Elizabeth Kolbert's article Spoiled Rotten stirred up some food for thought for many people. It raised the question about whether or not kids in America lack discipline. It also makes it clear about why kids need discipline.
The article discusses how kids in other cultures seem to be more responsible. Anthropologists have discovered that young children in other cultures do household chores without being asked and don't ask for anything in return.
This is in stark contrast to many American homes where parents beg kids to pick up their own toys. Do American parents expect too little from their children?
Obviously there is a balance to be struck. In a world where we don't depend on child labor, kids have the luxury of having a childhood. They don't have to work in the fields in order to survive.
However, it seems to be true that many kids aren't gaining the skills they need to become responsible adults. They spend their hours playing with expensive toys and aren't learning life skills.
Clearly a balance needs to be struck. Kids can have fun but they also need to spend their childhood learning the skills they will need to be successful adults. Parents need to use effective discipline strategies to ensure that children are able to tolerate being uncomfortable, can manage their emotions, and behave responsibly.