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The Therapy Sessions
Tuesday, June 01, 2004

More baby boomer screw-ups

Time for parents to reclaim control

Ain't it the truth?
In 1964 philosopher Joseph Wood Krutch said, "It is sometimes easier to head an institute for the study of child guidance than it is to turn one brat into a decent human being." The prescient Mr. Krutch foresaw today's surfeit of both spoiled brats and institutes for the study of child guidance.

Thirty-five years ago the Woodstock generation, confident of its intellectual and moral superiority, set about remaking the world in its own image. Along the way it has jettisoned many of the principles, values and institutions that were the foundation of the free, strong and prosperous America that their forebears labored 200 years to build.

Baby boomers parlayed their numerical superiority with a beguiling siren song that promised the indolent something for nothing and pleasure seekers the right to no-fault pleasures, while lulling the foolish to sleep. Positioning themselves in academia, the media and politics, they set about supplanting sturdy principles like right and wrong, morality and immorality, and reality and unreality with a mantra of enlightened self-fulfillment legitimized by a personal - and infinitely adaptable - moral code.

I wish I had written that.

And not long after I did read it, I read this article about one of those baby boomers mucking things up, trying to make punishments feel good: Infractions land teens in an oasis

Gone are the days of sentencing Cherry Hill's class-cutters, bathroom smokers, and other bad actors to in-school suspension: plain cinder-block walls and ominous silence.

Jim Loretta presides over the in-school support program at High School East: hot tea and granola bars for all who enter, a bubbling waterfall, a room organized along the gentle lines of feng shui.

The reasons the students arrive are the same. The looks of the room, the way they feel about it, Loretta says, are not.

He knows, he knows. Aromatherapy, books about Buddha, and finding your chi might not seem like they have a place in a place designed to straighten out the wayward.

It works wonders, he says. I hope he's right, but it sounds like bullshit to me.

Punishments should feel like punishments. We are trying to deter, not reward, bad behavior, aren't we?

Ah, the baby boomers...and it will only get worse when these self-absorbed, guilt-free, pleasure whores start retiring.

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