Feb 102009
Authors: Brian Lancaster

You know, it’s a really good feeling to have confidence in yourself or certain ideals you have. There’s nothing better than seeing the strife that other people have to deal with and thinking to yourself, “Man, it’s great that I’ll never have to deal with that.”

Take, for example, my view on children.

Man, it’s great that I’ll never have to deal with that.

You see, something happened this weekend that made me really come to terms with the feelings that I have for parents and their offspring.

I don’t think it would be right to tell you what happened, but I think it is OK for me to let you know that these two parents were very socially irresponsible and left behind a mess that they should definitely have cleaned up.

One other event that has sealed the fate of children and parents around me forever happened at work.

You see, I had a job at a very prominent retail outlet (rhymes with “Barget”), and while I was there, I had to deal with all sorts of different customers.

One group of customers — two parents and their offspring — was looking at buying a portable DVD player. I was helping them, and they were extremely rude.

I’m sure most of us have been in situations such as this before, and let me tell you, I was losing my patience.

But I finally lost it when I reached down to pick up a portable DVD player that they wanted to look at, and the child leaned out of the cart and bit me. Hard.

I want you to imagine what you, as a hypothetical parent, would do if your own flesh and blood decided that biting was an acceptable form of communication.

Would you scold your child, or would you laugh lightly and say “Kids,” as if that comment excused your demon-spawn’s actions?

These parents chose the obvious choice for them (hint: no scolding was involved), and I had to walk away and have someone else help them.

Really, it was for the safety of their child that I did this. They should thank me.

But really, who is to blame here? The child, or the parents who let their children get away with way too much?

Parents, I have a request. It’s a simple one, really, but it will change the world, and the lives of all who walk upon it: Discipline your children!

Spank them, torture them, do whatever it takes to make the fruit of your loins understand that something is wrong. My parents spanked the hell out of me, and I turned out great. The days of “timeouts” and “Think about what you’ve done!” are over, and really, they should never have happened.

Beat your children mercilessly. It doesn’t seem like such a difficult thing to ask, and your child will be better behaved. Not to mention the fact that the people around you will find your subdued child to be such a pleasant young person to be around.

Everyone wins when you discipline your child.

You can tell you’re doing it right if the mere act of raising your hand to wave to a friend sends your child into the fetal position. If the mere act of raising your voice several decibels strikes the fear of God into your child, you’re also on the right track.

Child discipline is something that we, as a society, have gotten way too namby-pamby about. It’s time for change America, and it starts with all of you.

Not me, though. I mean, seriously, I’d make a terrible parent.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major and he is kidding . sort of. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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