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Spoilt Generation

(25 Posts)
ElenorRigby Sun 20-Sep-09 20:42:44

The Spoilt Generation

A growing lack of adult authority has bred a 'spoilt generation' of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect, a leading psychologist has warned.

I saw the guy on TV this morning and agree!


Mybox Sun 20-Sep-09 20:46:28

Wonder how long these kids were bf for -if at all.

imho detached parenting is the cause of this problem.

cory Sun 20-Sep-09 22:21:56

Yeah, gotta be true- Herodotus said it as long as 2700 years ago.

Oh hang on, that wouldn't have been about this generation, then.

In fact, I could probably come up with a similar quote to cover pretty well every generation over the last 2000 years.

There are problems with some children in this generation, certainly. Doesn't mean there are problems with all. Or are all Mumsnetters prepared to put up their hands and confess that their children are feral little brats?

I am not, for one. Mine are certainly no worse than I was, indeed I admire my children greatly for their courage in facing the kind of adversity that I never had to know about in my own protected and cosseted childhood.

Nor does it mean that there were not similar problems in the past. What about those feral children who made up the London mob in Victorian times? Plenty of areas that a "toff" (i.e. somebody middle class or above) simply would not dare to enter, because it was not safe. What about those tournaments that used to get out of hand in the middle ages and overrun whole villages, with innocent bystanders killed and injured? Gin Lane- does anyone believe the kind of adults depicted by Hogarth made responsible parents? And contrary to popular belief, teenage parents were probably more common in the 19th century than they are now.

dweezle Mon 21-Sep-09 08:05:40

cory - agree that each generation has it's own take on the 'youth of today', but it's not particularly bad behaviour that Dr Sigman is talking about here, it's the complete lack of respect and courtesy that some young people have for others, coupled with their expectation that they should be respected and be allowed to do what they please with no thought for the affect they have on anyone else.

While I remember fairly low level cheek from some pupils directed at teachers when I was at school, it was nothing like the dumb insolence, vulgarity, rudeness and sometimes even violence that my children have witnessed in the classroom - it's a wonder any child gets any sort of education. And this occurs because the perpetrators believe they can't be touched, have no respect for anyone else, and think they should be able to do what they want.

I have noticed this 'me, me, me' attitude quite a lot, although also know many young people who show respect for others, courtesy and thoughtfulness.

dweezle Mon 21-Sep-09 08:07:33

I also think, as has happened right the way through history, that at some point there will be a huge puritan backlash, and we will go back to the days of sparing the rod, seen and not heard etc., and children being sent out to sweep chimneys without being allowed to take their hair straighteners along....

Morloth Mon 21-Sep-09 10:16:00

Yeah yeah, Kids Today.

If every generation who said this was right we wouldn't have a civilisation by now it would have imploded.

thehairybabysmum Mon 21-Sep-09 10:21:42

Yes and obviously formual feeding is the root of all society's problems Mybox hmm

thedollshouse Mon 21-Sep-09 10:30:47

hmm at Mybox.

MissM Mon 21-Sep-09 10:40:28

I read the interview with him in the Family Guardian in this weekend and although the headline sounds like an interesting premise (although I personally agree with Morloth), the detail of what he's saying is a bit hmm in my opinion. Some of the punishments that he thought were acceptable (a frozen salmon down his son's trousers for starters) were very questionable, and his attitude towards what he does with his kids at home (limited television, very limited access to the computer) I thought were barely justified. His excuse for not allowing them regular computer access was that they are taught ICT at school. I wonder what else he leaves up to the school to be responsible for?

Actually at the end of it all I concluded that he really was a bit of a twat.

AvrilH Mon 21-Sep-09 10:41:00

"...And contrary to popular belief, teenage parents were probably more common in the 19th century than they are now. "

It was not the same, and you know it. In that time it was common for teenage girls to be married, or effectively married. You can't compare the figures across time.

MissM Mon 21-Sep-09 10:41:24

'I wonder what else he leaves up to the school to be responsible for'.

God, what a horrible sentence.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Mon 21-Sep-09 10:41:36

I had an email from silver surfers about this (I am 36 FFS, why do they do that?)
and how modern parentsa re the cause.

I was sooo tempted to respond with the message on their website 'these things do not suddenly apepar: if my generation iof aprents is responsible for their children, how come your generation is dismissing allr esponsibility for your own influence'!

Truth is, I do sometimes reel in horror with some of the stuff my boys come out with- we've moved away from the working class area we wereraised in to a very MC area and there does seem to be a culture of expectation, which I find ahrd to deal with, but on the wholeI am proud of my boys and the eway they respond to their elders etc- we often get compliments about ds2 (the oldest NT one) in particular.

OTOH the amount of rude remarks we get about ASd ds3 from older people don't necesarily suggest masses ofrespect headed our way either....

DuelingFanjo Mon 21-Sep-09 10:42:24

I don't understand how this can be related to breastfeeding!?

DoingTheBestICan Mon 21-Sep-09 10:46:53

Mybox hmm wtf has bf got to do with it?

You cant tar all kids with the same brush,every generation has had problems with its youth, Teddy boys,Mods,Punks & now chavs.

All in all the kids round where i live are decent,respectful kids.

LadyoftheBathtub Mon 21-Sep-09 10:50:51

It's true we have always had spoilt children, and delinquent children with no respect for anyone who grow up to be jail fodder. And every generation down the ages has deplored "kids today".

