My Soapbox: Kids These Days

bratHere’s the deal…baby-talk and constant coddling are crap.  I firmly believe that social norms have developed into a complete lack of progressive parenting.  Children’s mental, emotional, and social development is hindered by parents inability to be firm and verbal.  Suddenly our youth are dictating what goes on in their lives and it seems a lot of adults are down with just sitting back and watching their kids turn into asses.  As parents, it’s not our job to be their best friends or give them everything they could ever want.  It’s our job to first, fulfill their needs, and secondly, provide an environment that’s conducive to healthy growth and development.  To become a productive and happy member of society, to achieve full potential in any area, and to reach a stage of self-actualization, children must receive ongoing and ever-changing stimuli and boundaries that guide the rest of their lives.  Baby-talk and coddling will destroy our youth.  America will go down the shitter with a bunch of entitled brats at the helm.

 Anytime I see an adult speaking complete and utter jibberish in a voice so high it’s bound to generate window fractures, I want to engage them in conversation the same way so they see how ridiculous they sound.  Seriously.  What are they thinking?  Did you know that at birth babies brains are about 25% the weight of an adult brain?  That’s a lotta brain in a tiny head.  They also have billions of brain cells, some already connected.  Over the course of the next 3 years their brains will develop synapses and connections like wildfire.  And by age 5, their brain will be at 90% of their potential.  So talking to babies and toddlers like they are babies and toddlers can equate to temporarily stunting their development.  They retain information at a rate that is incomprehensible.  If you fill their spongy minds with stupid stuff and words that don’t exist, you have wasted the most glorious brain matter available on earth. 

I realize I’m going to sound like a harsh mother, but I have never baby talked my kids.  Ever.  Even as newborns we spoke to them softly or silly sometimes, but in full and recognizable sentences…and so did our families and his daycare provider.  We read books and point out things that we know they may not understand right away, but suddenly they’ll surprise us with use of a new and killer word, or explanation of something we didn’t even realize they understood.  And if they have questions, we have answers; some honest and scientific, some more imaginative.  But we don’t rely on “just because” or “God made it that way”.  We ask them questions continuously to keep those little mind working and growing.  So the next time you get all up in a babies grill to coo, bite your tongue and say something meaningful.  Probably no need to recite Kerouac or Poe right away, but you get the idea.

And for those who have crazy and seemingly uncontrollable kids, for the sake of your dignity, my sanity, and your child’s future, man up.  You are not a buddy.  There’s nothing worse than going into a store or restaurant or movie with some mouthy little shit hopped up on sugar running amok, and their lackadaisical parent sitting back watching as if they have no control.  You do.  You better believe that if my children ever yell at me or call me a name in public (or home), they’ll get a look that might as well be daggers through their soul, following by a swift grab of the wrist.  The escort to the car for a discussion on appropriate behavior will be followed by some sort of punishment that will make them wish they could exchange their mother for something as lovely as the Wicked Witch of the West.  And then it would never happen again.  Now I understand that every child will have their moments.  And one episode doesn’t make anybody a bad parent.  But when you have a snotty 13-year-old daughter that sneaks out and demands Coach purses and fake nails, you’ll wish you’d been more stern in her youth.  And when your 15-year-old son thinks he can sell drugs for some extra cash, host destructive parties, and function with a complete lack of respect, you’ll look back and regret not laying down the law.  So don’t get lazy.  Control is not easy to get or maintain.  Kids are best at testing boundaries and pushing limits, so if you’re not firm, you lose.  Gain respect (not fear) and your child is much more likely to gravitate toward good people and develop solid character.

Spoiled brats, teen pregnancy, early drug use, childhood obesity, educational deterioration, psychological turmoil…personally, I think it can all be chalked up to baby talk and coddling (and maybe a few other things).  The most important job you could ever have is parenting.  And it’s the hardest too.  Do everything you can to provide a solid foundation and the results will be the best they can…sometimes you get a tough nut to crack, but you still can’t throw it out or you’ll never know what could have been.  Kids require coaching; you have got to speak to them like adults if they’re ever going to communicate well, and you need to gently guide them down the right road giving a little push here and there.  Lets rid the country of naughty and disrespectful kids and get back to good people from good parents.  We got this.

Posted on in Misc, Stuff To Love, Things To Ponder 10 Comments

10 Responses to My Soapbox: Kids These Days

  1. Elle

    When my niece was a baby and a toddler she lived with me. She and her father moved out when she was three. Since I am a teacher and I have the summers off, my niece comes and spends her summer days with me while her father is at work. Since day 1 I refused to speak to her in “baby talk”. I don’t put up with it and I discourage others from talking to her like she’s an idiot. I have always used large words with her and she picked up on the meanings and knew exactly what I meant.

    Today, she is 5 years old and getting ready to enter Kindergarten. As a Kindergarten teacher, I can safely say that she will be one of the more advanced students in her class. Her vocabulary is impeccable. She even surprises me sometimes with the words that she chooses.

  2. brettelizabethmurphy

    I work a second job waitressing on the weekends for extra money, and tonight here was a conversation between a father, his spoiled brat son, and me.

    Father: “What do you want to order, ziti or tortellini?”
    Son: “I want to order ziti andddddd tortellini”

    and I shit you not

    Father (to me): “Can he get half ziti half tortellini?”
    Me: “Um. No. It’s one or the other”

    Do you believe this shit? If it was my kid I would tell him to pick one in 2.5 seconds or he’s getting whatever I give him.

  3. adoptkattle

    Sounds like my mom. speaking of social norms…

  4. wesleyapril

    So true, we have went from a society where we were the parent to lets be friends. Look at TV shows with families on them, or if not your traditional family – uncles, aunts, grandma etc etc, they always make the adult out to be stupid and the child is telling them what to do.

    ICarly is that way – Spencer would be lost without Carly – Disney is about the same way – you never see the parents discipline the children – and no I am not talking beating- I’m talking spanking, or telling them to go to their room.

    My daughter, 12 trys to tell me what to do all the time, and I tell her- I’m not your friend I’m your mother and when your a mother you can let your children run around naked chasing cars – but until that time- its my way. 🙂

  5. fornormalstepfathers

    You so do not have kids 😉

    • Eva McCane

      Funny thing is…I do )

      • fornormalstepfathers

        Funny indeed 🙂 Just joking.

        I do agree with you for a lot of reasons. My son was using full words before he could pronounce all sounds. You are right about lazy parenting (although I think it is more complicated than just being lazy), and my motto is “trust but verify” when it comes to wh-questions.
        Unfortunately, it does not guarantee anything.

  6. Gem

    Brilliant article, and I completely agree. Children today (especially in britain at least) are so spoiled. My mother spanked my ass with a cane if I didn’t behave, and now I’m seeing kids today having tantrums on floors in the middle of shops, the street, the damn train and disturbing everyone. Yelling, demanding, tirelessly nagging, breaking/vandalizing right in front of people… A tantrum or two isn’t abnormal, but when 90% of the toddlers you see, do this, without restraint and without respect of adults- it really makes me think “I can be a better mother/father” or “wtf are their parents doing?”.

  7. plantingtracks

    Nice! Finally, someone reading from the same song book! From day one, I’ve been loving, caring, sympathetic, compassionate, etc., with my two little girls (aged 3.5 and 1yr. 9mos.). But also, firm, demonstrative, inclusive, etc., and always talked to them more like an adult and not a baby. I agree that they soak up so much from the leadership they receive and are capable of more than most parents know. We have to nurture, guide, love, encourage positively our children. But if they press those boundaries too far… fuggeddahbowdit!! Great post!


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