Monday, June 30, 2008

Wimp Nation

I just read an article on, that talked about how parents are over-coddling their children, thus kids today have less defined coping mechanisms. I think it comes down to consequences -- kids no longer understand that actions come with consequences. And it is those consequences, specifically the bad ones, that really teach the greatest lessons in life.

Just this weekend, I went to my 7 year old cousin's baseball game. There was no score kept. An inning consisted of each child getting up to bat -- a three-out inning didn't exist. A kid was in the batters' box until he got a hit -- there were no strikes or balls. I understand that at an early age, little league is about learning the fundamentals, but that also includes the rules of the games. Players strike out, teams lose.

When I was younger, things were much different.

We drank from the garden hose, shared lunches in school, and mom's cleaned our dirty faces with spit.
It's bottled water only, custom gluten-free, peanut-free, and dairy-free lunches, and mega-sized Purell bottles.
We would meet our friends in the neighborhood park to play.
Parents set up play dates.
Acting up in class got us detention.
Acting up in class gets you Ritalin
We rode our bikes everywhere.
They get driven everywhere.
Talking back or being a brat got us smacked.
Talking back or being a brat gets them 'a stern talking to'.
Coming home with a bad grade got us grounded.
Coming home with a bad grade gets the teachers suspended.

What I don't get is that it's my generation that became the parents who coddle. Why? When did we turn all crazy and think that the world is only made up of lollipops and rainbows? Shouldn't a parents' job be to prepare their children for the real world? In the real world there are no do-overs, no game resets. You hit the ball, or you strike out. No one owes us anything, you have to go out and get it.

If I had a kid, that's the way it would be. No wimps in my house.


  1. I thought that a baseball game with no rules was a (sub)urban legend. Pretty lame.

  2. It isn't so much that our generation is guilty of being the one that coddles. It is the end of the previous generation setting up all of these new pop-psychology laws that defend kids into a coma. Now I sound like a fanatic, but I remember when a teacher could yell at a kid. These days I think it works the other way around. In an effort to protect, we have overshot the goal and just insulated them from reality as a result.

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