I think one reason for this is that in any society, the people who care to, and have the voice to, remark on this are the educated people in positions of influence and power eg in the professions, media and government. By definition they will generally not be the ones who grew up without discipline and direction and ended up feckless/criminal. The older they get, the more they become aware of that part of society and the more it looks to them like things are getting worse.

But everyday crime, violence, abuse and delinquency were generally much worse in the past than now - people fought each other to death in squabbles, women/girls were regularly raped then ostracised for getting pregnant, men beat their wives and children with impunity, poor people had no safety net and crime/prostitution were far less controlled. Many. many of the poor and destitute were on drugs/drunk and were as crap parents as any parents today. Look at the drawings of Hogarth for example

Having said all that, I do know some children, mainly of middle-class friends and neighbours, who I find shockingly spoilt and/or not taught how to behave - but I'm not sure if that's anything new.

MissM Mon 21-Sep-09 10:51:18

I think part of it is that adults are more likely to listen to kids and respect them as people in a way that was unheard of when we or our mothers were kids. Inevitably kids are going to be more self-confident as a result and that can lead to arrogance/rudeness/expectations of certain treatment etc. But would we rather they were all repressed in the same way as so many of previous generations?

There's always going to be that harking back to the good old days when children were perfect isn't there.

It's not the kids, it's the 24 hour a day rolling reporting, meedja forced down the throat images, of a few kids behaviour.

Oh and maybe the fact that they wern't breastfedhmm, or maybe the fact that they arn't still being breastfed, that'd keep 'em off the streets and out of maccy d's.

AccioPinotGrigio Mon 21-Sep-09 12:51:26

Jeez I hate the daily mail. It's always the end of the bloody world with them. Always black and white.

My son has never been hit, has never been shouted at and never had a frozen salmon put down his trousers hmm.

He is however still a very considerate person with a healthy respect for other humans.

wahwah Mon 21-Sep-09 20:07:04

Sounds like bollocks to me. Of course a complete lack of boundaries is not good for children, but teachers being respectful of their pupils and empowering them is not going to result in a complete breakdown of discipline - actually the opposite imho.

When I see this sort of article, I just want to replace the headline with: WE'RE DOOMED, WE'RE ALL DOOMED!

By the way, why is the man so proud of hitting and screaming at his son? It's illegal in other countries because they respect children (in public, anyway) and they don't seem to have the same issues as us...

ElieRM Tue 22-Sep-09 11:33:59

I saw him on This Morning and read his article in The Guardian. Some of the stuff he came out with was outrageous.
Like how in other, unspecified cultures, if a child misbehaves in public, a perfect stranger may come over and smack them, and be thanked by the parents. Children from these cultures are better behaved. Really? We should allow other people to come over and slap our kids willy-nilly?
OR when he said he'd spoken to a nursery nurse who broke down in tears, because when the cold, heartless working mums left their kids with her, hey were clinging to her and nibbling her, wanting their mothers to feed them breastmilk.
What calculated, cynical, emotive rot. He also mentioned 'several big, important studies' which proved children left in daycare were 'damaged.'
It must be nice for him to be so bloody perfect. He's never been in the situation where he's had to put a child in nursery.
It's dull. If only mums stayed at home, and we reguarly walloped our kids it'd all be fine.
How simplistic can you get?

Mybox Tue 22-Sep-09 11:54:28

imho - attachment parenting would have helped many of these kids to grow up to be kind & calm. So I said bf as this link between mother & child would solve many behavioural problems. It's just my opinion on things.

sabire Tue 22-Sep-09 13:06:25

"it was nothing like the dumb insolence, vulgarity, rudeness and sometimes even violence that my children have witnessed in the classroom"

I trained as a secondary school teacher. Only managed two terms in school before fleeing into FE. There's a culture of disrespect in some schools which you have to experience to believe. I found it unbearable - the homophobia, the casual violence, the ignorance.

My own kids are horribly spoiled and rude - but only at home. They are paragons of virtue at school and at other people's houses. I get loads of compliments about how great they are - how friendly and interested they are in other people. Go figure.

MissM Tue 22-Sep-09 13:34:42

So if everyone brought up their kids like this guy all society's problems would be solved? I love how people think they have all the answers, must be lovely to be that smug about their rightness.

Give me Penelope Leach any time. I might not always agree with her, but at least she doesn't claim to know it all.

TheCrackFox Tue 22-Sep-09 13:41:18

Seems to me like Dr Sigmund is having one last push at getting his mortgage paid off. Attention seeking drivel.

RockinSockBunnies Tue 22-Sep-09 16:53:06

I read his article in The Guardian and agree with an awful lot of things he said.

I think that the balance has shifted too far in favour of individuals' rights, rather than their responsibilities.

Obviously there were significant issues in the past - Hogarth's depictions are accurate in that respect. However, there was a far greater overall respect for authority, there were firmly implemented class barriers, the role of the Church played a key role in controlling the masses and the concept of individualism was marginal.

Since the 1960s, in the West, there has been an erosion of unquestioning respect for authority figures. Whilst this may mean that abuse of one's position is less likely (if you're a policeman/teacher etc), it also means that the kind of obedience and rigid social hierarchy has broken down.

We're encouraged to enter into a dialogue with our children, explaining why we want them to do X, rather than telling them to do something and expecting obedience. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this approach. Similarly, with more parents working and children in daycare, the family unit as the core of our society is fragmenting.

Now, I'm a lone working parent. Furthermore, DD is not unquestioningly obedient, hence I could be accused of hypocrisy. But, I do feel that there needs to be some element of rolling back the effects of the past four or so decades....

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