A Generation of Monsters

So asks Judith Woods of Sweden:

Have Sweden's permissive parents given birth to a generation of monsters?

As the children spared the rod comes of age, doubts about the practice are growing, Judith Woods finds {The Telegraph, 13 February 2014}

"A best-selling Swedish academic has concluded that permissive parenting is creating a generation of arrogant young adults who lack social empathy, personal resilience and, after a childhood of pampering, are destined to be bitterly disappointed in life."

Translation: 'How Children Took Power.'

"Saying 'no' to a child is not the same as beating a child. Parents should act like parents, not best friends," says David Eberhard, psychiatrist, father of six and author of How Children Took Power. "They should prepare their kids for adult life by teaching them how to behave, not treat them like princes or princesses. In Sweden, they think that any form of intervention against the child is a sort of molesting."  

And what does Eberhard see as the results? The first set of results are fairly objective, the next more subjective but ultimately more destructive.

  1. Breakdown of discipline in the schools.
  2. Plummeting grades.
  3. Rise in suicide attempts among teenagers.

First country on the planet to ban discipline

Judith woods continues, "Sweden was the first country on the planet to introduce a ban on physical punishment in 1979. Thereafter, the view was taken that hierarchy within families ought to be jettisoned in favour of treating children like adults. "But while the egalitarian values of social democracy might work for the economy, they have been a disaster on the domestic front."

Frank Furedi

"What strikes me as the most disturbing feature of Swedish society is the voluntary abdication of adult authority," says Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent and author of Paranoid Parenting. "It began with stigmatising the punishment of children and mutated into a fear of disciplining them, which is what parents are supposed to do. The area for concern isn't what happens to them as children, but what happens to them as they grow up."

The second set of results...

As a series of articles (for the last several years) in the British press has noted, Ms. Woods writes that something appears to be profoundly wrong in Sweden:

David Eberhard

"Yet it would seem that despite the idyllic picture painted, something is rotten in the state of Sweden. Eberhard points to growing social problems in school, where Swedish pupils routinely refuse to follow teachers' instructions, and later on in what he views as their unfulfilled young adulthood. "International educational comparisons show there is a huge discrepancy between what they achieve and what they think of themselves," he says. "Their expectations are too high and life is too hard for them. We see it with anxiety disorders and self-harming, which has risen dramatically. "

And in Scandinavia, where boundaries have been abolished, Woods quotes psychiatrist Eberhard: "Young people in Sweden tend to be very disappointed in life, especially in their twenties," observes Eberhard. "While there is a falling rate of suicides, there is a huge rise in suicide attempts, especially among girls aged 15 to 25."

Can anyone doubt?

Can anyone doubt that every nation that has followed Sweden, the world's Pied Piper of permissiveness, will likewise lose their children?

It seems that Swedish parents, by every account an intelligent and well-educated lot, have not been able to draw the line in raising their children...between no spanking and total permissiveness. Or as much they have, Swedish children are very apt, with THE LAW ENTIRELY ON THEIR SIDE, TO REDRAW IT TOWARDS TOTAL PERMISSIVENESS.

For more on this, see the article, "Cultural Spillover" concerning how the lack of authority in the Swedish family is spilling over quite destructively into surging crime rates and general lawlessness. This is what Germany too will reap from its outlawing of parent's right to discipline their children. This is what happens when parents can no longer love their children by discipling them so they can go in the right way, the good way, when they are older (Proverbs 13:24 and 22:6)

As Jens Hansegard writes of Dr. Eberhard's findings in the February 14, 2014, Wall Street Journal,

"One example Dr. Eberhard cites: A teacher who confiscates the cellphones of children who text or play games in the classroom will later have to answer to parents who say their children's rights have been violated. Some Swedish teachers end up spending time reasoning with the children to try and get them to put away their cellphones. The same scenario may play out with sending children out of class for talking."

Dr. Eberhard notes that Swedish children routinely make family decisions like what to eat for dinner, what to watch on TV, and where to go on vacation.

"The kids of today, who are the children of parents who did not experience much discipline themselves, become very obstinate and self-centered," says Ida-Maria Lindros, 31, a teacher outside of Stockholm. A typical scene at her school might go like this: "I ask a child to clean up after himself, and he replies 'No, you're not my boss, you cannot decide what I'm supposed to do,' " she says. "They're very anti-authoritarian." (Emphasis added.}

{From the article: "Is Sweden Raising a Generation of Brats?"}

And from the same article, a developmental psychologist notes the very personal consequence of always getting your own way: callousness to others. "If you get your way all the time, you won't develop empathy and you'll have problems respecting other people's wishes," says Beatrice Nystrom, a Swedish developmental psychologist.  

Unexpected consequences attend virtually every human endeavor. But who in their right minds could expect undisciplined children not to turn out self-centered and spoiled? Once the simple, humane, quickly-over-with provision of a simple spanking for wrongdoing is removed -- restoring the damaged parent-child relationship -- then what do you have left? Children growing up with damaged souls, an unbearable burden of guilt they do not even have the capacity to recognize, and an all-too-easily released anger at a world that will not give them their way...immediately. All you have left when the spanking stops is hell breaking loose.

Here's a glimpse: "According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Indeed, according to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates." {Naomi Wolf, "Sweden's Other Rape Victims"}


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