That’s What She Said: Melissa Carter wor­ries about cod­dled kids.

Are we rais­ing a gen­er­a­tion of over-cod­dled kids?

GA Voice - - News -

“Melissa, you are not a par­ent, so you wouldn’t un­der­stand.”

That is usu­ally the re­ac­tion I get when I speak on any is­sue re­gard­ing chil­dren. But I am go­ing to talk about it any­way. The level of weak­ness in some par­ents has be­come so bla­tant that it can’t be ig­nored. They are rais­ing kids who will turn into the ills of so­ci­ety.

Let’s start with grades. School is a place to learn, and no one can learn with­out mak­ing mis­takes. Like most stu­dents, I saw red cor­rec­tive marks on pa­pers through­out my years in the Maury County, Tenn., School Sys­tem. It didn’t really mat­ter what color that ink was. What was im­por­tant was that I was be­ing taught what I had done wrong so that I wouldn’t do it again.

Th­ese days, this same red ink is be­ing ac­cused of caus­ing emo­tional dam­age. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study from the Univer­sity of Colorado, red is an “emo­tive color” and makes a stu­dent anx­ious.

They rec­om­mend the use of blue ink in­stead. Give me a break. We are just cre­at­ing kids who can’t take crit­i­cism or in­struc­tion.

“Time Out” is a quiet pe­riod used as a dis­ci­plinary tac­tic by par­ents. The goal is to sep­a­rate the child from the en­vi­ron­ment where the child is caus­ing some kind of dis­tur­bance.

Again, this is an­other ex­am­ple of a par­ent re­act­ing to the child by stop­ping ev­ery­thing they are do­ing and at­tend­ing del­i­cately to the child’s emo­tional fragility.

Now, there are even Do-It-Your­self projects that par­ents are tack­ling to find new and in­ven­tive ways to soothe their lit­tle prince or princess.

On Pin­ter­est, you can find all the steps to mak­ing a Calm­ing Jar. Ac­cord­ing to its de­scrip­tion, you fill the jar with glit­ter and water, and when a kid gets up­set, you tell the kid to shake the calm jar to let out their pint size frus­tra­tions. Then, the child has to wait un­til the glit­ter set­tles at the bot­tom of the jar be­fore he can get back up and re­join so­ci­ety.

Fi­nally, let me com­ment for a moment on the To­tal Trans­for­ma­tion com­mer­cials. This col­lec­tion of DVDs sup­pos­edly helps par­ents learn how to man­age neg­a­tive be­hav­iors in their chil­dren. The tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials fea­ture sad moth­ers who speak in shaky voices and look into the cam­era to make dec­la­ra­tions to their child. They as­sert that the child will no longer scream, cuss, call them names or talk back to them.

I sin­cerely hope that all th­ese women were ac­tors who do not have kids. If they are real peo­ple, I can’t imag­ine how many hours were spent by their chil­dren and their chil­dren’s friends rolling on the floor laugh­ing at th­ese com­mer­cials. What a scam.

So what has changed? Why has our gen­er­a­tion, blessed with bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and the ad­van­tage of Oprah, for­got­ten how to be a mom ora dad? To this day, I get ner­vous at just the thought of talk­ing back to a teacher or scream­ing at my par­ents.

The dif­fer­ence is that in my house­hold, there was never a ques­tion as to who was the boss. My mom and dad were the Al­phas. They were judge and jury and we knew it.

My par­ents hap­pily and ef­fec­tively used sub­tle in­tim­i­da­tion and fear as their main tools of dis­ci­pline. With one look from my mom or just the slight­est tinge in my dad’s voice, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

They rarely had to do much more than that, and that is be­cause we knew that they were ca­pa­ble of dis­ci­pline that was real and sub­stan­tive if we pushed the line.

To­day’s par­ents have tried so hard to make sure their kids know that they are loved, and I re­spect and honor that emo­tion. But in do­ing so, we have treated them with such fragility that we have for­got­ten that real love comes in more forms than just hugs.

Melissa Carter is also a writer for Huff­in­g­ton Post. She broke ground as the first out les­bian ra­dio per­son­al­ity on a ma­jor sta­tion in At­lanta and was one of the few out morn­ing show per­son­al­i­ties in the coun­try. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Melis­saCarter

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