General Question

spresto's avatar

Do you fear for your children in this world that is falling apart?

Asked by spresto (903points) June 2nd, 2009

Do you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

58 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I don’t have children, but if I had, i would not be overly concerned, as i can not see how the world “is falling apart”.
Sure there is terrorism, but there was violence throughout history and compared to other eras, we live in peaceful times.
Sure we have an economic crisis, but it is lightyears apart from the great depression of the thirties, plus we have governments mounting countermeasures against it and we have capable social security (in europe at least) , so no major worries there either.
Sure NK is acting up with their nuclear capability, but the situation is a far cry from the situation of the Cold War.
Plus investment in alternative energy sources is underway, environmental protection programmes exist, and nuclear fusion doesn’t seem to far away either.

Surely, the immediate outlook is not optimal, but it is not catastrophic either, and the world certainly is not “falling apart”.

DarkScribe's avatar

Falling apart is it? Hang on, I’ll get the duct tape.

Girl_Powered's avatar

I don’t have kids and never want them. Having kids to me seems masochistic, a pointless nightmare. All of my friends who have them are struggling to stay sane. You can’t discipline them under modern laws, but you are expected to control them. When they get older they turn on you. No thanks. If anything it is youth that is a major cause of the world’s problems. You can’t even go clubbing safely anymore, there is anti-social behavior and violence everywhere, always from teenagers.

spresto's avatar

@Girl_Powered Your first sentence makes you useless to the subject. So thanks for nothing.

hug_of_war's avatar

I don’t have children, but times have always been hard. I think it’s folly to think otherwise.

Girl_Powered's avatar

@spresto Not one person has replied who is a parent, yet you single me out. You are a strange little person.

SuperMouse's avatar

I do have children, and I do not fear for them in this world that is “falling apart.” Before I had kids I would say stuff like “I don’t want to bring children in to this screwed up world.” Then someone asked me, “If no one has children who will there be to fix this screwed up world?” I think that was a great point. I hope, pray, and try incredibly hard to raise my children to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

@Girl Powered, I could not disagree more with your statement about not being able to discipline children under modern laws. I can and do discipline my children. I can and do control my children, rather I am helping my children learn to control temselves. The teen years have always been tough. When my dad was growing up in 1940’s and 50’s Los Angeles he was exposed to drug and alcohol the same as I was growing up in the same area in the 1970’s and 80’s. I harbor no illusions about the teen years being easy or about my need to stay on top of them and keep parenting throughout. I do think that teens go through some pretty rough times and for the most part, if they have been loved and supported they make it through to the other side.

DarkScribe's avatar

I have kids, five daughters and I love them all, but I have often wondered what my attitude would be if I was just starting out. I see people constantly struggling to raise kids who are polite and well behaved. It is illegal to smack your kids in many places, and realistically the “time out” approach is ludicrous. I didn’t have to physically punish my kids, but if I had boys it might have been different.

Three of my kids have decided not to become parents and they had a happy childhood. Their decisions are based on what they see around them and the difficulty their friends have experienced.

dynamicduo's avatar

Oh, so sorry to see you go spresto…. ~*

*There you go, I used it. :)

zephyr826's avatar

I don’t have children of my own, yet, though I plan to in the next few years. However, I do have 90 children that I see every weekday and about whom I care tremendously. Of course I fear for them, even though I’m not their parent, because we always hope that we can save our children or the next generation from making the same mistakes we make, or having to go through the same pains. However, as @SuperMouse says, if we don’t invest in them, both by having and caring for them, what will happen to us but ultimate destruction? I feel like this is one of those things we have to do even though we’re scared, and I’m proud to be a (small) part of it.

Facade's avatar

That’s part of the reason why I won’t be having children.

Girl_Powered's avatar

@dynamicduo Has Spresto gone? I see that there is no longer an account for a user called Spresto.

phoenyx's avatar

I have kids and I’m not afraid. Sure there is a lot of bad out there, but there is a lot of good too. I figure that it isn’t useful to worry about the bad stuff. The best I can do is teach them to be responsible and capable and they’ll do okay.

Aethelwine's avatar

I worry because that’s what a parent does but I don’t fear for them. My husband and I discipline our three children, we stress the importance of school and pay attention to what they do. Because of this they are respected in their school and our community. I completely agree with ( @SuperMouse & @phoenyx ).

casheroo's avatar

I do worry, but I don’t let it consume me. well, I try not to let it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

People have been asking this question since people have been having children so that’s not really a valid statement. People were saying that in the 50’s through the 80’s and the world is still here. The world isn’t perfect but we can make it better.

