You know the one. She’s [could be a dad instead of course] who gets to the crowded checkout with a whiny loud kid and she just yells that she’s had enough and either whops the kid or rages at him/her in hateful abuse. The rest of us cringe because we know we have seen a failure in parenting. The only perfect parents are those who haven’t yet had children – which is why we’re so happy with our childless friends get pregnant and we can watch them eat their words – but everyone recognizes that this isn’t discipline. The Latin root of the word “discipline” is “to teach” and while I have no problem with an occasional swat to the bottom to teach a child an important lesson, raging against a child because you’re tired or embarrassed is not the lesson to teach.
What we probably didn’t see in this episode is the layers of development: misguided appeasement and lack of communication. If you routinely tell a child ‘No’ but after a few whines or little temper fits from the child, the parents gives in, then that parent has taught that child to repeatedly whine and have a temper tantrum to get what he wants. If the parent suddenly changes the rules on occasion, the kid is naturally confused. As the child gets older, the appeasement gets uglier. A parent can change the appeasement policy but it takes work; unfortunately most parents chose appeasement in the first place because of ignorance surely but also because they’re lazy parents.
When it comes to communication, I learned a lesson once when I went to an informal meeting for those of us working on a committee of the fall festival at my child’s school. We met at the home of the committee chair while our kids played outside. When we broke up the meeting, the mothers all went outside and several told their kids it was time to go,” The different responses in the kids was amazing. On”e mom calmly said ,”Mary, it’s time to go,” and Mary immediately stopped playing and said to the other kids, “I have to go.” One mom yelled, “John, it’s time to go,” and that kid didn’t even look up. A couple of other kids were equally non-responsive. Most responded like my own kid who kinda looked up at me but didn’t leave, and pleaded, “Aw can’t I play a little longer?” in a whiny voice. John’s mom, who was a good friend of mine, proceeded to chat and yell a couple more times to come and leave but then she’d talk some more and John ignored her more until finally she actually got ready to leave and threatened John with punishment, turning to the remaining mothers and complaining that John was just asking for a spanking and what a brat he was.
Sometime later I developed The Look with my daughter, a subtle look that said either “Yes I mean now” or a warning “You’re on thin ice.” It wasn’t perfect but it did help teach my daughter and I to look to each other for communication in public. This became especially important when she got older and took more social cues from her peers. The Look basically told her ‘Just keep this up and you’ll be sorry when we get home.’ We also developed some hard and fast rules such as, don’t ask if Suzy can spend the night with you in front of Suzy or the answer will automatically be No because we need to discuss this in private. After a couple of trials in which I firmly upheld the rule, this worked very well.
All this reminds me of Obama. He appeases because he’s ignorant of world history, despite his arrogant description of himself as a history buff, he makes too many stupid mistakes of fact to be a history buff, and he’s especially ignorant as to his role in Commander in Chief. Obama’s history consists exclusively of revisionist, socialist, Blame America First history from the likes of Howard Zinn and Black Nationalist theory/history. Perhaps worst of all, he’s a total failure at diplomacy, let alone Smart Diplomacy. Diplomacy has been defined as the ability to tell someone to go to hell in a way that the other person enjoys the ride. Diplomacy is not telling the other party what your hand is before you start negotiations, it’s not conceding an important point before you start negotiations, it’s not making concessions without demanding concessions in return, and it sure as heck isn’t baring your neck to a traditional enemy and expect that enemy to cheerfully put down his arms and embrace your hippy-dippy naiveté.
Bill Clinton was bad enough, but Obama is worse. Why? Clinton was also an ignorant Commander in Chief and a coward who let military actions slide for the next president so that his ratings would stay high. But Clinton truly was a history buff who had some respect for our military. Despite Obama’s belated and blatantly phony statements of the ‘best military in the world,’ Obama is a pacifist. He was too dishonest to admit this during his political career, too cowardly to pay the price paid by the Ron Pauls and Dennis Kucinichs. Obama is an ideologue but he had to get elected in order to “radically transform America.” While Clinton was too dishonest to tell America how liberal he really was, he was smart enough to surround himself with more traditional advisors and willing to abandon his personal beliefs when needed. I’ll admit that sometimes the impetus was personal political gains but Obama is too much of an ideologue to abandon his beliefs now that he’s no longer facing the electorate. He doesn’t worry about a Democratic Senate because 1] the MSM will always support him over the GOP/conservative 2] He’s successfully stacked the federal courts with lefty judges [thanks to the MSM who demonized any GOP oppo to his nominees 3] He’s successfully installed tiers of permanent career civil servants who either agree with his ideology or realize they owe their jobs to lefty big government and 4] He doesn’t care about any balance of powers or the Constitution, which he considers flawed, he intends to use Executive Orders as much as he desires because even if some are undone by a future president, the longer his socialist, big government politics remain, the more likely they are viewed as normal by younger voters who won’t remember a free market, capitalist, freedom-loving America. Just look at the Brits.
h/t Branco cartoon to http://www.legalinsurrection.com