Dryer sheet stains drive me nuts. I wish they were formulated a little better, because I like to use them, and I also like to dry on high heat.
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There is a whole generation of parents out there who have made it their job to justify themselves and their own bad parenting with a lot of Facebook memes about how everybody is a bad parent and that’s okay.
There are even movies.
Sorry, but if you say such things, you are a bad parent. Yes, in fact you can be expected to sacrifice anything and everything for your children. Yes, you can be expected to keep your appointments, be on time, dress them properly, not lose your temper, and just generally deal in a grown-up fashion. That’s what parenthood is. If you can’t do these things, you’re not actually parenting, you’re adolescenting.
And on those occasions when you fail, you absolutely should rake yourself over the coals and vow to do better next time, not justify your own failures and aw-shucks about how it’s not a big deal and it’s a normal part of parenting.
People used to worry about the increasing prevalence of incompetent teen parenting, but now the problem is far larger than that—an entire two generations of forty-somethings and thirty-somethings is engaged in self-congratulatory, self-absorbed, incompetent teen-style parenting.
News flash: if you get your kid to school late once, it’s a mistake and a regret and an embarrassment and you should feel pretty bad about it. If you get your kid to school late three times in a week, you just plain suck. No, it is not okay, no it is not understandable, and no, you are not forgiven and still a good parent “just because.”
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Oh, and for those of you saying, “don’t judge?”
We all used to judge. To judge ourselves. To judge each other.
1. The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
Judgment is part of adulthood. The fact that nobody will judge, themselves or anyone else, is why we can’t have nice things, why the middle class is sinking, why people are significantly more idiotic (even if more well-read) than they were a century ago, why the planet is warming, why we are experiencing a regression in maturation over generations (60 year olds are now like 30 year olds once were, 40 year olds are now like 15 year olds once were, and 18 year olds are now like 10 year olds once were in terms of emotional maturity).
We have a responsibility, if we want to have a society that works, to constitute standards of judgment and to judge ourselves and others strictly according to these standards.
That is the only known way in which society can flourish and endure. It doesn’t matter which particular branch of social science you look at, they all concur: norms are cultural, norms are necessary, and so are sanctions if norms are to exist at all.
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I don’t know why it started with dryer sheets.
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Less self-acceptance. More guilt when there is actual culpability.
That is what we need right now.