Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Unapologetically Stupid

You may have seen this cowboy philosopher, especially if you have Southern friends.  Chad has become an internet hit with his wit and wisdom on what it is like to be a good ol' Southern boy.  I got into a little scuffle with friends over one of his latest vlogs, as Chad didn't see anything wrong with corporal punishment, saying that maybe if we threatened the belt more often there wouldn't be so many "bratty kids" running around in restaurants.

I find Chad's whiny voice more annoying than I do kids, and we have a daycare center next door.  More often it is the parents or guardians who make me cringe with their awful songs, childish antics and other attempts at placating their kids, when maybe if they just treated kids as persons, they might respond better.  Chad, like so many others thinks the kids are the ones out of control.

Of course, it is a thinly veiled attack on Millennials, going after their kids, who have been dubbed Generation Alpha.  The problem with Chad is that he offers one whiny clip after another, making fun of all the latest trends in parenting and other social aspects of the much maligned Millennials.   He gets millions of hits on his vlogs, making him a celebrity of sorts.  He is a frequent visitor on Fox & Friends and other conservative shows, sure to get a laugh out of the hosts and audience.

If we are going to deal in stereotypes, it is usually the grandparents who pamper the "bratty kids" by loading them up with sugar products so that they go darting around the room on a sugar high.  It takes parents hours to bring their kids down from this rush.  Bill Cosby summed it up perfectly all those years ago.

So, why have Millennials become the brunt of jokes by all these conservative pundits and so-called humorists?   It's a constant stream of abuse on Fox and the conservative social media.  Nothing these young adults do satisfies them, and now the conservative pundits seem to think Millennials are lousy parents to boot, unable to keep their bratty kids in line, like the previous generation likes to think it did.

The idea of a permissive society is nothing new.  Each generation laments the generation that follows it for having things too easy.  We all like to believe our young lives were much harder and ultimately more rewarding.  You see so many memes glorifying our teen days as if all we had were our wits to keep us out of trouble, growing up on the tough streets of some city like Oliver Twist, or the country roads of some rural community like Huckleberry Finn.  Our parents didn't pamper us, like parents do their kids today.  Another one of Chad's pet peeves.

Fact is parents are parents.  Some over indulge their kids, some are too hard on their kids, others find a way to strike a balance.  Corporal punishment never worked.  It was the last act of frustration when all else failed, and was generally seen as such by both parent and child.  The kid might calm down, but only for a moment, only to repeat this vicious cycle all over again, because the parents failed to establish boundaries with their child.

Everyone knows parenting is tough.  I've raised three children myself.  My patience has been tested numerous times, but my wife and I got through those difficult years by reaching an understanding with our children.  Not once did either of us have to raise a hand in anger.  Neither had my mother and father.  I'm happy to say we all turned out fine.

I suppose Chad sees parenting as an easy mark.  He has five kids of his own, to read his wiki bio, so draws on his personal experience.  However, this really isn't about kids.  It's about the frustration conservatives have with Millennials, who aren't living up to be good Republicans, but rather seeking voices of their own that are often in conflict with their parents.  Everything has become politicized, even Dr. Spock's famous book, which today is seen as a leftist rag by conservatives, when it was the authoritative guide to child care throughout the post-war generation, first published in 1946.

Today, you can find a huge selection on child care in bookstores, and innumerable pages online that discuss parenting, but still most parents rely on their own experiences to guide them through the ordeal of bringing up baby, which can be both bad and good.  No one said it was easy, but let's not turn this into another political whipping post.

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