There is a shift in our culture towards more dependence as it relates to the relationship between the government and the citizen, but the same kind of shift has occurred on a more micro level in our society. This shift has occurred in the family and has taken place within the realm of parenting. Until recently, the goal of parents has remained relatively unchanged and has spanned most cultures of the world. The successful outcome of good parenting is a child who has been transformed into an independent and contributing member of society. This is accomplished through the teaching of moral values, a strong work ethic and a strong sense of independence.
Unfortunately, the skills of good parenting are lost on some in today's generation of parents. We've all seen the unruly child in public whose parent ignores the uncivilized behavior or even worse, rewards it with whatever it is the child wants. There is an even worse trend of which I have been made aware, i.e. mothers taking inappropriately aged boys into the ladies room. Some have reached the age of 7 or 8, long past the age when a trip to the ladies room with mother is appropriate. It is not only damaging to the sense of independence in the young boy, but is very uncomfortable for other women who may be using the facility. This inappropriate behavior is possibly driven by a fear of what might happen to the young man if he were allowed to enter the men's room by himself. But this is an irrational fear since it can easily be overcome by the mother waiting right outside the door and by previously having properly trained and instructed the boy in how to handle any unusual situation, should it arise.
Creating independence in a child begins at a very young age. A friend of mine told me a story about a trip he had taken to Amish country. While there, he helped a small Amish girl to her feet after she had fallen. The girl was no more than 3 or 4 years old, and my friend received a stern look from her father. When my friend inquired if he had done something wrong, the Amish father said that the girl must learn to pick herself up when she falls. This is the antithesis of the parenting mentality which causes a mother to take her 6 or 7 year old son into the ladies room. The Amish father knows that a child who is taught to always expect help from others, will grow into an adult who can't do for themselves, and this isn't good for any culture or society.
Of course there is a fine line a parent must walk between allowing the child in their care to learn the valuable lessons of independence, and keeping them safe and healthy. This line, which was instinctive in our culture for so long, seems to have been obliterated in favor of raising children that remain juvenile their entire lives. It begins with retarding a child's very basic personal responsibilities, like using the restroom by themselves. But it leads to adults who can't fulfill any of the responsibilities of living in a civilized society, like supporting themselves, helping their community and leaving more to the world than they have received. We have entered the age of selfishness which is caused by dependence and leads to a soulless society.
Click here to watch my latest political song parody. Posted December 2, 2012.