The Woosification of America: The Beginning
I grew up in Long Island, New York in the 70's and 80's. My childhood was like most kids who grew up during that era. We went to school, came home, did our homework, and then jumped on our bikes to meet our friends. Most of the stories you see online about growing up in the 70's and 80's are true. If we drank water, we drank from a hose. We were expected to be home by the time the street lights came on, and if we were late, there were consequences.
For the most part, our parents had no clue where we were. The rule was to call once we got to our friends house, but if we were playing in the streets or the park, we just went home when we had to eat or go to the bathroom. To illustrate this point further, the local TV Stations would have a PSA. It's 10 PM, Do you know where your children are?
We were raised with expectations. In addition to regular school, most of the kids went to either Sunday School or Hebrew School where we were taught "Honor your father and mother". This commandment extended beyond the home. We were expected to represent our family name outside the house and we were fearful of doing anything that might disappoint Mom or Dad. Mom and Dad were not our friends. They were our first authority figures. They were to be respected and the last thing any of us wanted was for a teacher or coach to send a note home.
As a kid, I remember running home to intercept the mail from school. I was so worried about what type of trouble I would be in if my parents received a poor Mid Term report from the school. When I was growing up, regardless of the circumstances, my parents always sided with the teacher. If we got into a fight, the first question was not "Are you ok?" instead, it was "What did you do?". At some point, parenting by expectations changed. The responsibility for good grades and good behavior switched from the child to the teacher.
The Woosification of America is not about how much better life was in the 70's and 80's. Rather what I feel is an over correction of society. At some point, we went from parents who would neglect their kids to helicopter parents. Our parents should not have needed a commercial to remind them to check on their kids. Children should have been wearing seatbelts and it was crazy to have jungle gyms build on school parking lots. Unfortunately, we went from parents not showing up to their kids games and telling their kids "find a ride home" to parents sitting through practices and blaming the coach for their child's lack of playing time. This over correction is not the fault of Democrats, Republicans, Obama, Trump, or Biden. Rather, its a slow deterioration of our Country which can be traced to each one of us. We all have a responsibility on how we raise the next generation. The Woosification of America did not happen overnight and the solution will take time and effort by each of us.