...Natalie Munroe is right. (Updated: the article no longer exists, because Yahoo is stupid) As usual, I will attempt to keep this brief.
Many kids today are exhibiting negative behaviors that result from poor (or lack of) parenting, school systems that have backed away from accountability, and a media that feeds them the most assanine ideas about social relationships and gender roles.
If you raise a child to believe that the most important thing is what they want in the moment - by tolerating temper tantrums instead of controlling them, by being overly apologetic, by coming across indecisive and weak, by giving them everything they demand - then that child will, really through no fault of their own, grow up with a distorted sense of their place in the world, and with little coping ability when their wishes are denied.
If you raise a child in avoidance of all pain, they will be unable to handle most forms of physical and emotional pain and struggle, they will become angry when confronted with situations that lower their level of contentment, and they will be incapable of doing those things which bring them greatest success - because great success is very difficult.
Children. Need. Standards. They need a bar that is set in plain view and they need to be told that it is their job, with parental guidance, to reach or exceed it.
Parents. Need. To. Discipline. If therapy is required for you to overcome the trauma of a light spanking when you were three, then get therapy. Only through limits, expectations, and correction will your children have a chance at being the best they can be, at contributing to our great society in beneficial ways, at having a single hope of maintaining functional, loving, other-directed relationships.
If you want your kid(s) to be angry, resentful, impatient, disrespectful, and distant, then go ahead and ignore standards and discipline and excellence. They will never truly be able to love you, and I can only believe they will accuse you of being a poor parent when they are finally grown (however long that now takes).
School districts need to equally respect the students and support the teachers, be an example and a guide for parents who may not have made the best choices, and always, ALWAYS expect the best from everyone involved. The only way to truly leave a child behind is to let them believe they're still in the race.
The media needs to stop portraying all kids as entitled brats and parents as impotent bystanders; I firmly believe that when this began, the most impressionable adults fell for it, and the disease spread from there.
Some people believe that the "disengaged, lazy whiners" Ms. Munroe lets off steam about in her blog will be hit with the hard reality of the capitalist workforce and true self-sufficiency once they become adults. Some will; some will adjust, however grudgingly. But I believe that enough of them will fight back against this sudden influx of rules and standards and rigidity to stage a quiet revolution. To bring an already crippled economy and social structure to its knees and then a painful, irreversible death.
I hope I am wrong. The comments on the article linked to above show that there are many, many people who recognize the problem, understand its roots, and feel the time has come to do something before it's too late.
My question is - will we?