Back when I was raising my kids, the buzz word was self esteem. With Barney telling kids they were special because they knew how to carry out cellular respiration and "experts" saying that telling your children "no" was tantamount to letting them use a plugged in toaster for a bath toy, for some odd reason I actually used my brain and thought about it when my daughter was born.
How can a kid know right from wrong if they're never taught right from wrong? How can a kid aspire to be good at something if everyone is equally good because they simply showed up?
Sorry, but I think that's the Barbara Bush school of child rearing.
The question of nature and nuture have been coming up a lot as my daughter has been working with kids at a summer camp program that don't all come from ideal families. Ironically, the same questions have been coming up with me as I look at certain adults around me and wonder what the hell happened in their youth to make them SO FUCKING ANNOYING.
It's interesting to get into deep discussions with my daughter about all the ways a parent can screw up a kid. She's starting to get insight into some of the kids that she goes to high school with who annoy her.
But as she states, just because you might understand someone's background, it doesn't always take away that innate desire to cold cock them.
I think my opening salvo regarding self esteem comes into play with certain adults I know. Certain adults that tell you how they are an expert at this and an expert at that and they have been using a certain knowledge set for TWENTY YEARS. Then, when the rubber meets the road, you discover a cold hard fact.
They are full of shit.
That all of the bluff and bluster has come down to the fact that you, personally, have more knowledge about the subject due to the fact that you know how to carry out cellular respiration AND you love to watch This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop.
Having confidence in the abilities that you possess is a fabulous thing.
Having confidence that no one will ever test your bravado? A definite piss in a windstorm.
What's so funny about the adults I know with this problem is that they, no doubt, were demeaned in their early years. They were put down, their opinions were not taken into account, and they had no self esteem. Now, thanks to years of hard work and proper living, they have developed their self esteem in something so large that it threatens to trample everyone in its path. Unfortunately, if you actually stand up to these Godzillas of Ego, they will perpetrate upon you exactly what was perpetrated upon them when they were young.
You will be squashed.
Please make a note of it.