks. -- dru.ca[ Parent ]  industrial pollution (5.00 / 2) (#200) by dogwalker on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:25:49 PM EST  Surprisingly enough, the media is the one industry in the world that produces no industrial pollution. Right, because electricity is that magical stuff made for free deep underground and piped by gnomes up to our wall sockets. --share and enjoy [ Parent ]  semantics (5.00 / 1) (#268) by h2odragon on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:46:41 AM EST  or, the major media's only output is noise pollution; they just call it "their product" and go on... [ Parent ]  I use up a lot of my time (4.50 / 6) (#180) by Orion Blastar on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 09:41:52 AM EST  to spend watching my son. My father didn't spend a lot of time with me, but he did spend some time. According to my mother, my father never changed a diaper, etc, that she did all the hard work. I've changed my share of diapers for my son. In any case, I am trying real hard to teach him not to be a bully or *sshole when he grows up. It seems he acts bad when around one of his cousins, but when he is alone or with other kids, he acts a lot better. I am suspecting that peer pressure or acting like one of your peers may play a role in this misbehaving thing. If your peers misbehave, so will you. That is why bullies always have toadies, because the toadies want to act just like the bully. I think that parents that ignore their children may be to blame, but also our society, the way schools are run, the peers, the teachers, authority figures (got to set the good examples, or else children may start acting like the bad examples) are all to blame as well as the parents. *** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***  Is is really our fault? (3.33 / 3) (#182) by TJ Riggins on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:10:02 AM EST  This rant seems more to be one out of jealousy. Maybe it's genetic. Maybe it's not. I never was an asshole because my parents weren't there for me, I was an asshole growing up because of the people I hung around with. We did dumb shit. Really dumb shit. You know what? It was fun, and if I was hanging around with the straight laced kids I wouldn't have been an asshole either.  A good article on this subject. (4.25 / 4) (#185) by interguru on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:30:46 AM EST  Mary Eberstadt in Policy Review has written a good article on this subject. She makes many good points, but the one I founc them most fastinating is that over the years work has become pleasanter ( Less physical labor, workers are treated better, etc) to the point where it becomes a pleasant refuge from the messiness of dealing with kids.  "God and religion"????????? (3.92 / 13) (#188) by Dr G on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:44:01 AM EST  What has God and Religion have to do with this? As far as I can see, it was "God and Religion" that imposed a fear oriented moral system, based on superstition, that made it so easy to break laws and to justify amoral behavior. First of all, if the only reason NOT to do something is an old fart of a father god casting lightening bolts from a thunder cloud, the mythology of a "hell" where we will all burn if we're not good little boys and girls, then the battle is lost. Most intelligent kids do not believe that fear-mongering bullshit. Instead of trying to make our youth swallow superstition, we should teach them that "being nice" is a less dangerous and often more profitable path. The Universe is Open Source: oblivion is just a click away.  Or as George Carlin said... (none / 0) (#225) by RadiantMatrix on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:09:19 AM EST  (I paraphrase): Religion has got everyone believing that there's a big man up in the sky; he watches everything you do, and if you're bad, he sends you to a nasty place where you burn forever when you die. ... But he loves you! ... -- never put off until tomorrow what can be done the day after. Express Yourself[ Parent ]  Hmm... (4.00 / 1) (#226) by evanfoo on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:37:15 AM EST  I'm not sure if you could have written a more offensive post. Let's look at it, ok? What has God and Religion have to do with this? As far as I can see, it was "God and Religion" that imposed a fear oriented moral system, based on superstition, that made it so easy to break laws and to justify amoral behavior. Well, personally I'd like to see some examples of this. While I can't speak for all religions, I know that Christianity is based on love, not hate or fear. While some branches use the "fear" method, most do not. I don't do bad things because it would hurt God, and thus He would be dissapointed in me. It has nothing to do with fear. First of all, if the only reason NOT to do something is an old fart of a father god casting lightening bolts from a thunder cloud, the mythology of a "hell" where we will all burn if we're not good little boys and girls, then the battle is lost. Ah, a nice, simple attack on religion. Have you ever been shown proof of the non-existance of God? Have you? No? Well, then, don't knock the idea. Your abnormal fear of religion is a little sad. Again, you don't understand what you are talking about. At all. Most intelligent kids do not believe that fear-mongering bullshit. I'm confused. You are saying most intelligent kids don't believe in a higher being? Can you show evidence of this? Can you quote a statistic from a reliable source that shows that over 50% of people with high IQ's don't believe in a diety? What? You can't? Oh, that's because 90% of the general population believes in *some* form of God. So, most smart kids do believe in "fear-mongering bullshit" Instead of trying to make our youth swallow superstition, we should teach them that "being nice" is a less dangerous and often more profitable path. Comparing religion to superstition is a bit far, don't you think? I think that instead of writing flamebait where you bash religion, you should try and understand other people's cultures. You obviously know nothing about world religions, and instead seem content in your ignorant rants. Here's an idea: Why don't you try "being nice?" You have written a post that was a direct slam on religion. You state that it's "bullshit", sarcastically imply that religion isn't true, compare it to superstition, and blame it for all the problems we currently face. Doesn't seem too nice to me... [ Parent ]  Love, God, and Chrisitanity (none / 0) (#227) by needless on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 01:08:01 AM EST  ...Christianity is based on love, not hate or fear.... Umm, have you ever read the Old Testament? While some branches use the "fear" method, most do not. I don't do bad things because it would hurt God, and thus He would be dissapointed in me. It has nothing to do with fear. Your point could be more accurately represented by stating that some branches don't use the fear method. Christianity came up with the idea of 'Hell', it didn't exist to the Jews, nor did the devil. Yes, the 'Great Adversary' was spoken of as a generalized entity, but it was the Christians who came up with a Biblically sanctioned place for the bad folks to go to. [ Parent ]  Ill-informed nonsense (4.00 / 1) (#235) by sparks on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:12:03 AM EST  >> ...Christianity is based on love, not hate or >> fear.... > Umm, have you ever read the Old Testament? Christianity is not the religion of the Old Testament. Christianity is the religion of the New Testament. Judaism is the religion of the Old Testament. For what it's worth, Christians generally don't continue any laws of the Old Testament unless they are specifically continued in the New Testamant. The OT was the "disposition of law" where you had to make yourself acceptable by following laws; the NT is the "disposition of grace" where God's love is enough, no matter how bad the things we do. So yes, Christianity is a religion based on love. If you don't believe that, go talk to some Salvation Army people who spend every night feeding the homeless at their own expense; or the successful businessman who gave up his career to work with teenaged drug addicts. > Christianity came up with the idea of 'Hell', > it didn't exist to the Jews, nor did the devil. Sorry, this is just wrong. Hell is a hebrew concept. The word "sheol" referred to the underworld, the place of the dead, in hebrew cosmology. It is used sixty-five times in the Old Testament. The