Tough Love: Raising Twins to Understand That Discipline is for Their Own Good

I never really paid much attention to the parenting disciplines of others until I started teaching at the local college. I believe it was my second year teaching and a young girl wrote me an e-mail in all capital letters demanding her grade be changed.

As I thoroughly checked all her grades and responded graciously, I thought I better share this with my department head who was very glad I did. She went to him to file a complaint. This student and her parents had a meeting with him that very afternoon. “Suzie” threw a massive temper tantrum because she wasn’t getting any credit for her work. Well, she did the wrong assignments and being understanding to the fact that college is a difficult transition and most of my students had full-time jobs, I decided to give her a chance to turn in the correct assignments. She didn’t want to redo them;
she wanted credit for the work she did. After all, she spent a lot of time on them.

This right here was the first sign that there was a new generation popping up of self-indulged, over pampered, under disciplined “adults” and it scared me.

Her parents wanted to know why I was giving their perfect daughter zeros for her work. When my department head presented them with what was assigned and what was turned in, I’m guessing they were embarrassed because the situation was never brought up again.

The fact that I was called into my boss’s office, the fact that this goes in my “folder”, and the fact that I have to, along with my colleagues, walk on egg shells to make sure we don’t upset our students is absurd. Sadly, this is the reality for many professions right now.

I would have never behaved like this when I was a student. If I didn’t get my work done or if I was late, I didn’t cry about it. I sucked it up and learned the world doesn’t revolve around me! I can’t properly teach students to be prepared for their real world and their field if I have to coddle them all along the way. At some point, reality has to be exposed for the often cold and hard world it really is. And sometimes, the sooner, the better.

So, what changed? Where or when did this shift in parenting happen?

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