In the forties, an authority figure showed up to tell our grandparents, parents and us how to raise our children and in the fifties and sixties, parents began to apply his technique. His name was Dr. Benjamin Spock and as a result, three generations later, we have a nation that is completely out of control—promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, murders, self-centeredness, a severe concentration on self-esteem, victimization, irresponsibility, lack of self-control and bad manners.
Dr. Spock, a pediatrician, was against the Viet Nam war and was an activist in the New Left. His first book, Baby and Child Care, was written in 1946 and was second to the highest selling book of all time, the Bible.
In response to what Dr. Spock thought was a cold and heartless way to rear children, he wanted parents to not treat their children like grandma and grandpa did such as when a child stepped out of line, they were warned once and the second time they received a spanking. He thought parents were too authoritarian, that children needed to be reasoned with. In our psychology-based society today, parents talk with little Johnny like he’s an adult and the children are treated as a friend more than their child. Spankings are virtually non-existent, and children are told to use their inside voice when inside. I guess that means they can demonize the neighborhood when they are outside.
My daughter has a friend in whose household the word no is forbidden. She is raising her children without boundaries, as is another friend whose child is a hellion. While they talk discipline, just a short time observing their interaction with their kindergarten age child, it doesn’t take a genius to see that it is the child who is in control. Three generations of parents not confronting their children for fear of hurting their psyche and we now have these maladjusted brats in positions of authority in our colleges and the political arena.
It just occurred to me while watching the discourse between the United Nations (read World) and nuclear Iran and the now nuclear North Korea, I began to question what went and is going wrong? We treat these countries as though they are on the same mental level as we Americans are. That is not to say that they are not intelligent people, but the maturity they have attained compared to some of the other nations of the world has become stunted to that of a pre-adolescent child’s reasoning. Does it take a genius to understand that as long as someone can put off showing you their homework, they can do something else without you knowing it? We tried to negotiate with North Korea for several generations, and even went to war. In an attempt to negotiate like we did with little Johnny, we hoped they would not develop nuclear weaponry; however, like little Johnny, they got their way and are now throwing a tantrum because they do not understand the meaning of the word no.
Consider this: The parent who loved their child and threatened for them to stop their misbehavior by the time they counted to three—after they counted to three five times in a row and gave up, little Johnny smirked because he got his way.
Recently, on April 7, 2013, an important news update came across the television screen declaring that the talks on nuclear regulations with Iran failed. It looks like Iran will have a nuclear bomb within a few months. While the world is shocked that nothing was accomplished by making nice-nice with Iran, like any good American politician, Iran just keeps telling the world what they want to hear and ignores the sanctions placed against them the same way little Johnny reacts to their parent when the parent threatens, Stop it right now. I’m giving you until the count of three. One— two— three! I said, Stop it Johnny. I’m counting to three again and I really mean it. One—two—three! THIS TIME I MEAN IT JOHNNY! I’M COUNTING TO THREE! etc.
The world learned a lot from Dr. Spock, not on how to raise children, but how to deal with other nations. Shortly before he died, Dr. Spock finally recognized the results of what his teachings had produced over the years. After careful reconsideration, he had to honestly conclude, “When I look at our society and think of the millions of children exposed every day to its harmful effects, I am near despair”. He could not quite bring himself full circle and admit he was totally wrong, yet he had to surrender to his need to confess:
Of course we cannot return to the good old days, but we can bring back some of those traditional family values and stability. Our greatest hope is to bring up children inspired by their opportunities for being helpful and loving.
Decades of decadency aside America—many of us gave you until the count of three and warned you to change your ways—One (2008 election); two (2012 election); three (uh oh! there might not be time for three).
Editor’s Note: It’s worth noting that Dr. Benjamin Spock was also a member of the People’s Party and was their presidential candidate in the 1972 United States presidential election. His platform called for free medical care, the legalization of abortion, marijuana, a guaranteed minimum income for families and the immediate withdrawal of all American troops from foreign countries.