devil, too, was a Hebrew idea. He was originally regarded as a sort of "subordinate official" of God but over time he became identified as God's opponent, largely due to the influence of other Eastern belief systems on Judaism in the centuries before Christ. There are countless references to satan in the Old Testament, from Eve being tempted in the garden onwards. [ Parent ]  Support for religion (none / 0) (#230) by opentuba on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:43:50 AM EST  As a young, and at least in my own opinion, fairly bright individual, I do believe in God and in my religion. I don't think that a religion, unless that tennets of that relgion involve doing bad things, can hurt a person. My religion gives me focus, strength, and helps me set a foundation for myself and for how I want to pattern my life. By having high standards, encouraged by this relgion, I have been motivated to avoid the harmful distractions of life, such as drugs and crime, etc, because they are not taking me to where I want to go. So, I believe that my religion has made me a better person then I would have been without it. I am not trying to make a point that people who believe in a diety are better then those who don't, because that is certainly not the case. However, I am trying to make the point that religion is not harmful to a person, and is irrelavent to this discussion. From my observations as a teenager I would say that religion provies focus to people, and has never been the cause of any of the acts of crime, violence, or drugs that I have seen. So, please stop trying to slam religion whenever the chance arises. It isn't helping anything. /* Stephen */ [ Parent ]  Response to 'Hmm...' (none / 0) (#247) by hypersapien on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:34:20 PM EST  I don't do bad things because it would hurt God, and thus He would be dissapointed in me. It has nothing to do with fear. Then your morality isn't based on your religion. Ah, a nice, simple attack on religion. Have you ever been shown proof of the non-existance of God? Have you? No? Nowhere in that passage did he say that there was no god. He was talking about the pros/cons of a religiously-based morality. You are saying most intelligent kids don't believe in a higher being? No. Where, exactly, did he say they were mostly atheists? He was saying that most of them don't believe in hell, or believe that hell is reserved for the absolute worst of society; the Charles Mansons' and Timothy McVeigh's. Comparing religion to superstition is a bit far, don't you think? No. It's perfectly justifiable and absolutely correct. Why don't you try "being nice?" You have written a post that was a direct slam on religion. You state that it's "bullshit", sarcastically imply that religion isn't true, compare it to superstition, and blame it for all the problems we currently face. He is allowed to state his opinion any way he sees fit. A lot of people (myself included) are angry as hell over all the trouble religion has caused. All the atrocities comitted over the centuries. And don't say that the ones who did/are doing all those horrible things aren't 'true christians'. Who are you to decide who is and who isn't a true christian? You answer by saying that you are someone who 'accepts jesus in your heart'? So are they. I am an atheist. I will never hide or apoligize for that fact. I, personally, have no problem with christians. Some are my good friends, I've even dated them. It's people like you that are the problem. The type of christian that believes that all non-christians are, at best, misguided, and at worst, evil. You are the type of christian that, as your post proves, likes to twist around the meaning of any argument that is put to you, so you don't have to answer questions that YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T. You give the majority of christians in this country, the ones that don't care what religion a person is, who judge people by their actions, not their beliefs, a bad name. [ Parent ]  This is wrong because why? (3.66 / 9) (#189) by rand on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:49:04 AM EST  I must agree with some points of this rant-- in that the media, recording industry, internet community, and (in general) school system is generally not to blame for kids whom end up doing overly stupid things with their lives. However, blaming the above-average suburban family for screwed up kids is equally unfair. The picture you paint with the above rant is very similar to my own home life as a child, youth, and young adult. My parents worked the long hours to go after the big bucks, and as a result I generally saw very little of them unless attending some pre-arranged event. I watched just as much violent television, played just as many rip-their-spines-out violent video games, and listened to just as much gangster rap and metal as the next kid. However, I didn't turn to drugs and blame my parents. I didn't mow down a schoolyard full of pre-school children and blame my parents. What I did, was learn what they were doing so well, that by the time I was a high school senior, I owned my own business and drove a porsche. (Granted, it wasn't new, but a 911 to a highschool kid... well, nuf said.) I graduated high school with a 3.4 GPA and a 27% attendance record. Sure, I skipped a lot of class like any high school kid would-- however it was not to go out and get smashed every night, nor to deal drugs, nor because I just felt that laying in bed and watching the tube was a more productive use of my time. Watching my parents put their nose to the grindstone served to show me that if you want anything in this world, gasp, you actually have to go out and work for it. I applaud them for their methods of raising children, as both myself and my brother turned out in a very similar way. Yes, parents are generally the reason kids turn out bad. However, it is not because they do not spend a great deal of time with them. Kids can just as easily ignore nightly family meetings and church on sundays as they can ignore their parents whom are always at work. The problem with the majority of kids whom get hauled home by the police at two in the morning is that their sense of values is beyond screwed up. THAT is the fault of their parents, and happens in all walks of life, not just upper class suburbia. It does not take a huge amount of time, nor current monitoring of a child to install the belief that it's fundimentally wrong to go out and blow away your classmates because they called you names.  This be the verse (4.28 / 7) (#192) by SIGFPE on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:10:06 PM EST  They fuck you up, your mum and dad, they may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they had, and add some extra, just for you. But they were fucked up in their turn, by fools, in old style hats and coats, who half the time were sorry stern, and half at one anothers' throats. Man hands on misery to man, it broadens like a coastal shelf. So get out as quickly as you can, and don't have any kids yourself. -- Philip Larkin SIGFPE  Assholes ahoy! (3.00 / 1) (#196) by Scrutinizer on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 12:54:33 PM EST  So get the little bastards a rectumectomy...  and guess who's to blame? (4.25 / 8) (#197) by PseudoKiller on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 01:25:58 PM EST  Well lets see... I had 2 parents, both worked full time to make ends meet. I have an alcoholic father and a nut job for a Mom. I love them both but I can't stand to be around them. I have never been arrested nor do I do drugs. I have a drink maybe once a week. I work full time have dated the women for serveral years and never cheated on her. I have been married for over 7 years and yes we may have problems but nothing I would consider serious. My parents were never around while I was growing up. I was, what they called back then, a latch key kid. My sister has a job as a nurse helping kids with cancer. So when does it become the responsibility of the "kid" "teenager" whatever you want to call it...when is it their responsibility for the actions they take, when are they supposed to grow the hell up or at the very least act a little more mature than a group of animals?? Just because you want to dosen't mean you should. Take your finger out of you ass and start to think for yourself...my$0.02 PseudoKiller I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!! :)
 Common logical error (4.50 / 2) (#265) by fluffy grue on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:55:53 PM EST

