04.15.09 10 years ago 7 Comments

Sports is just one of the instruments used by disillusioned mothers to make their children feel special. Whether it’s giving everyone a trophy at the end of a winless season or even not keeping score during games, children today are being isolated from true competition. The Minnesapolis Star-Tribune asks an obvious question — are America’s children spoiled little assholes? At least today we get the right answer.

Dr. Ernie Swihart, an author and behavioral pediatrician at South Lake Pediatrics in Minnetonka, decried the self-esteem movement from its inception. Then, as now, he believed kids should be taught to be inwardly focused, self-sufficient creatures able to shift their own gears.

Real self-esteem — for all of us — comes from overcoming an obstacle-laden challenge, he believes, with hard work. Lavishing praise, he contends, is counterproductive and, if anything, makes kids needy and voracious for that other self-esteem-movement buzzword: validation.

“It’s had serious repercussions,” Swihart said. “These young adults who were raised in the ’80s, now in their 20s and in the workplace — those who received praise, rewards and prizes for everything they did without working very hard — often are very entitled and self-absorbed.

Crybaby children produce crybaby adults? Who could have seen that coming? Aside from everyone not insulating their children’s lives. And I realize many parents don’t do that, and I salute them. Whenever I see a child getting spanked in a grocery store, I just turn around and politely applaud. Usually, they let me take a swing at the little brat, and who’s gonna turn that down?

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