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Are we raising a nation of wimps?

Maybe the American Upper Middle class has always been soft, but the day I just spent in the NYC suburbs of Connecticut has me thinking that a certain chunk of our kids are being raised as whiny, entitled brats.

This is in contrast to the high school kids I see on MTV's "Two A Days"- a show about high school football players in Alabama. Those kids are being raised to be mentally tough and physically tough. I really question where I want to raise my kids and what is the "meaty middle" in American society. I want them to be balanced- not complete effite liberal wusses, but not totally filled with a fraudlent W Bush type machismo.

The cover story of the NY Times today has a story about the comeback of corporal punishment in US Schools. That story, combined with the new MTV series, has me wondering if there is a trend afoot. Have we as a society already recognized the problem, and are starting to address it in an organic manner? Flame away....


Sat. Sep 30, 5:39pm

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That MTV series is back wood Alabama. That is not how we want our society to be. The only thing important to them is winning football games. Where is the emphasis on good grades and family time?

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 10:25 PM

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Too many parents seem to feel it is their job to protect their kids from failure, mistakes and painful experiences. Kids need to learn and grow from their mistakes and parents need to do the hard thing and stand back and let their children learn from their experiences. Apparently this behavior doesn't stop once the kids go to college-mom and dad still fight their battles in and out of the classroom. While I disagree with corporal punishment, we need to start making kids accountable for their actions, and quit giving them everything unearned. How many of you bought your own first car? Saved money for the things you wanted?

Saturday, September 30, 2006, 11:44 PM

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10:25 That's kind of harsh. I think what the OP was trying to relay about the show is that those kids are striving for something and working hard for it (regardless of it being a sport) unlike much of American children today who think the world owes them something. I strongly believe in teaching children boundries even if it results to such things as spanking, if it's what get's the child's attention. I miss the good ol' days where teachers were able to use rulers and kid's respected their elders. Today's parents seemed more concerned about being their kid's friend than an adult role model.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 1:13 AM

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I don't actually believe that corporeal punishment is what made folks stronger but that overcoming challenges and striving to be one's best against adversity is far too under-rated or 'watered down' nowadays if you will by this sense that we should all be 'winners' and creating false self-esteem. Self esteem must be earned to be real and challenges help us realize what we can truly acheive. I feel today's kids are over-protected, over-praised (not dissing genuine praise mind you just saying it's applied too often and when it's really not warranted which kinda lessens the message) and over-catered-to.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 2:19 AM

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First to the OP: "Fraudulent W Bush type machismo and Organic Manner" What exactly do you mean by that??

To the 11:44 poster, AMEN to that! I grew up in a poor broken home and worked from the time I was 13. I didn't get allowance, anything I wanted I had to earn for. I did buy my first car and I thank my mom for teaching me life doesn't get handed to you, you must earn it. I will raise my daughter the same way. And by frigging god if she is failing something in school, I do want her to take it again. This no student left behind shit is bullshit. To many kids are going on when they should be held back. I would think as responsible parents they would want them held back. And what is this crap with sports teams now? There are no winners or losers, everybody is a winner, wtf is that about? That is not real life and its already setting our kids up for failure. I want my kid to know that the harder you work at something the better you become and therefore there is a difference between hard work and slackers. Please, life is full of winners and losers, that is the way it is. This is all because of the liberal nitwits. We need to get back to our roots, and the only way to do that is for everyone to be accountable for their actions!

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 2:25 AM

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I guess yet again this is Bush's fault, let just blame everything on him. Theres the point exactly. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions. Its about time parents start participating in their kids lives.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 3:21 AM

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As this entire thread is OT, I'm going to jump in and respond ot the 3:21 am poster. How each of us chooses to raise our children is our responsibility and cannot be blamed on Bush. However, there are a lot of people who are blaming Bush for the war in Iraq and it is worth noting that he is making choices that other people's children should die for a cause when neither he nor his own children (who are absolutely of military age) seem to think that our wars are worth risking their own lives for. And not to blame only Bush - I seem to recall that only one member of Congress has a child in Iraq. That is just an example of something Bush is responsible for - the war. He is our president (for those of us who are Americans - I know there are a lot of Canadians on this site and a few Europeans) and he has a lot of responsibilities - no, not for whether our children behave and grow up - but yes, for a lot of other things.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 7:12 AM