 You're making a very common logical error, namely that you're reversing cause and effect. This article is saying: Messed up kid -> the parents suck and what you're saying is: the parents suck -> Not a messed up kid These are not mutually-exclusive statements. You turned out fine, and so the first statement doesn't apply. That is, in your case, "messed up kid" is false and "the parents suck" is true. Implication (P->Q) is equivalent to ~P || Q. In your case, "messed up kid" (P) is false; thus, ~P is true, and so the statement "messed up kids are because the parents suck" is still true, even in your case where you're not messed up (i.e. the statement just doesn't apply). Now, a proper counterexample to the statement made by the article is where a kid is a total asshole even though their parents were involved in being parents. Are there any asshole kids with great parents who want to step forward? --"Is not a quine" is not a quine.I have a master's degree in science![ Hug Your Trikuare ] [ Parent ]
 (gasp) oh no, not acid! (3.00 / 9) (#199) by coffee17 on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 02:10:09 PM EST

 Oh no, not acid, a little bit of that will ruin the world. I bet they'll even move on to pot. Damn, if I had a kid, and he got busted selling acid or weed, and many other drugs, I'd mainly be concerned with whether it was good quality or not, and be mad if he/she was selling cheap doses, and want in on some if s/he had good stuff. I'll remark on your other points in a later comment, but some of your issues, drugs, blasphemy, manson just seem stupid. Even when parents do try to get active in raising their kids it doesn't mean that one is going to raise a little clone of themselves. -coffee
 Youth Need to Understand Change (4.00 / 2) (#203) by AArthur on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:14:52 PM EST