Who knows? Maybe your child will make the world a better place.

Blondesjon's avatar

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” -Frank Herbert

and what @jonsblond said

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Blondesjon Much lurve for the Dune fear mantra.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

@Girl_Powered

“You can’t discipline them under modern laws, but you are expected to control them.”

Yeah, because beating them is the only way to discipline. Sure, I suppose it is if you are a shit parent. As for spanking, there isn’t even any law against it, so you can do it all you want. The laws are against child abuse. But if abusing your child is the only way you can control them, you must be one excellent parent.

And I agree with @ragingloli and thus disagree with the premise of this question. I do plan on having kids.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Dansedescygnes & @Girl_Powered . . .Thank you guys. There is nothing more hilarious than two individuals with no children arguing over the best ways to deal with them.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

@Blondesjon

So you think that just because I don’t have kids I don’t have any place saying child abuse is wrong and should stay illegal?

Because that’s all I said.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Dansedescygnes . . .No. I am saying that you are still a child yourself with big, grand ideas about how a world you’ve hardly lived in yet works.

It’s adorable.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

So is your condescension.

And what exactly are my “big, grand ideas”? All I said was that child abuse should continue to be illegal as it is. So now I’m excluded from having opinions because of my age? Oh frabjous day.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have no clue but I’m sure you’ll tell me.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

If you have no clue, why did you point out that I had them in the first place?

I have every right to voice my opinion on child abuse, just as I do on any other topic.

Blondesjon's avatar

We can argue nit picky little points all day, if it makes you feel better. It doesn’t change the fact that in ten years at least 70% of what you spout now you will have reconsidered and changed your mind about.

Life is like that, my friend. You feel strongly about your ideas and you have every right to say what you feel. Just don’t expect everyone to buy into your brand of bullshit,

I don’t. :)

Dansedescygnes's avatar

And I don’t buy into your brand of bullshit, either. Your “holier-than-thou” condescension crap that I need not pay any attention to. You’re a windbag. My parents were against spanking and child abuse as teenagers and they are still against it, very strongly so. Many adults are against beating children.

Blondesjon's avatar

I don’t buy into my own brand of bullshit either, child. That’s what makes me a grown-up.

I could care less if this argument were about child abuse or migrant worker rights. It’s about how angry you get when you are faced with an opposing view.

Take that into parenthood and you will find yourself taking it out on your child.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

I wasn’t faced with an opposing view.

Aethelwine's avatar

A spank does not equal abuse.

ragingloli's avatar

@Blondesjon Your condescending attitude does not exactly make you seem like a grown up, but more like a spoilt brat. Take that into parenthood and you child will either hate you or get an inferiority complex.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

@jonsblond

I didn’t say a spank equaled abuse. Read my comment to @Girl_Powered. I said “go ahead and spank all you want”. I said I was against beating and abuse.

Blondesjon's avatar

@ragingloli . . .I have three children. They are 17, 15, and 5 respectively. The two eldest are high honor students that are well respected both at school and in the community. The little girl is the brightest part of all of our days.

This is my point. You can get as angry as you want. I am coming from the position of someone who has talked the talk and walked the walk.

Have you?

ragingloli's avatar

@Blondesjon
I am not angry at all. What makes you think that I am angry?
I am curious. Did you treat your children the way you treated Dansedescygnes?
By that I mean belitteling someone’s opinions and calling them “bullshit” just because of their age.

Blondesjon's avatar

I do believe that I referred to my own bullshit as “bullshit”.

Everyone is full of shit @ragingloli, that’s why the world stinks so much sometimes.

You never answered my question.

ragingloli's avatar

@Blondesjon
I didn’t because it is written in the first answer, if you care to hit the home key.

DarkScribe's avatar

It is a real “Button“pushing” issue. Some regard any form of physical discipline as “beating” or child abuse, while others resent a society whose laws are making it mandatory to raise little anarchists. There is a middle path, one that has been successfully walked since the beginning of time. The Biblical “Spare the rod and spoil the child…” is based on sound parenting and experience.

It is undeniable that teenage behaviour has made a rapid and very noticable turn for the worse in many ways since “non corporal” child disciplining became popular. It is going to become far worse yet. You cannot raise a child without at least the threat of a punishment that they fear.

When my children were young, supermarkets, malls, restaurants and theatres were not overrun with miniature terrorists, children who did not respond to any attempt by their parents to control them. They are nowadays. How can anyone expect that a small child who is uncontrollable will grow into a self disciplined adult, a positive, thinking, caring, gentle member of society?

