Those damn hippies

My husband likes to blame much of society’s ills on what he calls the “hippie generation”. Every time he does, I giggle a little inside, because the term “hippie generation” makes him sound like he’s an extraordinarily crotchety 75-year-old, and while I did bag myself an older husband, he’s not a senior citizen for goodness’ sake. And yes, I’m aware that by saying “goodness sake” I myself sound like I’m 75.

But back to the hippie generation. Among other things, my husband blames problems with the justice system, paroled sex offenders, laxity in the school system, and children’s behavioural issues on those damn hippies. While I may or may not agree with blaming the general downfall of society on one particular group, I do feel that there is far too much laxity with children and behaviour these days.

The thing is, there are a lot of fun and sweet parts to being a parent, but there are a lot of difficult parts too. Difficult: discipline. It is hard to discipline your children, and by discipline of course I mean correcting behaviours and ensuring that your child is not a spoiled brat destined to become a self-indulgent bratty adult with a sense of entitlement. It’s not a fun part of parenting but it is an important and very necessary part, one that does NOT go hand-in-hand with being your child’s best friend.

What I’m saying is, if you set low expectations for your children, they will always fulfill them. If you don’t apply rules and boundaries, your children will have problems. I’m not talking about some craziness a la the Babywise school of parenting, or not picking up your crying baby, or anything silly like that. I’m talking about boundaries, and lessons, and all that other stuff that is not fun. Without knowing where their boundaries are, children become unsure and act out.

I work really hard at teaching manners, instilling respect, and taming behavioural problems as they arise. It sucks, it is not fun, but I work hard at it. When I see five-year-olds slapping their mothers, screaming “Why didn’t you remember my hat? You’re so dumb!”, and falling to the floor shrieking, completely unchecked, I think, those are their peers, who they will be spending the majority of their time with in a few years, and I feel like I’m swimming upstream.


  1. I totally agree with you! If you’ve seen one episode of Super Nanny, I can’t believe what some of these parents put up with, kids hitting their brothers and sisters, swearing to their parents, biting, kicking, screaming, won’t go to bed, etc…

    I want to scream at the TV, its because you’ve let your kids get away with it, that’s why!

    I commend you on your efforts to discipline, its the best thing for your kids!

  2. You’re not alone in your swim upstream. 🙂

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