Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

The Women’s Liberation Movement as all government engineering was supposed to benefit everyone. The promises for women were going to be more independent and fulfilled. Men were going to get more in touch with their feminine side and have less stress. Children were to have happier parents and be provided with a more affluent life style.

Leaving aside the effect of the destructive explosion of single parent families on children, the intact two-parent family is suffering as well. One of the numerous unintended consequences of the radical shift in our culture is the lack of time and energy parents have to be involved with their children. Both parents are supposed to become independent people who usually have different hobbies, exercise schedules, employment obligations and commitments. The responsibilities of raising the children are supposed to shared as equally as possible. The problem is neither one has enough hours in the day to raise their children properly.

Coming to the rescue of these parents are “professionals for hire.” The traditional nanny for the rich is still around to bail out the parents although a host of new options appeared on the scene to meet specific needs of over committed parents. .

Maria Zimmitti, Washington, D.C., child psychologist, is one of many professionals who realized that potty training is a new goldmine. Parents understanding that to satisfy the requirements of the best preschool programs, while reaching a normal milestone of healthy children, potty training has to be accomplished. Parents are panicking that their children will be labeled for not being trained and they do not have the time or competency to complete training on their own.

In the 1950s 90% of children were potty trained by 18 months. Today’s mothers are less motivated to potty train a child with the advent of “pull-ups” that allow mothers to avoid the hassles of washing diapers. Furthermore, the women’s liberation movement has shamed mothers into working outside the home. This makes it less necessary and convenient to accomplish this task.

Besides potty training, today’s parents do not have quantity time to pass on many other necessary skills. Proper speech, morals, perseverance, manners, truthfulness, fine and gross motor skills and a host of other necessities are not being taught by parents in the family home. Parents are absent far too much.

There are many professional specialists who can fill in the voids but at a great cost financially and emotionally. The child’s natural inclination to admire his parents is undermined by the need to chauffer him from one authority figure to another. These experts can compensate for the lack of involvement the parents can provide but the parents lose the magic power of being adored. At best parents can be friends although they can rarely reach the height of inspiring the child the way traditional parents could.

The pre-liberation parents were unavoidable. The mothers were in the home all day and the fathers were intense in their roles when they arrived home after work.
Their power and control was not diluted by other authority figures. Children were trained almost exclusively by their parents. The extended family might chip in but parents had veto power even over them.

Parents were either loved or hated, in both cases the responsibility and commitment were undisputed as well as the impact. Once the children became parents themselves they were socially forced to grow up. They could not remain perennial teenagers; they had to change their life style according to society for the sake of raising healthy children. Parents were expected to be mature enough to remain married even after romantic love faded. The raising of the children fell on the shoulders of the parents not on professionals, the school or the state.

Modern children are no longer protected by societal norms or prepared by the family. Adults, especially females, have a new set of problems with multiple marriages, relationships, blended families and less commitment. The sense of failure, as compared to their parents who seemed to hold things together better, is far greater. The missing ingredient with parents today is their low tolerance for personal sacrifice, which could impede their unrealistic expectations.

The real losers in our modern world are our children. The number of mental disorders, poor school achievement and gender confusion has skyrocketed. American children are weaker physically and mentally.

Without revitalizing motherhood and strong fathers in the family children will continue to be harmed. Both parents involved in everyday problems produce better solutions than one harried parent can. The two gender perspective creates a better balanced child.

Once a child is out of the norm, all the specialists and experts in Johnny’s life cannot put Johnny together again. It is best for the child to have two healthy, involved parents than to have liberated parents each going their own way, having the children raised by others.

Dr. Maglio is the author of Invasion Within and Essential Parenting. He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.


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