I have five daughters and am proud of all of them. They are delightful, responsible caring adults who have successful careers and who all did very well academically. I did NOT have to beat them or abuse them to achieve this, but they always knew that there parents had ultimate authority – authority that could include physical punishment if it was warranted. They themselves rue the changes in societies attitudes and approaches as they see their friends struggling to raise well behaved children. They all regard “Time-Out” as a joke. I will often here them say as they observe a misbehaving child “If I did that as a child, I don’t know what would have happened, but I know that I wouldn’t have liked it”.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

“You cannot raise a child without at least the threat of a punishment that they fear.”

There are many people who would disagree with that. Many parents would disagree with that. I was not threatened by a punishment I feared as a child, I was never physically punished. And neither were any of my siblings. I was threatened and punished with things I did not like and made me upset, but not fear and physical pain.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Note: I’m not saying what you did was wrong. I’m just saying it isn’t the only way for some cases.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes There are many people who would disagree with that. Many parents would disagree with that.

And many parent are opposed to modern parenting methods. You and I will disagree, and I am a person who has successfully raised some fine, and very happy, well adjusted children.

I see many people with your attitude who are almost at the emotional and physical breakdown stage simply as a result of being unable to maintain a happy and contented family life with anarchistic children destroying all harmony. I don’t see very many who have a truly contented and relaxed family life, not among those who use modern parenting techniques. Having children is supposed to add warmth, pleasure, satisfaction, to a family, not permanent discord and angst as is so often the case nowadays. The shows like “Super Nanny” would have been met with puzzled curiosity when my kids were young, no one would understand the need.

Part of being a good “old fashioned” parent is to know how to use physical discipline without anger or violence, it isn’t an excuse to beat your children.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Uh-huh, but my siblings and I are not anarchistic children and yet we were raised without fearing punishments and physical pain. How did that end up working?

My mom and her siblings were spanked as young children and then their parents decided not to do it anymore. They were probably no older than 5–8 when they decided to stop. They all ended up fine.

Like I said, I didn’t say that modern techniques work in all cases, but I have no problem with those who refuse to use corporal punishment because not using corporal punishment does work in many cases. There are plenty of people on this site who have children and are not using corporal punishment. Simone_de_Beauvoir is one.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes

I have glanced through, don’t agree with much of it.

Reality is out there in the form of uncontrollable, insular, violent, teenagers on the streets at all hours of the day and night. This is a new thing, the end result of disciplineless parenting. It did not happen when I was young – it couldn’t. The kids would get their asses kicked first by the Police, then by their parents when the Police took them home.

You can quote instances of effective parenting without physical punishment but that means little when compared to a societal trend. It is the rule that is the problem, not the few exceptions. In most cases it isn’t working.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

“Part of being a good “old fashioned” parent is to know how to use physical discipline without anger or violence.”

I should also mention that this is something I’ve always agreed with. If it is to be done, it should not be done with anger or violence.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

@DarkScribe

I find it interesting. Teenage crime has been going down since a peak in the 1990s. What does that say, exactly?

I think that society as a whole is changing drastically. There is too much confinement and pressure on kids, there are too many places where there is little for teenagers to do (we can’t all live in the city, though), there are economic problems, there are parents who spend more time at work than with their kids, there are parents who had kids they didn’t want, there are many divorces which often damage kids emotionally, etc. I happen to think that corporal punishment, which could have caused a few problems, has actually very little to do with it.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Teenage crime has been going down since a peak in the 1990s.

No statistics that I read concur with that – the opposite in fact. At least not violent crime. My stats cover the UK, the US, France, Germany, and here – Australia. In all instances violence among teenagers is rapidly increasing. In the UK and here knives are a problem in teenage violence – this is something that has never happened before.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

When did this question become about the pros and/or cons of physically disciplining children?

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes I am a journalist, I work directly with Police and Court statistics – charge rates and convictions.

I just looked at those. They are opinion pieces, not anything with authority.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Well, like I said. Read the second paragraph of what I said:

I think that society as a whole is changing drastically. There is too much confinement and pressure on kids, there are too many places where there is little for teenagers to do (we can’t all live in the city, though), there are economic problems, there are parents who spend more time at work than with their kids, there are parents who had kids they didn’t want, there are many divorces which often damage kids emotionally, etc. I happen to think that corporal punishment, which could have caused a few problems, has actually very little to do with it.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Dansedescygnes I think that we should just disagree and leave it at that. We have different backgrounds and a vast difference in actual experience. I work in an area where this is a constantly highlighted problem with a lot of media and Government focus. My opinion will not be changed by anything other than empirical results observed through the previously mentioned Police charge records and court convictions.

