11.1.13

RECLAIMING THE CULTURE

David Swindle calls out the perpetual adolescents of the 1960s for the consequences, irrespective of ideology, of their wishful thinking.
The answer to both a Baby Boomer Liberalism and Baby Boomer Conservatism who refuse to act on the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Some born after World War II have shed their diapers and grown up; Boomer Americanism — a movement to define and promote American values — is the phoenix rising from the ashes of a conservative movement that officially died on November 6, 2012.
That's a Pajamas Media polemic. The good news is that more serious, systematic analysis is suggesting something similar.
[Family psychologist John] Rosemond believes that the changing society of the 1960s, when old methods were challenged and often rejected, led to a breakdown in parenting.

As a result, kids today, Rosemond says, are ill-behaved, impolite, beset with emotional problems and not as happy as kids were back in the 1950s. They're a mess.

"I realized in the late '70s, early '80s that a, psychological teaching was inadequate to explain human behavior, and b, a lot of theories proposed at that time were unsupported by research," he said recently from California, where he was speaking to several parents groups.

Rosemond's solution is a return to the child-raising strategies of 50 years ago. That's not what the authors of hundreds of contemporary "how to raise your kids" books might have in mind.

"Parenting books are a tremendously lucrative enterprise for publishers because of these neuroses that have been instilled in female parents," Rosemond said. "These books continuously raise the bar for parents."

He said that tried-and-true parenting methods are the answer. Society's willingness to try something new and unproven has failed, as evidenced in what he said is the unraveling of longtime values.

"Times always change with every generation," Rosemond said. "Every generation has brought innovation into civilization. The argument that we have to change is specious. ... when we became a fully fledged postmodern progressive culture, all that changed, in the 1960s."

What went wrong? And can 21st century society turn back the clock to 1955?

"You have to separate wheat from the chaff, which we didn't do," Rosemond said. "We embraced everything. We bought into the notion that we had to completely change the way to raise our children. No culture had ever done that before. People need to hold onto proven child-rearing principles in changing times.

"What I say in the book is we are not better off. These fundamental principles work — it doesn't matter if you use a cellphone or a landline, or if you drive the latest high-tech car or a 1960 Volkswagen. These principles work."
Mr Rosemond elaborates on his arguments in his new Parent-Babble: How Parents Can Recover from Fifty Years of Bad Expert Advice.  Fifty years: about the same time that the North Shore Line went out of business, and The America That Worked came undone, and The Best And Brightest promised victory over poverty, and Communism contained in Southeast Asia, and the three major networks began stationing more reporters in Washington than in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles.  I may not live long enough to see all the damage undone, but perhaps I can chronicle the beginning of the repairs.

I'll be encouraged when I see the end of the locution "It's the twenty-first century" as if that justifies some new barbarism.

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