Raising a Generation of Undisciplined Adults

kidWhile growing up, I got disciplined for the bad things that I did. That was just how it worked. Although I didn’t enjoy it, I knew that I had done wrong, so I accepted my punishment.

Afterward I didn’t throw a tantrum, trash my house or beat up my parents. Why would I? I was the one who chose to do wrong, not them. Plus, I knew that my parents disciplined me because they loved me. That is the key – to discipline out of love, not anger.

However now days, parents are afraid to discipline their children, thinking that they may retaliate against them. They fear that their children might fight back physically, or go to the authorities and accuse them of abuse. Sometimes they just don’t want to hurt their children’s feelings, so they do nothing.

As a result, these children grow into undisciplined adults. They misbehave and create chaos. They seemingly feel no guilt over their actions and refuse to accept responsibility for them. Instead the blame is placed elsewhere; on their family, the government, authority, anywhere as long as it doesn’t land on them.

When people stop taking responsibility for their actions, and no longer have morals and values, then what will we have left? What will be left of this country? What will we have to give to the generations that follow behind us?

If we want a good future for our children, then we must not be afraid to discipline them. We must be parents. We are not our children’s friend. We must teach them right from wrong, and instill in them basic human values.

Don’t we love our children and want what’s best for them? Don’t we want them to have a good life, even better than the one that we’ve had? They deserve a bright future, not a future covered in darkness and chaos.


“Typing my heart out” for Nano Poblano/NaBloPoMo.

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27 Responses to Raising a Generation of Undisciplined Adults

  1. gpicone says:

    Discipline is a good thing but so is love and I do not believe they are the same. They can work together that’s for sure. Hopefully they work together in everyone’s house.

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    • mewhoami says:

      They can certainly work together, and in my opinion they are the same. A parent who loves their child will discipline them. The key is, to discipline them out of love and not anger.

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  2. The real me says:

    Political correctness gone crazy. …kids need to understand there are consequences for their actions. Adulthood is going to be real hard for some of them……..

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  3. My son is in his mid 20’s. A couple of people he went to school with are or have been in in prison. One is a convicted felon. I didn’t know one of the young men, but I did know the other, and there was a lot lacking in his life. I so agree with everything you wrote.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s sad to hear stories like that, and to see people you know go down such a bad path is so disappointing. I see it often and as you said, there was always a lot lacking in their lives that led them to that road in the first place. If only, we could turn back the hand of time.

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  4. Swoosieque says:

    You are so right. There must be a strong balance and values taught and practiced by parents. Great post!

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  5. Great post! Assuming responsibility is a rare character trait these days. I think it’s incredibly important and really stands out when you meet someone who is willing to bear all the consequences and take full responsibility for each decision they make. Without some element of discipline it’s tough to cultivate this.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you, Alex. I must agree with you on that. People like that are a rare find these days and they certainly stand out from the crowd. When a person admits to their fault and accepts the consequences, I tend to go out of my way to commend them for their honesty. That takes character, something that we should all have.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s a whole lot of truth in this MeWhoAMI.

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  7. Prajakta says:

    I am already worried about the future of my future kids (still finding the potential father) I see my nieces and nephews creating a ruckus and turn to my parents in panic – Was I ever like THAT??
    And my parents basically said the same thing as you did. Draw the line between disciplining and outright hammering, and you’ll be fine!

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    • mewhoami says:

      That’s understandable, because it is worrisome as we watch children behave in such a manner. Discipline is necessary, but as you said, there needs to be a healthy balance.

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  8. April says:

    Parenting. That’s a tough job. I disagree with children *choosing* to do wrong. Children are impulsive, and like to test the limits of their boundaries. The part of the brain which controls impulsiveness is not fully developed until we are around 25 years old. Every parent has their own style, and I would bet there are more children who grow up to be great citizens than there are troublemakers/criminals due to lack of *proper* parenting. What is the definition of a one-size-fits all parenting style?

    I learned early on that the *punishment* had to be relevant to the *crime*. Boundaries must be understood before discipline makes sense to them. Defining that, if you do that, this will happen. To be grounded from playing with friends because the child forgot to put their dishes in the dishwasher makes no sense. Let them eat from their dirty dishes–that fits the crime. By the time they start receiving homework, their brains are certainly developed enough to reason with.

    I have watched moms discipline their child without establishing boundaries to start with. Basically a back-door-style of discipline. Then there is the consistency that is necessary to help them learn.

