A Lost Art: Instilling Respect

Patricia Dalton – Washington Post

September 11, 2007

There’s been a fundamental change in family life, and it has played out over the years in my office. Teachers, pediatricians and therapists like me are seeing children of all ages who are not afraid of their parents. Not one bit. Not of their power, not of their position, not of their ability to apply standards and enforce consequences.

I am not advocating authoritarian or abusive parental behavior, which can do untold damage. No, I am talking about a feeling that was common to us baby boomers when we were kids. One of my friends described it this way: “All my mother had to do was shoot me a look.” I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was a look that stopped us in our tracks — or got us moving. And not when we felt like it. Now.

These days, that look seems to have been replaced by a feeble nod of parental acquiescence — and an earnest acknowledgment of “how hard it is to be a kid these days.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/10/AR2007091001174.html