November 14, 2013

Kids These Days....

There are two things I am vain about:  my looks and my work ethic.  That comes from having a pretty mama and a work-a-holic father.  Yes my father has been a disabled veteran for a long time now, but when he worked, it was from sun up til sun down and had been that way since he was 12 years old.  There's not much my father couldn't do, anything from small engine repair to the finer points of cement distribution.  He also never limited my sister and I.  He assumed because we both had brains and common sense, there was no reason we couldn't be whatever we set out to be, hindered only by self imposed limits.  Like all parents they would look at us from time to time and ask if we reeaally wanted to go do that particular thing...once they got a solid YES!, they'd back off.  They knew we'd sink or swim, either way we'd get ourselves out of any mess.

I cannot for the life of me comprehend today's entitlement generation.  I've noticed it ranges from the very early 20's down to tweens, giving us a roughly ten year gap full of young folks who think they're "owed it."  I don't understand the "it's not your fault" attitude.  I attribute it to the number of child psychologists that have cropped up over the last decade or so looking to get that kickback from the major drug companies.  (companies that are favourited by the FDA I might add)  It's no secret that I'm a conspiracy theorist extraordinaire and that I am utterly terrified of the federal government.  Maybe someone can break this down for me:

Pharmaceutical companies are some of the most profitable entities in the nation and they are all government backed or funded.
Most of the population is on prescription mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, Ritalin, Adderall, Chantix, Abilify, Adipex....the list goes on for "our own good."

How can the population be on any one of these mood altering, temper and weight controlling, side affect having, non-organic things...and this NOT have some connection to population control?

Maybe I'm just too thoughty.

There was a blog from Psychology Today that has been floating around the web about France's approach to ADD in children.  They do not medicate them immediately for the condition.  They also don't allow their children liberties with food or non structured activity.  They believe in discipline and corporal punishment (the author had to add a note that she did not personally approve of spanking).  I do believe in spanking.  There is a significant difference between swatting a child on the back of the leg when they are doing something wrong and throwing them against a wall.  I should know, both of those things were part of my childhood.  I was raised with the belief that a child of 5 should have an idea of right and wrong.  By 7 they should know the difference between the two and know how to act accordingly.  The majority of behaviors prior to the age of 5 are learned behaviors, such as crying when they fall down if it truly doesn't hurt.  Mom sees baby fall on it's behind on the carpeted floor, no harm done, mom freaks out, "oh no! you fell down!".  Toddler immediately senses the negative reaction and begins to react accordingly, fall = bad.  We teach our  children how to react to whatever comes at them.  They take those cues from us.  The more we act a fool, or the more complacent we are, they will learn to be the same way in similar circumstances.

There has been an enormous debate about letting babies cry themselves out when they are tired.  I personally believe in letting them cry for a duration.  It doesn't take a baby long to figure out, cry = holding.  They become dependent on that action and never learn to calm themselves down.  They never develop the sense to distract themselves, this remains throughout their lives, thus giving the ADD/ADHD diagnosis.  What's the point in spending hundreds of dollars on toys, things that move, special night lights, etc. if you aren't going to allow a crying child the time to find the bear on the wall and calm down?  Does it hurt/aggravate/annoy you to hear them cry?  Sure.  But it's necessary.  It's also a lesson in patience and humility for the adult.  Learn to consciously not allow annoyances to get to you, it takes time but it can be done.  It will also hone the skill in knowing when baby cries because they are in genuine pain or distress vs. the attention cry.

All of this leads up to this:  children without structure, discipline, and self awareness grow into dependent adults.  Dependencies range from illegal, physical, chemical, to emotional and financial. Why would any 20 year old move out of mom and dads house if there is no reason to seek personal betterment?  What's the point in getting up in the morning to learn to cook, keep house, read a book, or produce something useful if someone else will do it for you?  What's the point in controlling your temper, learning patience, being gracious and humble if those around you don't appreciate grace, temperance, and humility?

What is the point in doing all of these things and more, if there is just going to be a magic pill to mask the problem and keep us chemically controlled........

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