    Too many mothers feel guilt as their children leave the nest–I’m one of them, and I don’t particularly feel as if I were over permissive, but I wasn’t a tyrant either. The trick is to set boundaries and find pertinent discipline, while allowing them grow and discover who they are, not who their parents want them to be.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Perhaps you’re right, but I know of many instances as a child when I knew that something was wrong, but I chose to do it anyway. You’re right that every child is different and should be raised that way. There is certainly no one size fits all approach. That’s exactly why I don’t think that parents should parent via a textbook. Each situation is different and requires a different approach.

      I agree that the punishment should fit the crime and that children should be fully aware of the boundaries prior to discipline. To discipline prior to having those boundaries is unfair to the child and will teach them nothing. Also, you are right that a child is an individual and should be allowed to be who they are, not who we want them to be. Chances are, if we let them discover who they are then they will turn out even better than we had ever imagined.

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      • April says:

        You know where I learned the most about parenting? My own children. Yes, they always tried to test their boundaries even though they knew it was wrong. It’s their impulsiveness they can’t stifle. I’m not saying that’s an excuse for bad behavior, but extreme discipline isn’t the answer to correct most bad behavior.

        I remember breaking the boundaries when I was little, I remember getting the spankings of my life, I remember fearing my dad’s disappointment. So, if I was good, it wasn’t because I had learned a lesson from the spankings, but because I feared my dad. I loved my dad to pieces and that fear was confusing to me.

        I definitely parented differently. Spankings were few–actually, they weren’t really spankings as in turning them over my knee kind of thing. Boundaries were set, and also broken. Our disciple was appropriate for the actions. However, I took a lot of time using the incident as a lesson by talking and allowing them talk about what happened–after all the anger had calmed down.

        My kids are pretty great kids. The youngest one was a master at manipulating me to get what he wanted. However, I learned that I always had to tell him I had to think about it…no matter what he asked for. Then I could get one step ahead of him to cover all arguments.

        My youngest also had a friend in the group he hung out with. The kid lived behind us, and went on vacations with us. I really liked this kid. His dad was a bit over the top with his discipline and kept a thumb on his kid’s actions. Since graduating two years ago, he has been in rehab four times, and the last that any of his group of friends heard, he was living out of a car and was a heroin addict. He steals from anybody he can to get money. So, was he predisposed to take the path he did because of the extreme parenting? His parents certainly weren’t overly permissive, and he wasn’t lavished with whatever he wanted..

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        • mewhoami says:

          Our children are our best teachers, I admit. It’s a learning experience for everyone, both the child and the parent and the learning never stops.I agree that extreme punishment is unnecessary, and will teach the child nothing more than to fear the parent. Children should respect their parents yes, but fear them no. Parents should provide a safe haven for their children.

          I believe that the one thing lacking is just what you mentioned – parents don’t allow children to talk, to express their feelings, their thoughts. Children have a mind of their own and feelings of their own and deserve the right to share those with their parents. Sometimes communication is all that is needed to correct a problem. Sometimes it takes more, but that’s where each individual situation comes into play.

          As for your youngest’s friend, his current situation could be because of how he was disciplined, but it could also be the people who he surrounded himself with outside of the home. I grew up in a home with 4 siblings, in the same environment with the same parents and we all went down different paths – not bad ones mind you, but different. So it’s hard to say exactly why people turn out the way they do. There are many factors. I don’t believe that all the blame can be placed on parents, but I do believe that it does start in the home.

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          • April says:

            It does start at home–and the head scratcher for me with this *friend* of my son’s, who he broke ties to him shortly after high school graduation. His group of peers was the group my son was in. There was a group of them of about 12, who all played backyard football, basketball, disc golf. They were all good kids…except for this one.

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  9. Debby G says:

    My “children” are all grown and 2 of them have children. the parental styles for them are so different. one raised with boundaries and disciplined when necessary, the other 2 are called “feral children” (laughingly, I do hope!), and from descriptions of some of the things they do, I wonder about how it will be in school and life for them. I live a distance away from these 2, so the only contact I have is seeing pictures on Facebook and following their little lives on their. The oldest one lives here with her Mom, and so I do have some input with her. It is not my job, of course, to parent them, but to “grandparent” them? It is a hard thing to watch sometimes.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a grandparent – not to have to full liberty to voice your opinions on how your children raise their own children. I suppose that even as we do our on, we teach all that we can (all that we know) and then hope for the best.

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