The Right Coast

December 09, 2005
Parenting today
By Tom Smith

This is interesting. Are small kids today bratty due to indulgent parenting? I don't really know. I don't spend a lot of time in urban cafes peopled by hip young parents. Seems possible. My children are pretty well behaved, if I say so myself. One time at a TGIF, a man came up to me and said "I just want to compliment you on how well behaved your boys are." I was really tempted to trot out my line, "It's amazing what you can do with a taser," but it would have been rude. The boys and I had some yuks about it later, however. And no, I don't really use a taser. I got some emails about that line last time I used it. I do have an invisible fence for my dogs, though, and those things work. Another time, a man complimented me on how well behaved our boys were on a cross country flight. We had just landed. For the last hour, William, then maybe 5, had been complaining about his stomach. As soon as the man spoke, I knew he had radically altered the karmic balance. William leaned over and threw up all over his shoes. And I don't mean just a little puke either. Those shoes were done, that's for sure. The man was very nice about it, however. We send our kids to a Catholic school where the discipline is, IMHO, rather too strict. Maybe it is different at the public schools; I don't really know. I think I might be out of touch.