 I think a Richard Nixon commerical from 1968 explains the problems with American youth today. http://www.ammi.org/cgi-bin/video/ram.cgi?1968,14 "American youth today has it's fringes. But that's part of the greatness of our country. I have great faith in American youth. The youth of today can change the world. And if they understand that, I think we are going forward to a great age -- not just for Americans, but for peace and progress for all the people in the world." The fact is, American youth are apathitic to everything. They don't feel like they change things. They dislike a law, they feel like that can't change it. They dislike a school policy, they feel powerless (eventhough walkouts, protests, writing to local papers, senators, etc. does help). And you DO NOT have to be 18 to make difference -- schools still have to listen to childern -- as they will be adults, and chances are that parents will be willing to help you fight on your behave. American youth need to understand they can change things, and if they get a large enough force together behind them, things will change. A school can not afford to upset even 1 out of 5 students -- or even worst 1 out of 5 parents. School board member's positions are a stake, as is the budget. A repeatingly failing school budget is a good sign something is not right in the school leadership. Change. It doesn't matter your age, you must understand you can do it, and do it. Andrew B. Arthur | aarthur@imaclinux.net | http://hvcc.edu/~aa310264
 Re: Youth Need to Understand Change (none / 0) (#213) by samx on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 05:03:47 PM EST

 A school can not afford to upset even 1 out of 5 students -- or even worst 1 out of 5 parents. School board member's positions are a stake, as is the budget. A school can afford to upset as many students as it wants. Schools routinely ignore petitions signed by almost the entire student body - not just petitions for better food in the cafeteria, but for real issues like more time for arts classes and searching students' lockers without warning or a warrant. And unfortunately, many parents aren't able or willing to help. Yes, change is possible, and yes, it's important to remind kids of this. But it ain't that easy. [ Parent ]
 I've got three kids... (none / 0) (#246) by ave19 on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:30:33 PM EST

 Kid's live in a world between their parents and themselves. They don't have identities of their own, even as teens, they're still working on creating the person they will be. Much of what they start with comes from their parents. (Even a sense of independence!) Parents who try to control this process, lose interest in the process, or force it to happen too early by not guiding them, will end up with messed up kids. "Billy Elliot" was a good movie. A coal mining father, struggling to make ends meet, gives up his preconcieved notions about his ballet dancing son. Make rules, enforce them. If you promise them something, deliever, whether its candy or an ass-whoping. -ave [ Parent ]
 Playing the blame game (3.25 / 4) (#204) by anansi on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:18:45 PM EST

 This rant is NOT directed at the families where both parents are working so they can make ends meet. This rant is NOT directed at the single parents who work long hours as miserable jobs so that their kids can go to school in a safe area. This rant is NOT directed at the parents who come home at night too tired to play catch with their children, but sit on the stoop and cheer for them as they play with the neighbors. This rant is aimed square into the wealthy suburbs. What makes you think that it's just the wealthy suburbs creating the problem? If it weren't so sad, it would be laughable the way americans are so focused on who to blame for each and every individual problem. What about the companies which require mandatory overtime of the workers? Mighty hard to raise children when spending time with your kids could get you fired. Society's watchdogs have finally cracked down on tobacco companies manipulating children into addiction, now what if we had the will to restrain the rest of that psychological warfare against kids? We've all seen the screaming child in the grocery store who simply must have that toy or that candy. Dare we stand up to the advertising industry that creats this need? Maybe Ms Clinton got it wrong with, "It takes a village", but that's only because there is no village! You want to blame someone for the eroded village, or do you want to build one? Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
 Advertising ad nauseum (5.00 / 2) (#207) by beergut on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 03:50:12 PM EST

 are you explaining yourself? (1.00 / 2) (#221) by ArsonSmith on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 08:09:03 PM EST

 You say that people are blaming everything except them selves for the problems. Do you feel that when society is blamed for these things it is pointing at you? Are you then trying to avoid the blame of this by pushing it back to the parents. Sure you can find hundreds of reasons why someone might be a bad parent and cause children to be bad people, but you also can find hundreds of reasons why society is at fault. Trying to make a grey issue into black and white is just not what needs to be done. Pointing out that parents need to take more time in there children?s lives with ?quality time? is one thing. Making it into the sole reason for misguided youth is avoiding the issue. I am not arguing your point as much as your delivery. and the hypocritical way that your are redirecting blame from you and your society to the parents. [ Parent ]
 How about this (5.00 / 3) (#238) by Phil the Canuck on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 08:56:05 AM EST

 Parents are the filter through which children see society. Your kids will grow up to be free thinking individuals someday, but how you define right and wrong early in their life will stick with them forever. You can choose to open the filter wide and let "society" raise your children for you, but when they turn out to be assholes it's your fault. beergut is quite correct in stating that the advertising industry doesn't create whiny, materialistic kids. Parent's who can't say no and stick with it do. It's not about deflecting blame from society, since AOL/NBC/Fox/MTV/etc hold no responsibility for your kids. There's no blame to deflect. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]
 Your kids... (5.00 / 1) (#245) by beergut on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:02:27 PM EST

 It is not society's responsibility to raise kids.. (3.00 / 1) (#248) by ave19 on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:59:41 PM EST

 Three kids doesn't make you an expert (none / 0) (#271) by Nezumi on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 10:50:21 AM EST

 Three kids does give me a perspective, though. (none / 0) (#280) by ave19 on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 01:35:10 PM EST

