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The future of our society depends on good parenting

Out on a Limb
Ross L. Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“Our young people today have luxury. They have bad manners, they show contempt for authority, they disrespect their elders, they love to talk instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, talk too much in front of company, gobble up food and tyrannize their teachers.”

If you are shaking your head and thinking, boy, isn’t that true, consider this: That quote is attributed to Socrates in the fifth century B.C.

So what has changed in two and a half thousand years?



We still have a serious problem in our culture today because the kids are not learning responsibility and self-discipline.

Our prisons and jails are bursting at the seams. For instance, the correctional facility in Sterling has some 2,000 inmates and 800 employees. We have street gangs even in our little communities. School dropout rates are high and STDs and abortions are rampant.



Co-habitation is replacing marriage. The birth rate among Americans is below the population maintenance level except for some communities such as Islamic where the birth rate is around eight per family.

Do you see a storm coming? Even our present economic crisis can be traced back to poor parenting and a lack of integrity and values being inculcated in children.

Even some well-intentioned actions have contributed to the problem. Child labor laws were created in response to abuse of children. An unintended consequence is that children today do not learn to work, to discipline themselves and to understand the principle of creating something useful or of value.

They grow up believing that society owes them something rather than the reverse.

Farm kids grow up learning that if you don’t milk the cow it quits giving milk. If you don’t irrigate the garden, it dies. Very few other children get to experience the consequences and benefits of self-dependency.

The idea of public education also seemed like a great idea at its inception; schools now pander to students, politicians, power and money and dismiss and degrade parental authority.

The big deal seems to be sports, but the potential for a productive career in sports is very small. Very little of real value to our society is produced.

This problem gravitates up into the universities. It always seemed to me that the professors were out of touch with reality. I finally realized that few of them had ever functioned outside of academia. They just came up through the ranks getting degrees and then became professors totally devoid of practical experience.

There are other pressures that influence our kids as they go through formative years.

Television subtly instills false values and false expectations in our kids and emphasizes self gratification and irresponsibility.

Parents are degraded and made fun of in cartoons and movies.

The Internet and Facebook have allowed children to blow away any boundaries parents might impose.

Today’s typical teenager spends about 15,000 hours of their growing up years watching television, messing around on the computer and playing video games. Then we complain because they are overweight, lazy, self-centered and unproductive.

The so-called Child Protection Services has made discipline problematic with the threat of interference and intervention.

I have known of several instances where teenagers threatened to report their parents if they disciplined them.

Then the feminist movement has degraded the role of motherhood to the point that mothers are no longer honored.

The attitude for women is, well if you can’t do anything else, I guess you ca n be a mom.

It is a fact that the whole future of a culture rides on the quality of following generations.

Good parenting is of foundational importance to our society’s existence.

No, it doesn’t take a village to raise a child. It takes good parents who can raise a child in spite of the village.

The technology of our society makes the parents’ job more difficult than ever before, but there are also wonderful resources.

Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.” And I would add that the world will be a better and safer place.

Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.


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