This letter is in response to the column written by Stacy Christiansen in the Oct. 8 Star. Ms. Christiansen is obviously a very confused lady. In her column she refers to children as “brutes”. This is the type of attitude that fosters the mistreatment of children in this country. She should realize that if one is constantly referred to as being brutish and worthless, that he or she will adopt attitudes and behaviors that reflect these labels. I believe that the correct term for this concept is “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Ms. Christiansen also refers to the younger generation as being degenerate and lazy, as well as apathetic. Let’s address degenerate first. The kids that she hostilely refers to as “Generation Y” were born into a different society than we were. They are faced with harsh reality everyday in the form of playground drug dealers and drive-by shootings. Lazy is next. Lazy is a relative term. I’m not sure about the context in which Ms. Christiansen uses this word, but I’m assuming that she is referring to education. In terms of scholastics one must consider the system before calling the kids lazy. If a child is not encouraged to achieve, or is written off as being a failure, it follows naturally that the child will eventually give up. Criticize the system, not its victims.

She also discusses the fact that many children are “latch-key kids” and are unable to play outside, or to make a trip to the library to pick up a few books. The television becomes the baby-sitter until the parent(s) come home. I don’t condone this any more than the next person, but times are hard and money is very tight.

Ms. Christiansen states that she has a solution to the “problem”. There is no real problem, the majority of kids today do the same things that kids have always done. The fact of the matter is that Ms. Christiansen is not a child anymore and is beginning to recognize the behaviors of those who are younger than she is as being irresponsible and wild.

She does make a good point concerning the lack of disciplinary control that parents have over their children. However, this lack of control is nothing new. Parents have always struggled with the dilemma of disciplining their children. “How much is too much? How little is too little?” Every parent asks himself/herself these questions millions of times while their children are growing up.

While I concede this one point to Ms. Christiansen, she must realize that physical punishment is not the answer to every problem. Spanking should only be used when children are too young to comprehend natural consequence reprimands. Children who are old enough to understand why what they did was wrong deserve to be treated objectively and reprimanded in a manner that doesn’t rob them of their dignity or make them feel guilty. If parents want “better” kids, they must be willing to be “better” parents, spanking doesn’t do this for one’s parenting skills.

Ms. Christiansen should get out of her negative groove, and try to make a positive difference in the lives of children who need some guidance.

Judith A. Leptich


Elementary Education