SOCIETY WRIT LARGE: A Child’s Temper Tantrum

by Les Weaver
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

A little boy sits on the floor, playing with a toy car. It is his favorite toy that has incurred a lot of use. Suddenly a wheel comes off. It is repairable but rather than display patience, he throws it across the room, damaging it beyond repair. Seeing the damage, his rage turns to tears. He has destroyed his toy, dented the wall-board and left it in need of a paint touch-up.

His little sister has learned from her brother so when her dolly’s arm comes loose from its socket, she displays an equivalent temper and flushes that arm down the toilet. When it disappears under the rising water, she begins to cry at the loss. As you might imagine, that resulted in a plugged toilet and the arm was destroyed during extraction from its watery grave.

Now what is a loving parent to do? How great is the parent that purchases a new toy for the boy and a new doll for the girl? That solution would surely cool the tempers and stop the tears. But the cost goes well beyond the purchase price of the destroyed toys.

By being the “caring parent” we have taught them that when a new toy is desired: just throw a temper tantrum, destroy the old one, and shed tears at the loss. The “caring parent” will respond with the gift of a newer toy car and a more richly dressed doll. The only punishment will be a soon forgotten threat; “Don’t you ever do that again, now go play nice”.

Then ten, twenty, thirty years later, we read about a “Watts” or a “Ferguson”. The reason the wheel or arm came off is not considered. The same child mentality is for the parent- government to respond by creating a newer, larger community. That child, now an adult, has learned that a temper tantrum begets the reward of a rebuilt city, paid for by those that didn’t break it. And all the while, the child blames the parent for their temper tantrum.

And so the wheel goes around, generation after generation. Even as adults, the child has not learned to take care of their toys. The “good parent” continues to pacify the child that exercises the temper tantrum; this as solution to all that is broken.

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tacitrequiem/2801158109/

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