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7:12 poster: If your child is in the war and you don't like it blame YOUR CHILD. They joined the military. There is NOT a draft in place. Bush did not FORCE your child to join the military. His children are not in the military and that is their choice. You say "he is making choices that other people's children should die for a cause". NO, your child made that choice when they joined. Wake up.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 8:48 AM

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I am the OP- what I meant by the comment about Bush was how his demeanor is manufacturued. He grew up in an upper class Wasp family, but created a Texan demeanor as part of his political act. It strikes me as false- but it is interesting and very American. The idea that we can all recreate ourselves. Maybe Bush's demeanor is a reaction to his own experience with Northeastern mannerisms, ways of acting and thinking. He went to prep school and Yale, and from what I have read, he reacted strongly to it. So when you think about how he grew up, and how he walks and talks now, it is very clear that there was a concious effort on his part to reject parts of his upbringing. If you go back to before Iraq, he was still hated by many on the left. I think part of this had to do with the person he chose to be. Bush chose to be someone that rejected liberal, Northeastern values, and chose to be someone who openly sneers at many of those values. The political left was immediately allergic to the guy, and everything he has done as President has deepened that reaction. He is a heretic of the highest order, and I really like that about him actually.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 10:18 AM

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Anyone on the left is going to hate anybody republican. The last 3 elections dems have done nothing but smear the republicans. Clearly that line of talk hasn't worked for them. Wars happen, people get killed, its life. Men and women choose to go into the military, I for one think they are brave and I thank god for the people who serve this country! And maybe the Texas mentality appealed to Bush, made him feel more real and at home. We don't know what anyone thinks or feels so we can't really say anything about it. Bush is not the only President who chose to go to war. And quite frankly, how would anyone feel if the war on terrorism came to our country. Remember 9/11 do we want that all over our land. Yes the US gets into others business, yes the Iraq war was about oil but Saddam NEEDED to go. Personally I don't think he should ever be alive. He is an evil man who committed mass genocide on his own people. But the middle east will always be at war with each other and the west will always be hated. People are easily swayed, sadly but true. I think to many people take for granted what they have in this country. Go live somewhere else for 3 years and then think more about the freedoms we have.

Back to the subject, more and more parents hand off the responsibility of raising their kids with morals and values. No one is being held accountable for their own actions. But I think that will start changing with the younger generation. Women are choosing to have children at an older age and with that I think their is a certain advantage.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 12:02 PM

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You are right- dems have done nothing but smear Bush, and it truly is not working for them. The sad thing is that it still could. I am so sick of the smear campaign against him. If the Democrats have better ideas- LET'S HEAR THEM. But they don't.

The most disgraceful thing is that the terrorists now talk exactly like Democrats. I heard Al Zawahiri on TV yesterday jabbering about something, and the words coming out of his mouth were like verbatim the stuff that now comes out of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Think about that. Why would the terrorists parrot the language of the leaders of the Democratic Party? Of course a Democrat would not answer that question honestly, they'd just start screaming and jumping up and down or storm out of the room.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 12:22 PM

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I'm not sure how speaking ill of Republicans is always characterized as "smear". This trickles down from partisan spinners like O'Reilly and is now some sort of American given - that criticism of Repiublicans is unjust.

I say this not as a Democrat (I have plenty of criticism of them as well) but as an American. Whether it's selling us into a war we knew was false and financially motivated from the beginning (Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld), crusading against child predators while hitting on teenage pages (Foley), turning bribery into open every day practice (Delay, Santorum, Abramoff) or institutionalizing torture (the Bush Admin, and every Senator on both sides of the aisle who voted last week too except America from the Geneva Conventions) the last half decade has been a true fall from grace for the US.

