... and maybe your nose.
Yes, I am about to post a link here that some of you may seriously not appreciate. The message is so accurate, though, that I am going to do so.
Here is the Southpark episode, "Tsst"
There's just too much to say about how spot-on accurate this episode is. And I am too very out of time to go much into it. But if you want to see:
+ The problem with how we raise children
+ The solution to it
+ And why we fail to implement the solution
... this is a fantastic 20 minutes.
If you would rather not spend 20 minutes watching some pretty vile comedy, here's a summary.
Erik Cartman is the ultimate spoiled brat. His single mother simply cannot control him, and in fact, relies on him for much of her self-image. Finally, though, it's too much, and she hires Nanny 911. Cartman has 2 nannies for breakfast. In a fit of desparation, she brings in the Dog Whisperer.
This guy's got it right. Seriously. Everything he says is spot-on. He encourages mom to quit being a wimp, and exert true, meaningful dominance. I have only heard one other man get it so right, and he was a dog trainer too. The point is not to treat children like pets, but to expect reasonable respect without being played like a kazoo. Mom is able to do so with a little coaching, and her son begins to experience real, valuable, and edifying change.
It turns out she was able to take control of her son, because she thought she was getting close to the Dog Whisperer. As soon as he leaves for his next gig, she turns to her son for comfort, and undoes all the good that had been accomplished (thereby saving the show from ending.)
Moral: To the degree we are unable to bear the mantle of parent, our children will pay.