 I am certainly not claiming that my children don't learn life lessons or receive support from the community, I'm just saying, it would be wrong for me to not take responsibility for making sure those lessons are the "right ones." Do my kids fear me? Yes, a little. I'm not their friend, I'm their father. There's a big difference. But, they do not live in fear. We play games together, have fun, play basketball, go camping, etc. I am there for every one of their soccer practices and games, I take interest in their school work, and help them when their stuck. I take them to the library whenever they need to go, or help them around the internet when they need information on China, or whatever. I have made a serious and life-long commitment to their well being. I'm very happy with they way they've turned out so far. (The oldest one just turned 12.) I feel can trust them to make the "right" decisions. They think like I wanted them to. Teachers compliment me how they behave in class, active, particpating, sharing, caring, always playing with a sense of fair play... There are many examples, I guess I can't list them all. Their grade point averages are 2.5, 2.7 and 3.3. Not too shabby, but I challenge them to do even better. I just can't describe how cool life is with the three of them around. The other night, we could barely finish the "Game of Life" without falling out of our chairs laughing. I can't wait for them to grow up. If what their like now is any indication, they're going to be well-adjusted members of society and we're going to have a very good relationship! Of course, only time will tell. If you're wondering how we can have a good relationships, lots of fun and lots of discipline at the same time... well... I don't know what to tell ya. -ave [ Parent ]
 oh my fucking god... (3.75 / 4) (#209) by flummox on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 04:11:09 PM EST

 how right you are... this is an excellent start to a very wonderful topic. i agree. most of the time, neglet can do so much harm. i grew up in a similar setting. except, luckily for me, the setting wasn't the result from greedy parents. it was just a haphazard divorce that set it into motion. the only thing that i feel kept me "in line" is the fact that my parents always had the time to show and tell us that they loved us. if we hadn't had that, i'd probably be in jail by now... i'm not saying that i'm a perfect kid or that the "other children" are that bad. i'm simply talking about the fact that my parents expressed love. they didn't shower me with gifts to make amends for their mistakes. they would sit down and talk with me about it. and i think that is the difference this writer was going for... TALK WITH YOUR CHILDREN. not at them... with them... check ya later... cap'n flummox ...bring me my cheese...
 KIDS KICK ASS (4.50 / 2) (#214) by gauntlet on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 05:06:22 PM EST

 Dead on (5.00 / 1) (#218) by Harvey Fish on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 06:50:16 PM EST

 Misguided.... (4.00 / 1) (#232) by Mr Obsidian on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 04:08:49 AM EST

 I think its noble that you feel that parents should spend time with their kids, and I agree, but I feel that your post is misguided. The main point I would like to refute is the blame of the parents of the school shooters. I agree that the parents should have been more aware of their children's mental and emotional state, but I think that in the most recent cases of school shootings the social and educational systems are where the most blame rests. The social heiarchy within a school is ruthless, while educators are illequiped to handle the emotional problems of those they educate. I also know, from friends, how alienating a large school can be. I think that school shootings are a multifaceted and complex subject, but if we try and generalize the causes or point fingers, we lose any chance of understanding the problem. With that being said, you do have some good points, especially about the socio-economic background of the recent school shooters. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the reasons behind a child from this socio-economic bracket commiting these undirected forms of violence (lashing out, almost), verses the directed violence that tends to happen in the poorer socio-economic brackets? Mr.O "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. " Martin Luther King, Jr.[ Parent ]
 Suggestions... (4.50 / 2) (#259) by tankgirl on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 04:27:14 PM EST

 Attention. The shooters involved were all used to negative attention, and were simply looking for the all-encompassing attention that would be provided by committing a heinous act. This is something reinforced by all the groups involved. The media only pays attention to what gets ratings because ratings equal advertising dollar\$. (Example: The O.J. chase, The Princess Diana car accident, etc.) Parents tend to talk to others about the glory of their childs accomplishments, and sometimes IMHO, from the child's POV, they are taking credit for having provided them with the ability (environment , etc) to be successful. I've yet to see a parent proud that his or her child committed a violent act against another, but they're very quick to say, 'Where on earth did you learn such behavior'. I think it makes it seems that the child never truly succeeds on their own, but they will always fail alone. That's a topic that I think could use some more exploration. Educators play a part in this because they're human, have children, and are subject to the same media. So they don't really have any more information than the rest of us. I'm not quite sure why everyone expects omnipotence from this group, or the parental group for that matter, in general. It all comes down to personal responsibility. I think these young people feel personally responsible, but don't feel others are. So a change has come about, when I was young, children thought about inflicting violence on themselves moreso than on others because a lack in personal accountabilty. An 'I'll just kill myself, and that'll show'em'. I think that has shifted to include doing harm to others in the process so that a form of retribution can be dispensed in a more tangible manner. Basically a god complex, whereby they can pass judgement on the other persons perceived lack of accountability for the actions that brought the perpetrator to commit the violent act. Heh, that last bit is somewhat convoluted, but I hope you understand my point. These things don't have to happen, but they'll continue to as long as we blame one group instead banding together to combat where this degradation in morals is seeping in. Which happens to be on all fronts. jeri. "I'm afraid of Americans. I'm afraid of the world. I'm afraid I can't help it." -David Bowie[ Parent ]
 Interesting... but... (none / 0) (#260) by Mr Obsidian on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:16:59 PM EST

