GROW UP: PARENTING WARS WITH JOHN STOSSEL
Airs Saturday and Sunday at 10PM ET on Fox News Channel
Stossel offers some new ideas on parenting to help your kids GROW UP!
FREE-RANGE KIDS: Lenore Skenazy was called "America's Worst Mom" because she let her 9-year-old ride the subway alone. She says kids benefit from less supervision and more independence. Critics say "free range" parenting is irresponsible and dangerous. They could get abducted by a stranger! They could, but why so much fear now when abductions are extremely rare, and crime is at a 50 year low?
OK ... FREE-RANGE KIDS?
Back in the Dark Ages when I was a little girl my mother would send my brother and I (ages 6 and 4) to the liquor store to buy milk for her BY OURSELVES. And we had to cross a big old boulevard to get there. We were given money, told not to talk to strangers and wait for the man to give you the change and off we went totally oblivious to kidnappers and murderers. Was it wise? Personally, I couldn't tell you, but we're both still here and basically sane.
WUSSIFICATION: Trophies used to be an award for winning. Now, kids get a trophy just for showing up. Does this turn them into wimps? Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes says yes, because kids "learning to lose, learning to fail" is "what childhood is all about." Parenting blogger Jenn-Anne Gledhill says, "you call it wussification, I'm going to go ahead and call it a spiritual awakening."
GOD ALMIGHTY WE'VE ABSOLUTELY WUSSIFIED OUR KIDS TODAY and Jenn-Anne Gledhill is a moron. What she calls spiritual awakening I call wussification. If everyone wins then what makes winning special? If everyone wins a trophy there's no real meaning in that. No victory. No real success. This not how the world works. Everyone is NOT a winner. Some people get D's on their report cards, some people get fired from their jobs, and other people have to take a lot of crap at work to collect their paycheck. IT'S CALLED LIFE PEOPLE and sometimes people are big old losers. Kids need to learn how to lose and realize they are not the center of the fucken Universe. Some people do things better than others. The sooner you learn that the better off you'll be. No one claps for me when I arrive at work in the morning like I'm Oprah Winfrey. WAH WAH WAH.
THE TIGER-MOM: Western parents were shocked by Amy Chua's strict Chinese parenting methods: her daughters were forced to practice piano several hours every day; they couldn't have sleepovers or watch TV. Chua even called her own daughter "garbage" once. Is it too extreme? What do Chua's daughters say, now that they're older? We asked them if they even like their mom.
Mrs. Chua needs a boot up her ass. Her children are not HER. They are individuals. They have their own personalities and character traits. I think if I'd had a tiger mother like her I'd have grown up to be a serial killer. And the first person I'd kill would be her.
GENDER NEUTRAL KIDS: Some parents say kids should choose if they want to be a boy or a girl. Dr. Leonard Sax says it's a grave mistake "to put our heads in the sand and pretend that gender doesn't matter."
Dr. Leonard Sax is an asshole. Little boys like to play with trucks and little girls like to play with dolls. IT'S SCIENCE. Unless you're blind you will be able to figure if your kid is gay or straight or transgender. JEEZ.
DELAYED GRATIFICATION: Some psychologists say success on the famous marshmallow tests (can the child delay eating one, to get two treats 15 minutes later?) is the biggest predictor of success in kids' lives. Kids who can delay gratification do much better in life, get better grades in school, make more money, and are happier than those who can't.
Well that explains it. You have your successful children who can wait to eat a marshmallow and then you have your unsuccessful children who can't. Personally, if your kid can wait to eat a marshmallow that is sitting right in front of him then I'm sorry to tell you but your kid is weird. Any NORMAL self-respecting kid is going to shove that marshmallow in his face the second you leave the room. THAT'S NORMAL. HE'S A KID. So your ridiculous little test sucks.
Until next time ...