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

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

Americans are unwittingly being deprived of experiences that build character. Our children are chauffeured from one adult-supervised extracurricular activity to another.  They are hardly ever left alone with peers to learn their own way to handle social difficulties.

Our families are splintering. Even intact ones are living separate existences. Parents are working or involved in different pastimes.  Children have their virtual reality in the world of electronics, while their parents are doing something else. There are few occasions to eat together to teach and discuss important things. We have become so affluent that everyone is able to do his own thing.

In order to learn important natural laws of reality, you have to be given opportunities to learn from your own mistakes. An existence that allows a person to confront the effects of his choices teaches many lessons. Parents should no longer hover over their children to bail them out of their lousy choices nor should the “nanny state” attempt to take care of people from cradle to grave. Both attempts  at protecting a person from making unacceptable decisions breed dependency that inhibit maturity and self-reliance.

Government’s tendency to expand its territory exploits every conceivable human tragedy to initiate another program to supposedly assist a victim. The real objective is to grow the power of government.  Through spreading the belief people are entitled to rights and services government can supply. When these misguided people’s unreasonable expectations are not met by parents, and now by government, they claim victimization.

Even college students who have traditionally sacrificed to further their education and careers and are now eligible to receive food stamps and low interest loans paid by taxpayers.  Many learn to use the government system to have all their wants met without working. When they accumulate an overwhelming debt they cry victimization about having to pay it back.  Occupy Wall Street and other forums show people who acknowledge their debt was caused by their own choices.  They decided to take the easy path of living off the welfare of taxpayers, then demand their loans be paid by those same taxpayers.

This same type of selfish behavior and stupid choices can be said about having children without a husband, abusing pharmaceuticals or demanding a high level job without having the necessary credentials. The reason such a large segment of our population is perennial cry babies is because many were never allowed to suffer and learn from the consequences of their choices. They were not required to persevere until they succeeded.  Instead they were set up to be failures by being allowed to give up by weak, enabling parents.

Parents should encourage their children to be independent problem solvers. They should allow youngsters to solve their own issues with their friends and avoid jumping in to solve it for them. These parents would like their children to live a pain free, blissful existence although they are not training them how to confront and solve daily problems.

Parents should act as adults, understanding the importance of the child learning from his own decisions even if suffering is part of the equation.  Family discussions centered around, “you reap what you sow” and everyday events are powerful learning opportunities like the lack of studying results in low grades. Parents should refrain from doing their child’s homework when the child pathetically pleads at the last minute of the weekend.  When they demand money after blowing their unearned allowance on wasteful items, parents should refuse to give them more. Let your children overcome the obstacles of their own making.

We Americans should understand that the pampering we are doing with our children is not helping them mature into strong, self-reliant people. Rather we are crippling them, making them disabled.

Our out-of-control entitlement programs are having the same adverse effect on the overall society. These programs have turned into a slush fund for politicians to dip their dirty hands in to gain and retain greater power. Instead of temporarily assisting the victim, we are turning them into dependent wards of the state. Besides the food stamp expansion, there were more people joining the ranks of those receiving disability than those gaining employment. This is a modern form of slavery to the government.

When a person starts to believe he is entitled to things, he will eventually feel he has been victimized when he does not receive them. Mature, healthy people do not waste time crying over what they do not have. They sacrifice and work hard to obtain them if they think it is important enough.

Give your child the gifts of being self-reliant and independent. This can be accomplished by providing sufficient freedom to learn from the consequences of his choices. This will produce a strong, mature adult.

Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at


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