There’s an old axiom based upon Biblical advice that states that goes, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” It has, along with most forms of parental discipline, fallen out of favor in modern, Western society.
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
— Proverbs 13:24, the Bible (KJV)
Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
— Proverbs 23: 13-14, the Bible (KJV)
Let’s leave the question of whether or not discipline benefit the child aside for the moment and consider a new proverb, “Spare the rod and raise a douchebag.”
Let us begin with the assumption that if you are a parent, you wish for your child every advantage and opportunity. From the ergonomic high chair to that all-important first sushi experience and beyond, life should be as golden for your little one as it is for, say, Pax Jolie-Pitt.
But inevitably the moment arrives when all your doting and care come back on you in the form of a precocious little barb that reminds you in no uncertain terms of . . . you. It might be that his friend Jake’s eighth-birthday party was “unbelievably lame” or that “it’s weird that Brandon’s family flies first-class and we don’t,” or maybe it’s simply that “these taquitos taste like turd.”
It’s then that you must reckon with the real possibility that your drive to make little Johnny better, smarter, and hipper has merely turned him into a douchebag.
Now Mr. Hochman focuses on the evils of the Liberal urban elites, which is not entirely fair since the problem and problematic end results are endemic across many socio-economic strata of Western society, though the motives of the parents are likely to differ based upon economics, race, and culture. Yet it’s not particularly unfair either since these Liberal urban elites are set up as something akin to role models by the media and have the power to affect laws and policies in ways that make any form of parental discipline impossible or risky.
Now don’t get me wrong, with the surprisingly success of Reality TV, there’s obviously going to be a continuing job market for douchebags, but is raising your progeny to be fit for only that one job such a good idea, especially at the cost of the rest of us having to either put up with them or put them down?