 I think you have a number of good points, but some ones I would contest as well. "The shooters involved were all used to negative attention, and were simply looking for the all-encompassing attention that would be provided by committing a heinous act. This is something reinforced by all the groups involved." I think that in the most recent examples of school shootings of this nature, the children involved were almost seeking revenge. I would say that pulling a fire alarm is a cry for attention (as is an attempt at suicide), but this seems different to me... "Parents tend to talk to others about the glory of their childs accomplishments, and sometimes IMHO, from the child's POV..." Very interesting points. I agree that parents can get too caught up in their kids achievements rather than their kid. "Educators play a part in this because they're human, have children, and are subject to the same media..." I don't really see the relevence of the media to the educators, in this example. I feel that educators are human, and they can't expected to know everything about all their students. However, I feel that educators need to be aware of emotinal stress within their students, if possible. I don't mean that they should run off and call the sheriff because a kid said this or that, but that they have the experience to approach a troubled child and try to help them sort things out, or to point the kid in the direction of the school counseler. I know this is a lot to expect, but I think that for educators to at least try and have the emotional well being of their students in mind, as well as the educational well being, would be a step in the right direction. "It all comes down to personal responsibility. I think these young people feel personally responsible, but don't feel others are..." I am not sure I fully understand what you are trying to say here; could you clarify this paragraph? "These things don't have to happen, but they'll continue to as long as we blame one group instead banding together to combat where this degradation in morals is seeping in. Which happens to be on all fronts. " Yes, and no. I agree that the blame game gets old fast and little done, but I disagree with any statement about a "degradation" of morals. Whose morals? From when? To what? That kind of statement doesn't make sense to me. Mr.O "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. " Martin Luther King, Jr.[ Parent ]
 ObSatireWire and the poll (3.00 / 1) (#219) by mrBlond on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:19:23 PM EST

 Parents say web sites teach fucking profanity I don't have kids, and would only ever consider adopting if one day I could support one. I think people who'd like to have some progeny are exactly the people who shouldn't. While I've never taken any, I'd hope my child would be free enough to decide for itself whether to take drugs. I'd like the kid to be able to think rationally and hopefully denounce such silly things as God, Valhalla, Santa, Satan, and the easter bunny... I'd also be kinda proud if they could build (not set off) a bomb, afterwhich they'd be grounded for a month of course. While I'm a pacifist I'd understand them assaulting someone, hell I wanted to when I was a kid. Raping is unforgivable tho, I'd turn any kid of mine in to the police if they were guilty of something like that. For the love of reason, always add a none of the above. -- Inoshiro for cabal leader.
 Crime Rate Vs. Mental Problems (5.00 / 1) (#220) by ZorbaTHut on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 07:23:05 PM EST

 I've seen a lot of people here talking about how the crime rate is low, about how there are actually very few cases of murder or rape or whatever, but . . . that actually matters very little. Yes, I'll agree that it's good that the crime rate's low. But I know plenty of people who would never commit a crime who are still in absolutely terrible shape. People who, for one reason or another, are suicidal, repeatedly overdose on drugs, cut themselves, got sexually abused as children, get drunk, do drugs (the bad kinds - yes, there's a difference) . . . in fact, *each* of those I can point to two or three people I know who do that. Some more. (Cutting? At least a dozen.) Note that this is out of maybe two dozen people, all under the age of 20. Mostly female. But not all. A good number of them under 15. I don't *care* about the crime statistics here. None of them have ever been arrested. In fact, among all of them, the only runin with the police I've ever even *heard* of is a single speeding ticket, and that was an honest mistake on their part. The crime statistics aren't important - the important thing is that I know two dozen people who are, frankly, wonderful, and yet who still go to bed crying every night with fresh scars on their arm. It's easy to point at the assholes - but *they're* at least going to survive to be adults.
 Yes, but... (4.00 / 2) (#231) by Mr Obsidian on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 04:00:23 AM EST

 Crime rates are not everything, but the do matter. They serve as a reality check for all those who would like to return to "the good old days" (TM), that aren't really any better than today when they come under close scrutiny. The rest of your post brings an interesting article to discussion here. Mental Illness... This is still a very taboo subject in our society and it has only recently been understood. I was never diagnosed, but I am 99% sure that I suffered from severe clinical depression when I was a child. It stemmed from a very poor school environment circa 4th grade. My parents weren't aware that children could suffer from depression and so a psychiatrist was never really considered. I was eventually removed from the situation, and that helped tremendously... I mentioned this as an example of a bad parenting by otherwise caring and exceptional parents. I think that certain forms of mental illness may be on the rise in certain groups (teenage girls perhaps), but I am no expert on the subject. At best, I can provide the speculation that as our youth are turned into a marketing sector and media/corporations are allowed to define the identity for a generation, we will see growing numbers of social mental disorders as the 95% of kids who can't fit the corporate stereotypes are forced into identity crises. It is my understanding, however, that many of the problems you and I have mentioned have been around forever, and they are not unique to this era. I do know that the poor tend to be depressed. Men tend to have more violent problems, such as alcoholism and domestic violence, while women tend to have more "silent" diseases, such as anorexia and depression. I am neither a sociologist nor a psychologist, but I can testify as a witness of the times. If anyone has more accurate information, please respond. Mr.O "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. " Martin Luther King, Jr.[ Parent ]
 I want another poll with this (1.50 / 2) (#223) by mami on Mon Jul 16, 2001 at 10:36:42 PM EST

