In Brief... World News Review
A Book About a Spoiled Generation
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"Attention, parents. Better yet, attention parents, grandparents, future parents and [future] grandparents," wrote columnist Betsy Hart in November 2003.
She went on to advocate that her readers run, not walk to the nearest bookstore to purchase two recently published books on parenting. This World News and Prophecy writer took her advice, but I recommend only one of the books: The Epidemic—The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children by Dr. Robert Shaw with Stephanie Wood. They capture a "snapshot" of this generation, illustrated by these quotations:
"Far too many children today are sullen, unfriendly, distant, preoccupied... They whine, nag and throw tantrums and demand constant attention from their parents..."
"Take a good look around you. Can you go into stores, restaurants, or libraries without seeing [and hearing] joyless children screaming, sulking, resisting their parents...?"
"Do you not notice all the whining, bickering, tantruming... while parents, in turn, nag, complain, and often try desperately to ignore their unruly, surly offspring?"
With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Dr. Shaw lists "15 ways to ruin your child and your life," both advising people on what not to do and commenting on what he sees parents doing. They include: "Keep yourself stressed and busy. Give in to your child's whims... and demand nothing in return. Let your child think he is the boss of the universe. Don't subscribe to a code of ethics or morality that can override your own impulses—and definitely don't expose your child to such a code."
The book is worth reading, not only to find out what is going wrong, but also for some sound advice on what to do about it. Perhaps without knowing so, Dr. Shaw and Ms. Wood confirm the prophecy of 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
"You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly" (New Living Translation).
—Sources: Betsy Hart, "Spare the Rules, Spoil the Child," Scripps Howard News Service, Nov. 7, 2003; Dr. Bernard Shaw with Stephanie Wood, The Epidemic, 2003.