A combined report from all the US Intelligence Agencies (most of them under Republican leadership) showed that Republican Policies have done nothing but futher endanger Americans and should iindicate to anyone sane that distrust of these criminals is not purely a fanatical leftist position. If it is, the heads of most branches of government and 60-70% of Americans must fall into that camp. We know that is not the case. Evenn most true "Conservatives" hate the current administration.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 2:42 PM

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When challenged, a critic of Bush's aggresive approach to terrorism will simply attack Bush rather than offer an alternative. You will hear all sorts of bluster, but you will NEVER hear a good, effective, alternative approach. This thread, as long as it lives, will prove that.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 4:47 PM

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To the 2:42 poster, maybe you should go live in another country if you feel unsafe here. When was the last time you heard a smear campaign against the dems from the repubs? You normally don't. I used to be a dem but I am sadden by what has happened to this party. It seems no one has any solid thoughts or opinions on the real issues. First I am sick of the dems need to further social policies, when what we need is reform. We don't need to up the rich peoples taxes to pay for welfare, that illegals seems to be entitled to, the rich already pay higher taxes then a lot realize, after all who do you think is paying for all this stuff. Certainly not the people who earn below 28,000 it comes from people like me who pay 39% of my earnings. I am not bitching about this, I know that the more you make the more you pay, I would gladly give another 10% if I knew it would solve some real issues but it doesn't. We need a huge overhaul here and I don't care if it comes from dems or repubs but it needs to happen. Someone who will stand behind their convictions and start taking action.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 5:52 PM

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Republicans smear Dems all the time!!! What was the Bush Campaign about two years ago besides calling a decorated veteran a wimp. Republicans smear, Republicans lie, lie, lie, lie and get away with it. Democrats come from many points of view and ideologies - we have too many "solid thoughts" to come to agreement - unlike Republicans who are happy to give up their liberties, sacrifice the values that are the basis for this country and be led by a foolish inarticluate man because you think it saves you tax dollars!

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 7:48 PM

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"solid thoughts"-- please name one. Thank you.

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 8:20 PM

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raise the national minumum wage to $6.25

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 8:40 PM

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Getting back to the original question, my hardcore conservative boyfriend and I (the most liberal of liberals) both agree that certain children we know would profit from a trip to the woodshed! And we're both amazed at the things our friends buy for their older children, which we had to save for ourselves.

Bipartisan support for respectful, well-behaved, and responsible kids -- what is the world coming to?

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 11:00 PM

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Wow, here is a perfect example of a raving dem:

"Republicans smear Dems all the time!!! What was the Bush Campaign about two years ago besides calling a decorated veteran a wimp. Republicans smear, Republicans lie, lie, lie, lie and get away with it. Democrats come from many points of view and ideologies - we have too many "solid thoughts" to come to agreement - unlike Republicans who are happy to give up their liberties, sacrifice the values that are the basis for this country and be led by a foolish inarticluate man because you think it saves you tax dollars!

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 7:48 PM

Yes please tell us what these points of view and ideologies and solid thoughts are? "We have too many to come to an agreement on" wtf does this mean? If you think the people who make between $100,000 - 250,000 get awesome tax cuts clearly you don't know what your talking about. The only real people who get awesome tax breaks are the big businesses and corporate companies. And please let us all know what liberties and values have you had to sacrifice for this country? In fact do you even know half of the issues this country is dealing with? The dems have offered no plan to solve some of the real issues. Oh, btw, all politicians lie in some way, they are probably the most corrupt of all people. You should go try living in a different country, like Russia or France or South America. The one poster is right, we all take everything we have in this country for granted, until you've spent time in another country stop complaining. Yeah, since 9/11 some things have gotten tighter but should we allow what happen then to happen again? Maybe we should close down some military bases and do away with several intelligent agencies, like the dem did years ago. But most of all maybe we should just let the frigging media read and air information that could compromise the safety of all american people for the sake of ratings.

Oh and hey, I love O'Reilly and watch him all the time :-)

It just goes to show people can't talk about 2 things politics and religion without bashing or getting defensive or irate.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 2:37 AM

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I'm an Independent and I have voted for Republicans when they were better candidates. But I agree that Republicans have made an art of smearig Democrats, not the other way around. And what are the Republican's solid plans at this point? This is a seriuos question. Are you aware of any plans that all Republicans agree to?

Monday, October 02, 2006, 7:32 AM

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Go Bush.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 10:53 AM

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11 pm poster- very interesting, and that does support the thesis of the OP. Looks like we are heading back towards more discipline for our kids.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 10:57 AM

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Harold Ford Jr- A Democrat Bucking the Trend

Harold Ford Jr is a Democrat running a very strong campaign in Tennessee. He is doing this in part by talking to the right, instead of calling them names. He is now up by 5% in a fairly conservative state.


Monday, October 02, 2006, 5:24 PM

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