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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Our Reckless Youth

What is the world coming to:

Two officers called to a home day care to subdue an unruly 10-year-old have been suspended after one used a stun gun on the boy and another slapped him in the mouth, a central Indiana police chief said Thursday.

The child suffered no significant injuries. Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while police investigate the confrontation Tuesday.

Martinsville Police Chief Jon Davis said he believed the officers could have controlled the 94-pound (43-kilogram) boy without using force.

"I think they could have just restrained the young man," he said at a news conference. "Just held him down. Might have ended the situation."

Amazingly enough, I'm not going where you think I'm going with this one. Tasering children is not something I think the police of a free country should be doing, yet I sympathize with the cops more than the kid. The real question is why the police were called. The line between law enforcement and part-time social worker isn't as clear cut as it perhaps should be. The police are paid to enforce the law, but often become entangled in the petty squabbles of daily life. An understanding approach will probably go further than simply arresting the protagonists. Yet it simply isn't the job of the police to be parents to unruly children. 

The bigger government gets the more people instinctively turn to the state to solve their problems. A generation ago the nearest authority figure would have slapped or restrained the child. No day care worker, and increasingly few parents are willing to do that today. In part this is a good thing, caregivers better understand that violence, particularly when delivered in an arbitrary manner, can be traumatizing for children. What began, however, as a more restraint approach to disciplining wayward children has become a process of second-guessing the decisions of caregivers. Today parents, teaches and day care workers are fearful of state sanctioned retribution should they use physical discipline. 

A generation ago the idea of suing a daycare worker, or teacher, for physically restraining an out of control child, would have seemed laughable. Today it's a looming prospect for caregivers. A child, with little understanding of the long-term consequences, has only to spin a plausible fable about being abused to launch an investigation by authorities. Instead of protecting children, the modern approach to child welfare has deprived them of proper parenting. Whenever I see an out of control child - just take a trip on public transit for examples - I feel sorry for the parent, who is usually horribly embarrassed. I feel for the fellow patrons, who have to gingerly step around these little out of control monsters. I feel most for the child. Parental discipline is a substitute for personal discipline, which children are not mature enough to exercise. We are taught to be disciplined, it is not part of the natural process of growth. Those lacking it will become social misfits, unable to survive in a society where trust, respect and co-operation are essential.

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 6, 2010 | Permalink


As a parent, either you or the child is in charge.When the parents rights to discipline the child are removed and the child is given a 1 800 number to phone any perceived abuse, the power shifts from the parent to the child. By the time the child is 12 or 13 you have lost control and peer pressure guides the child. You are just another adult that knows nothing as far as the child is concerned. They can tell you to go f*** yourself and your "time out" threat will sound pretty lame.
My kids turned out OK because the wife and I never read DR.Spocks book and relied on common sense with a tan their ass backup plan. We know people who followed the nanny state guidelines and have no idea where their teens are after midnight. They seemed to be missing the common sense thingy. They were not in charge. These people are professional and successful in everything except child rearing and will admit they had strong parental discipline when growing up, yet parked their brains when raising their own children. Go figure.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-04-10 1:02:23 AM

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