Friday, December 23, 2016


This is a good primer on 'Respect'.

Parenting a child without any negative reinforcement (criticism) is unhealthy. How that negative reinforcement is bestowed definitely matters. But always applauding everything a child does creates an addiction to validation (dependency) in that child. Proponents of 100% positive reinforcement don't have much to show as evidence of this approach's benefit to society as children progress into adulthood. The current wave of narcissistic and parent-dependent millennials of the dwindling middle class in the U.S. has been widely criticized by educators and employers.

Socio-economics determine the nuances of child-rearing in a capitalist society. This is a layer of influence which enhances or detracts from the personalities involved in child-rearing. A stressed single mother who is struggling to function will not have much to give to a small child, despite her perception that she is doing everything right. The child will be imprinted by her stress and insecurity in some fashion. If she chooses to applaud every behavior the child does, good or bad, she will instill a sense of entitlement that child will carry for life. Since poor children statistically become poor adults in capitalist societies, the entitled adolescent and adult is more likely to be exploited by criminals or abusers if they provide the validation upon which that child depends. This has been shown in studies of gang members, for instance.

The concept that respect is earned by respect requires some firm limits on childish selfishness, combined with education. Positive reinforcement for respectful behavior can then cement the lesson into good habits for a lifetime. The shrill demand for respect by the uneducated as they bully in an attempt to gain it belies poor parenting, which may well be perceived by the bully as a norm in his/her social context. This does not make it respectable. The current trend of multiculturalism tends to deflate higher standards of behavior for those from poorer groups in society out of a misguided attempt to be compassionate. This is not compassionate. It is disabling. Hence the high rates of incarceration and unemployment in those groups.

The most valuable validation is self-validation for a life which has been lived ethically, nonviolently and generously. Ultimately, self-judgment is the key to happiness or misery.

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