Three incidents in the news caught the Barometer’s eye that involve “parenting,” and bad judgment.
1. The kiddos storming Senator Diane Feinstein’s office, demanding action on climate change. Most analyses of the video focused on Senator Feinstein’s alleged arrogance in responding to the lads and lassies. The Barometer watched the video and wondered in awe at what kind of parents allow their children to experience that level of fear. Visions of sugar plums do not dance in these kids’ heads — they have had apocalyptic tales tossed hither and yon so much that what they seem to know, with great conviction, is that death, destruction, and dogs and cats living together (to quote the Ghostbusters) are a mere 12 years away. The cherubs have turned out to be a litigious bunch, bringing suit to halt their nightmares, via judicially imposed green dreams, plans, or beheadings. One, brought by Our Children’s Trust, is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As Paul Tice pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, the last time kids took the lead on moving social policy the kids got hurt. The crusades of children through Germany and France to liberate Jerusalem ended badly — many of the children died and many were sold into slavery.
How about a little parenting that allows children to spend their time amongst the flora and fauna that we do have or even experience the concrete of an urban skate park before we offer them up as plaintiffs and activists in Senate offices? How about if we parents provide them with a secure environment, a solid education, and the assurance that society has the both the capacity and [some] adults to address dangers.
2. The slapping your child in the face with cheese squares. You have no doubt seen the videos of the toddlers having a slice of cheese hurled at them. The poor tots are visibly stunned by what has hit them. Several of them cannot see and do not yet have the motor skills to reach up and remove the Velveeta or Kraft square from their noses and foreheads.
Parents today clearly have too much time to spare. How on earth did this activity start? Now there is not only the fear that polar bears will be roaming their Santa Clara neighborhoods foraging for small children because of melting ice but that somewhere out there is a cheese slice with their name on it (both thanks to their parents).
3. The college admissions cheating. Words have not yet been invented to describe the parents who did this “for their children.” With this parental activity, the three examples come together into one common theme. Children are not props, children are not our entertainment, and children are not trophies that we hold up to show the world what we have produced. However, in this case, photo alterations, cash, and grad students changing exam scores produced the results. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2. At some point, these sad youth will awaken and realize that the accomplishments their parents had painted, plastered, and baling wired on to them did not give them the skills, knowledge, or fortitude they needed to survive in a rugged world. In the quest to give their children everything, these parents deprived their children of what they needed most — work, resiliency, and humility born of the blessing of failing once in awhile.
As in business, the quest to make the numbers at any cost and by any means, gets you the numbers, but it kills the company.
Climate change, American cheese, and cheating — all with the common thread of parents who forgot to nurture, support, and set an example.