Unless you're a hermit or an ostrich, you have noticed how mean, thoughtless, and rude today's kids are. Of course, I'm speaking in generalities.

Yes, we can compare them to us "perfect" kids of yesteryear, who routinely addressed adults as "ma'am" and "sir," and who behaved in many other ways contrary to the surly attitudes that prevail among today's youth.

Such comparisons, however, serve no purpose. Before a solution can ever be proffered to reverse the degradation into which these children have fallen, we need to identify the causes of it.

Just as in a nervous breakdown of an individual, I believe that there are multiple contributory reasons for the breakdown of this segment of society.

Basic reason #1 is the extreme condition of abuse of children that is so prevalent throughout the world today. Abuse takes multiple forms identified as physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and societal, which are the ones that come readily to my mind.

Just in our family alone, I know of four cases of sexual abuse. (Mind you, ours is what one would perceive of as a "normal" family, not one given to societal problems. We all are responsible citizens with all the "normal" trappings that entails.)

Of course, the multiple forms of abuse overlap and cause extensive psychological problems in later life that may never be overcome.

Chances are that the same children who endure abuse also suffer from neglect, which could fall into any of the categories of abuse cited above.

To me, children who suffer neglect are readily apparent all around us. They are the ones who stand out in public because of their lack of training and discipline. They are loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate, and extremely selfish. They are the ones who cause disruptions in schools, in restaurants, and other public places.

It's not the children's fault, of course. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of their "parents," who do not bother to take the time to teach them manners and how to act in public.

Many parents are simply abdicating their parental roles. They send their unruly offspring to public schools to be "taught" by the system.

There the children are labelled as A.D.D. or A.D.H.D., and their "parents" then whisk them off to the medical establishment to be drugged even more senseless with Ritalin or that ilk, only to become victims of substance abuse.

It strikes me as awfully peculiar that so many children suddenly have these "afflictions," when they were unheard of not so many years ago. (Many alternative health care practitioners have proven that these "conditions" are not medical, but the result of poor diets.)

Personally, I truly believe that, in many cases, these so-called "conditions" are not only diet related, but a direct result of a lack of discipline, consistently applied. Note the operative word: "consistently."

As one very wise preacher has stated, while endorsing the "spare the rod, spoil the child" axiom, applying the rod to the gluteus maximus gives the cerebral cortex a whole new revelation!

On the other side of the "extreme" kid coin are those who are pampered. No expense is spared to provide these little darlings with every imaginable device to protect their bodies.

It boggles my mind how we were allowed to ride our bikes all over the neighborhood with no helmets perched on our little heads-and we lived to tell about it! Helmets for bicyclists were unheard of until a few years ago, when someone in the bike gear industry introduced these fancy-looking things to produce more profits.

It always amazes me how gullible the public is. They will buy anything and everything, just because it's new, and they want to be the first in the neighborhood to have one.

Along that same line, kids no longer can wear a pair of just plain old tennis shoes (aka sneakers or gym shoes). Oh, no... they have to have shoes for running, a different pair for walking, another for playing, another for wrestling, etc., etc., ad nauseum-still another profit ruse thrust upon the dupable public.

It is so disgusting to hear one of these pampering parents talking the daylights out of their kids, begging and pleading with them to do or not to do something or other. They make idle threats and then fail to follow through. Morons! Instead of taking charge of the kids, they allow the kids to tell them how it's going to be.

Instead of firmly announcing to the child that "Dora, bedtime is in ten minutes; time for you to pick up your toys," one of these doting dummies will say, "Honey, are you ready for bed?" Now, what's the kid going to say? "Oh, yes. I thought you'd never ask!"

Has anyone ever watched "Super Nanny" or some such titled show on television lately? It's totally unbelievable to me that these so-called "parents" have abandoned their God-given roles and relinquished their authority to these little monsters.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that I'm in favor of beating the meanness out of them (although there sometimes is no alternative for effective discipline other than a good old-fashioned spanking). What I am saying is that, if people are going to bring children into the world, then they should be willing to be responsible for them and to them.

That means training them from the cradle and not waiting until "someday" when they're "old enough." Hogwash!

Sometimes I wonder which is worse, the blatantly abusive parent or the patently pampering one? I know, I know... at first take, it seems obvious. But think about it. At least abused children know where they stand. Pampered children are confused, to say the least.

Either way, extremes with children are not good. The Bible says to exercise moderation in all things. "Train a child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6. No one said it better than our Lord!

Author's Bio: 

The writer spent her early years in the legal arena and the last 23 years in property management. She has been an avid Bible student since 1987 and became an online publisher in 2001. She still publishes her bi-weekly ezine, 'elf Expressions Ezine, a collection of positive tips, hints, and advice offered with humor, inspiration, and other goodies for anyone who is inclined to read. The emphasis these days is on the finer points of Christianity. Guidance, mentoring, inspiration, English lessons, editing, and proofreading services for entrepreneurs and online marketers are also offered. Subscribe if you like at http://www.elfexpressionsezine.com.