I do agree however that it is not only disciplineless parenting, it is parental laxity in allowing kids access to violent video games and movies etc.

There are other issues, but teenage boredom has been around since Adam was a pup, and is not a new issue. It is access to “desensitising” material that increases the violence, coupled with a life that does not have discipline enforced. There can be no self discipline in a person who never experience external discipline in domestic or school life.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

@DarkScribe

I think we should also agree to disagree. When/if I have kids, I will not start out by using or threatening corporal punishment, just as my parents did. If that fails, I will adjust accordingly in the way that will improve the situation most effectively. What that way is, I will have to find out.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

“There can be no self discipline in a person who never experience external discipline in domestic or school life.”

That is true. I never disagreed with that. What I disagreed with is that corporal discipline is the only effective discipline. That is simply not true.

astrocom's avatar

First off: Girl_Powered You were singled out because you blamed societies problems on young people, which, even if it is the case, is pointless because without young people society will cease to exist. In case you haven’t noticed, we haven’t achieved immortality yet.
Raging_loli: Just because Dansedescygnes didn’t reply in a particularly mature manner doesn’t mean he isn’t completely legitimate in his statement.
and Blondesjon, just because people are younger and less experienced than you doesn’t mean their views aren’t as well formed or intelligent as yours. I’ve had more experience with children as a freshman in college than many people who are in the process of raising children. I’ve dealt with some extreme “problem” kids, and have done plenty of observation of mistakes I’ve seen people make in raising children. Just because I haven’t raised children, and because several of my thoughts on the subject come from observation, not experience, doesn’t mean my thoughts are any less intelligent than yours. To even suggest that such a thing is the case is foolish at best and decidedly prejudiced at worst.

On the actual topic, I don’t fear for my (future) children so much because the world is falling apart, as much as I fear for them because we aren’t making the social advancements necessary to ensure it doesn’t fall apart in the future. As betrayed by my comment on another topic. I’m honestly afraid that the education system will be as bad or worse at dealing with my children as it has been for me. On a regular basis people doubt that I actually have difficulty because of ADHD; I’ve met more than one person who’s argued that it isn’t a disability at all; almost every time, I’ve ever mentioned my “disorder” someone pipes up and says “that’s over diagnosed;” and now normal students are regularly using the drugs that make me barely functional as a student to get ahead, and many people think it’s within their right.

Yes, society isn’t perfect, it never has been, and it never will get all the way there, every generation has, and likely will have, reasons to worry for their offspring, but with the exception of what I just mentioned, I don’t have fears related to my (potential) offspring, just things I want to be cautious of.

astrocom's avatar

@DarkScribe: those statistics cover the US too? really? I’d been under the impression that crime for young people had been going down here since the 90’s also, could you link me to some of your sources?

DarkScribe's avatar

@astrocom I’d been under the impression that crime for young people had been going down here since the 90’s also, could you link me to some of your sources?

In some areas crime has been going down generally, although there is a degree of dispute as to whether it is really going down or just that reporting criteria have changed. Some offences have changed category, some have switched from arrest to convictions for data etc. That aside it is only violence among teenagers that I am concerned with – not general crime among teenagers. Violence is increasing. In some areas local authorities are introducing or considering curfews to combat it. The licensing hours of many clubs etc., are being reduced.

My sources are hard copy monthly reports, subscribed to by my employer, not internet blogs or websites. Although Google gives a massive array of widely varying opinions and stats, hard to assess, the major newspaper archives give access to many Government and Court stats supporting my contention. Try the London Times for instance. They seem very concerned with increased teenage use of knives or “glassing” in violence as does the New York Times. Do some archive searches on teenage crime and statistics in violence.

astrocom's avatar

@DarkScribe: Ahh, as in the type of statistics you can’t show to me because your company pays good money for them, very good. I honestly wouldn’t know about statistics anywhere other than the Northeastern US, and I’d never been given hard statistics about that area either; it’s just where I grew up, and the idea I got from people I grew up around. The other thing is I’m not terribly concerned with what the media thinks is noteworthy, they tend to exaggerate and give terrible misrepresentations, because they base stories on anecdotes as opposed to statistics, and they then tend to over-emphasize statistics, by stating a scary sounding number and not giving you anything to compare it to. Though I’d trust newspapers to do this far, far less than other news sources, especially the Times (both of them.)

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