January 28, 2021
Beginning in the late 1960s, psychologists and other mental health professionals began demonizing traditional childrearing. Without a shred of evidence with which to support their contentions, they asserted that traditional childrearing was psychologically harmful to children. To save children from further harm, they came up with a new childrearing paradigm that stood in sharp contrast to the old. If the new paradigm had retained any aspect of the old paradigm, then the argument could have been made that the new paradigm was only less harmful, so the new paradigm was NEW in every sense of the term, and thoroughly so.
Traditional families were adult-centric, so the new, utopian family was child-centric. In the traditional family, parents ruled, so new families were to be democratic. Children were to have an equal voice – from early on, mind you – in family decisions. Traditional parents had not explained themselves to children, so parents who wanted to get with the new program were to explain themselves. If their children didn’t like their rules and boundaries, new parents were to negotiate with their children until a win-win outcome was obtained.
Okay, let’s stop right there. A win-win outcome requires agreement on the part of both parties that a satisfactory agreement has been reached. What is a satisfactory agreement from a child’s point of view? Right! From a child’s point of view, the only satisfactory “agreement” has the child getting what he wants!
EXAMPLE: Billy, age sixteen, has received three speeding tickets in his first month of driving. His parents, having paid close to two thousand dollars in fines, are inclined to take his driving privileges away until he turns seventeen. Billy thinks that’s unfair. He wants to continue driving, without any restriction. What is a win-win solution to that problem? There is none! But Billy’s parents, wanting Billy to view them as fair, propose to Billy that, okay, he can continue driving and okay, there will be no restrictions, but he has to promise to drive more carefully, which Billy thinks is just splendid and so promises.
My point: If the child in a parent-child negotiation doesn’t think a certain outcome is fair, then it is not win-win. To achieve win-win, the outcome must be pleasing to the child, which isn’t win-win. It’s win-lose. Quickly, the child learns that he can get his way in a “negotiation” by yelling “That’s not fair!” So, that’s what he does. In other words, in said “negotiations,” the child holds the trump card. He’s in control of the outcome. Are you getting this?
The above example illustrates how in many of today’s families, children are in complete control of the home. They control through emotional intimidation. They scream, yell, cut, threaten to kill themselves, and otherwise bully their parents into letting them have their way. And the more their parents cave, the more the children in question scream, yell, curse, cut, and threaten to kill themselves.
The paradox, however, is that while the kids in question are getting their way, they’re not really happy. That explains why, since American parents began taking their marching orders from psychologists and other mental health ninnies, the mental health of America’s children has gone down the proverbial toilet. And it will keep right on going down the sewer pipes until American parents wake up to the scam that has been run on them.
Scam? Yes, scam. Consider that the people who have profited financially from the mess of child mental health are the very people who made the mess. If it walks like a scam and quacks like a scam, then it is a scam.
Copyright 2021, John K. Rosemond