 I would like to know from everybody who has posted a comment if he/she has kids or not. Do you have kids over 18 ? Do you have kids over 14 ? Do you have kids over 10 ? Do you have kids over 6 ? I have kids under 6 I don't have kids
 I have one, newborn (none / 0) (#224) by Chiron on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 12:00:24 AM EST

 n/t [ Parent ]
 congrats (none / 0) (#228) by mami on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:12:58 AM EST

 *grin* (none / 0) (#278) by Chiron on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 06:52:41 AM EST

 What gave it away? The late hours? [ Parent ]
 I have two (none / 0) (#239) by Phil the Canuck on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:03:01 AM EST

 One two-and-a-half and one newborn. ------I don't think being an idiot comes with a pension plan though. Unless you're management of course. - hulver[ Parent ]
 how do you manage the half ? (none / 0) (#241) by mami on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 10:27:11 AM EST

 I am just depressed, no answer necessary. [ Parent ]
 Generalizations (4.50 / 4) (#229) by opentuba on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 03:28:03 AM EST

 Me being of the younger group (still in High School) I know many teenagers of upper class and middle class families. I know all types, from the very misdirected to future big leaders. Much of how a person is, including teens, depends on the person themself. I am a self-taught programmer, and have learned much of what I know on my own, although I do have great parents. I know kids of upper class/middle class families who are similar to me, and have high values, etc. Then again, there are those people who are just really stupid. I mean the people who think that the most important thing is what you are wearing, smoking, drinking, etc. My personal belief is that teens are wasteful and stupid because they don't know the value of work. I have always thought that some families move in cycles through the generations: smart person who becomes rich, (s)he spoils his/her kids, those kids become stupid. They become poor and support from their parents runs out. They have a kid who they can't afford to spoil That kid is sick of being poor and does something about it That kid gets rich and has kids go back to step 1 My Dad, although he works a lot, has always taught me the value of work, basically by making me pay for much of my own things, or at least half of some of the larger things. Although my family could afford it, I am not going to be handed a BMW when I get my license. If I wanted one, that would be something I would have to work for. So, my main point is that kids should be taught the value of hard work, even if the parents can afford to buy "the world" for them. Money feels so much better when you have earned it yourself. /* Stephen */
 It's a problem, but not the only problem (4.00 / 2) (#233) by RavenDuck on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 05:13:53 AM EST

 While I think that this is a good little rant (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), I think it falls into the trap of assuming that there is only one cause (and therefore one solution) to violence (I know you're not exclusively talking about violence, but it's hard to quantify "arsehole" in any other convinient way). Certainly, parents who are neglectful of their children often contribute to them growing up to be antisocial. This is not exclusive to any single class, but I guess you might argue that the financially sound have the resources to potentially avoid it. I think it's an interesting point that should have been made more explicitly in Kelleher's miedocre book "When good kids kill". But there are lots of other factors that contribute to a violent society, in general, and violent individuals, in particular. Criminology has been looking at this issue for a number of years, and doesn't pretend to have all the answers. I assure you, however, that bored rich kids are *not* the greatest perpetrators of violence. Some of the comments remind me of a conference I was at recently where there was a couple who brought along their young (only a few months old, I guess) baby. Both of the parents were Evolutionary Psychologists, and I remember wondering how they would apply what they study to raising their child. I'm sure, however, they'll do a much better job than Skinner! For what it's worth, however, some of the most screwed up people I've known were children of psychologists, people who have no excuse for not knowing how to raise kids properly (and it's only recently that I've found some good counterexamples!). -- For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ.
 Please don't undermine the Cargo Cult (2.00 / 1) (#242) by cargogod on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 10:34:42 AM EST

 You post a nice rant, but it runs directly against the principle beliefs of My followers. You're going to have a hard time convincing them of their responsibilities as parents (or as human beings), when their religion keeps them free of responsibility. Good luck.
 Same Old Same Old (3.00 / 4) (#243) by PseudoKiller on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 11:34:13 AM EST

 If you think suddenly parents and children will become the model citizens that we all should be (hehe) You are in for a huge dissapointment. Welcome to the real world. The sign up sheet is to your left and please include the time... Take a look at history, all children will rebel and each generation will make their efforts to outdo the previous. Whether conciously or not it is going to happen. I am 35 going on 60 and have no kids and at this point in my life I don't want any. I do not find that I have a 'need' for them. Neither does my wife. I have friends (yes I have friends...STOP laughing) who have kids of various ages. Some good natured and some I wouldn't trust with my dog. The point being I am not so sure how much parental supervision is need for a child to become his or her best. Or whether it is a matter of enviornment or genetics... Maybe it has to do with the bug they killed when someone was 5 and they feel the rush of power and turn to the dark side?? If you understand my words..Thank you If not I am sorry... Have a good one PseudoKiller I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!! :)
 Addon - Please Read (none / 0) (#244) by PseudoKiller on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 11:42:50 AM EST

 BTW My wife is a marriage and family therapist - I have inside knowledge.. (hehe) PseudoKiller I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!! :)[ Parent ]
 Ignorant... (none / 0) (#269) by painkillr on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 07:51:05 AM EST

