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There is a book out this year that compares the well-behaved children in France with the young psychopaths that we produce in America. The difference in parenting styles can be expressed in much less than a whole book.
It is this:
When a kid is doing the wrong thing, the parent is to tell the kid to do the right thing, immediately and with authority. When the kid begs, the parent is to tell the kid no. If it's to be later, tell the kid when. With authority.
Kids like this. They don't like wispy parents. They like to know that that large person really is in control of things. If you're a kid, it's very scary to recognize that the big people who are in charge of your world are weaklings. And, they do recognize it.
This will be a difficult skill for the current generations of timid unqualified parents to aquire, but just think about how much better your life is going to be if your kids grow up right and how much worse it's going to be if they don't.
UPDATE: I heard the other day that schools are starting to see kids coming in that aren't even toilet trained yet.
There was a kid at the grocery today yelling at his mom that he required a drink of water. It's good that he wanted water and not soda pop or vodka or something, but I wish that I could have explained to him that the biggest single faculty that he can develop, in order to be a successful person living a successful life, is to control his appetites.
I would have been arrested had I intervened at the grocery store, but let me tell you now: The ability to control your appetites, which includes not spending all your money away, not eating to fatness or drinking to permanent delerium, or so forth, will be a very important factor in the sum of things that determine whether you will succeed or fail in life.