Joseph Epstein is incisive; his writing eschews faddish notions and also goes for the jugular. He won't dance around a topic. His latest Weekly Standard piece, "The Kindergarchy," is a fine example.
In America we are currently living in a Kindergarchy, under rule by children. People who are raising, or have recently raised, or have even been around children a fair amount in recent years will, I think, immediately sense what I have in mind. Children have gone from background to foreground figures in domestic life, with more and more attention centered on them, their upbringing, their small accomplishments, their right relationship with parents and grandparents.
The article is well worth reading. One concludes, after digesting it and other similar pieces, that today's parents are meddling with the wrong parts of their children's lives and staying out of the parts that demand attention. Epstein notes that a 21st-Century adult is keen to arrange his progeny's activities, playdates, and daily decisions, but loath to provide any stern guidance or discipline when needed. The result: A lot of spoiled, babied, charmless young adults who don't think for themselves and feel entitled to everything.
Epstein generalizes. But then, generalizing is often useful. And who can deny that America's public schools, too,??have succumbed to the daffy thinking he skewers? I think, for example, of the misguided notion to push academically untalented students into AP classes; to push all kids into college (and no, that's not a straw man; some big-name...