 Why is it people who don't have direct experience with something feel like they have some kind of insight that allows them to have a valid opinion? If you've never raised kids, how do you think you know anything about raising them other than observing that some are nice and some aren't? What are you? The Master Stater of the Obvious? As far as claiming to know what it takes to raise a kid since your wife is a family therapist of some kind, I'll just say that the world is full of unmarried marriage counselors. But that's for a completely different post. painkillr [ Parent ]
 Ignorant... (none / 0) (#270) by PseudoKiller on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 09:50:41 AM EST

 I am soo glad someone has defined that when someone expresses an opinion you have to meet certain requirements... I didn't know that I can only have something to say if I have direct experience with it. I guess a person can not my an observasion and offer a word or two... Thank you for the enlightenment. Oh and I guess since I was a 'kid' once in my life means nothing and have no valid opinion - BTW I am not telling anyone to do anything just offering my insight and what experience I do have. There are 3 kinds of people in the world... Which one are you?? Dump People: 1. People who don't learn from their mistakes Smart People 2. People who do learn from their mistakes Wise People 3. People who learn from other people's mistakes This is my opinion not yours it is MINE... get over it, take what you want and leave the rest PseudoKiller I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!! :)[ Parent ]
 In fact there are certain requirements... (none / 0) (#272) by painkillr on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 02:54:48 PM EST

 Front Page? Why? (2.60 / 5) (#261) by sto0 on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 06:50:07 PM EST

 I can't believe this post got to the front page. This kind of thing was exactly why I stopped reading Slashdot. Whilst some points are valid, the narrowness of understanding of culture is shocking. The "class" system is very grey. You can't say "middle classes" without pronouncing upon the lower classes and upper classes. I agree that bad parenting can be a contributing factor when kids encounter problems, but you cannot discount external influences. Parents, genetic makeup, our culture, our worldview, our expectations. These things are all factors in sculpting an individual. It's stupid to believe otherwise.
 Moderation (none / 0) (#262) by Gutza on Tue Jul 17, 2001 at 09:15:14 PM EST

 Did you moderate this entry? Did you vote it -1? If you didn't then don't complain. If you did, my apologies. Who's your vendor, who's your vendor? — Scott Adams time is K5[ Parent ]
 Who's who (3.00 / 1) (#275) by error 404 on Wed Jul 18, 2001 at 08:55:26 PM EST

 Looking at the average demographic of this group, I'm suspecting that the more common situation isn't "your kid's an asshole" but that you are the kid. So the point becomes "It's my parents fault! Wah!" Thank you. .................................. Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase - Donovan
 Brick-makers. (5.00 / 1) (#277) by anlprb on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 12:30:27 AM EST

 I personally love children, I beleive that they are the true mouth of God. I came home running one day, and walked across the street to my neighbor's house, and his beautiful 8 year old daughter came up to me and told me "You stink." By heaven, I did. How many adults would be that honest, and open? My neighbor lost his wife to cancer just after his second daughter was born. His wife would not take the chemo-therapy (sp?) because she knew it would have killed her second daughter. She gave her life for Karen-Marie. With the help of family, and friends like me who are willing to take the girls off his hands for a few hours while he gets some time in to himself, he is raising two bright, polite and happy girls. He has it hard, and he knows it. He is just making ends meet by working for the DPW in town. He CARES about his children. Each day, he does something with them. He does their homework with them, and plays with them, and is there for them. This man will never get written about in any magazine or journal or company newsletter, however, I beleive that he has found the way to both true happiness, and heaven (by whatever definition you want to use). He has problems sometimes, but he manages, and takes an active interest in his chidren. I believe that at the end of the night, he is more fulfilled and truly happy than any six figure household could ever be. In the very true words of Orson Scott Card (Who is a mormon by the way) "'So, you're a career father,' Said Valentine. 'Who works at a brick factory to feed and clothe the family. Not a brick-maker who also has kids."..."'It's a boring life, to read about,' said Olhado. 'Not to live, though.'" I wish more people would be parents who also happen to be brick-makers.
 You are correct ... (none / 0) (#281) by joegee on Thu Jul 19, 2001 at 02:30:33 PM EST

 I see your distinction. However, I believe only in the loosest sense does having older children/young adults together in a classroom make classroom violence more likely. The available material shows that older kids commit more crimes than younger kids, but as recently as twenty years ago, thirty to fifty years after the majority of older kids began completing grades 1-12 education, high schools were not the scenes of mass violence. Even violence outside of school was considerably less likely to be deadly. One would think that if older kids have always been historically violent, the levels of violence occuring outside the classroom would be unchanging. They aren't. They began rising in the late 1960's, and I believe they peaked in the early 1990's. Back to older kids in school, thirty to fifty years is a tremendous gap in time -- two generations -- this leads me to believe that there is indeed something else at work. What is most readily apparent to me during this thirty to fifty year gap is a change in lifestyles, social attitudes, and most of all parenting practices. I appreciate your tenacity, and your willingness to back up your assertions. +5 on the comment to which I am replying. Thank you for the challenge, and I apologize for my previous denseness. :) I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.
 Your kid's an asshole - and guess who's to blame? | 282 comments (273 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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