Thanks for your response. You raise a good point about not seeing enough in the middle. That certainly is true. But on the other hand, I do see some well adjusted kids, so I'm wondering if maybe why we're not seeing so much in the middle is because that style of parenting lends itself to obscurity.
We went through this self-esteem movement, it seems like a generation ago, that sought to make every child feel special, that they can become anything they want, that everyone's a winner, everyone makes the honor roll. Now today, when kids grow up and get into college or go into the world of work and they discover that there are limitations on their potential and that they are not special, they wind up in therapy because of the way they've been groomed.
I teach the upper level social study electives to the cream of the crop in my high school. These are the kids who have received A's all their lives and have been taught that they are truly special. Then when they get a grade less than an A they and their parents fall apart. Their parents tell them it's not their fault. It's got to be something I'm doing wrong, although 80 percent of my students pass the national exams and get college credit as high school students. Is that the right message to be teaching kids? I've had parents tell me in front of their kids that I give too much homework. Then a year later when that student comes back to school from college for a visit, they tell me they didn't think college would be this intense. That's how their parents have conditioned them. They forget their homework, but manage to remember their iPods and cell phones. They call their parents, who leave work, go home, get the homework and bring it to school, and tell me I'm too demanding about expecting homework on time. This can't be healthy. These kids don't know how to be responsible and they're not being allowed to cope with making mistakes.
When parents provide lame excuses for a child's constant tardiness, what kind of value will that child have on punctuality when they get a job?