Americans totally fail to raise their children. This is a fact that can be easily verified by spending a few minutes in any public place in America. Their kids are extremely rude, noisy, entitled, self-centered, and very unsanitary. These characteristics are so common that many people who have never lived in other cultures and were not exposed to polite, well raised children nor to a successful child-rearing process think that they are inherent to all children. No, they are not. They are a result of a parental failure and the easiest way to corroborate it is to spend some time in those societies that yield polite and respectful kids, for example, in sub-Saharan Africa, and compare.
In most societies around the world, people grow up in overcrowded housing developments exposed to relatives’ and neighbors’ kids every day and participate in raising them every day, just as their parents and grandparents once did. As kids are omnipresent, they interact with them a lot while still being kids themselves, they watch the adults discipline and punish younger children and repeat their actions in similar circumstances, learning this way how to raise them. They know when to discipline and punish a child and how: they also know how and at what occasion to praise it. They know what the desirable standard of behavior is as they were brought up to this standard themselves, and they see younger children being consistently brought up to the same standard. They know what behavior is unacceptable as they were disciplined and punished for this behavior and they see younger children being consistently disciplined and punished for exactly the same.
In these societies there are no “parenting styles”, “parenting experts”, or “parenting classes”. People learn all child-related skills while simply living their lives, and usually they learn it before puberty. They do not over-intellectualize the child-rearing process and apply what they have learned while participating in raising other “village” children. Yes, it does take a village, and in village-like, participating societies people have child-rearing skills and lots of experience before they actually have a child of their own.
American kids grow up in the luxury of separate homes, with their parents only, and are deprived of this valuable experience. They are not exposed to child-rearing processes, and the few of them who have much younger siblings usually witness their parent’s struggle and fail. Their contact with children is limited to occasional part-time babysitting in high school, or on holiday visits to their relatives. They are completely deprived of the valuable lesson of witnessing, participating in, and learning from a successful raising process. They start learning how to raise a child only when they have their own, and so often fail terribly.
As if this was not enough, they see outrageous children’s behavior in public places and entitled parents’ hostile behavior defending their offspring’s “right” to be rude being common that a pattern appears in their minds that this is normal, as this is the only way of dealing with kids they can observe. They witness the disregard and contempt Americans have for a participating society without being aware that rejecting the participation leads to failure in raising kids.
When their own children come into this world, they are lost. They resort to “how to” manuals of doubtful quality written by self-proclaimed “experts” who never participated in raising children except for their own and failed, and who never lived in or even visited a society with polite and respectful children. They resort to “specialists” in “child development” or “child psychology” spawned by universities after a few years of theoretical studies, who run their coaching sessions or write their books based on studies with a small sample group instead of lifelong experience in the cultures successful in child-rearing. They spend a lot of money on “parenting classes” and books or magazines of doubtful quality that are designed or written by theoreticians presenting latest fads of “parenting styles” that change every time the wind blows. By the way, did someone ever check how much all that “parenting style” market is worth? I bet there is huge money behind it. The results of following it are deplorable – American kids, extremely rude, selfish, and entitlement-minded are totally unable to live in a society and to respect the society they live in.
American parents should learn from the societies in which kids are really polite and respectful, like the sub-Saharan African ones, but instead, they dismiss these societies with the contemptuous labels of “poor” or “primitive”. Why reinvent the wheel? The wheel is already there, passed from generation to generation, in a consistent, unchanged form and yielding great results. The American attempts to design the child raising wheel, meanwhile fail and become farther and farther from the desired one, resembling a square rather than a wheel at this moment.
American parents need to wake up, rethink their behavior, and start learning from successful societies instead of learning from “experts” of doubtful credentials who earn a lot of money prescribing recipes for a parental disaster.