Prager can be wise:

Dennis Prager said this the other day and I wanted to share it with you, particularly those of you who are grandparents of rotten spoiled little kids (I know you’re out there!):

“Self control is more important than self esteem.”  Prager.

I can’t imagine a saying that’s more important…..Self esteem is good in a person who’s done something that merits it, but kids should learn CONTROL, not how terribly adorably cute and bright they are! …and BROTHER, have I seen out of control kids lately.  Had dinner at a casual Mexican haunt of mine recently…10 people, half adults, half kids of about 9 years old, sitting next to us….LOUD.  The parents NEVER told the children to HUSH UP and, in fact, were fairly loud  themselves.  Very upper middle class, nice looking people with no manners.  I had a feeling they’d picked the kids up at home after having returned from work, taken them out with them for ‘quality time’ during which they almost never addressed the children, and drove home and handed them back to their nannies, poor kids.  I also know children with nannies who are terribly well behaved, by the way.

The hostess came to us later and apologized, and when I looked back at the group, one of the men gave me the ‘thumbs up’ and smiled, as if “we don’t care WHAT you think”….it was so sad.  I realized it wasn’t the children we should be upset with but the parents.  How would kids even know you’re not supposed to act like that in a restaurant unless they’re given good role models and told to be QUIET?  My dad would have swooped any of us up into his arms and out the restaurant door, not to return until we’d quieted…not that we’d ever had the guts to be loud in a restaurant!   And, yes, the owner told me outside this was their second visit there and it’d be their last…he was “going to 86 that family”.

SO the Prager comment really resonated with me.

Do you agree with it?


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22 Responses to Prager can be wise:

  1. Silverfiddle says:

    Adults are out of control in this country. I makes me proud when my older kids, who can be quite irreverent, point out how out of control people are.


  2. “Self control is more important than self esteem.”

    This is the underlying philosophy in the homeschool group with which I’m affiliated. Graduates are generally accepted into the college of their choice: UVA, West Point, Grove City, William and Mary, Hillsdale, etc. Getting a good education requires self-discipline.

    Sadly, most of the other homeschool groups around here are more into the self-esteem philosophy. And where do their graduates go for college? To Podunkville College.


  3. SF,
    Adults are out of control in this country.

    10 up votes!


  4. geeez2014 says:

    SF: I just hope more parents teach Prager’s philosophy….and set examples, more importantly. The emphasis on self esteem coming first (nobody wins THE prize, everybody gets A prize, etc) started early and lots of adults were raised that way.
    So, our kids are goners.

    AOW…interesting ‘contrast’…thanks for that. Self esteem is so wonderful when earned…but, as you know, when kids are told they’re SO cute, and SO smart, I often think “Brother, their boss is never going to think they’re as cute as these parents do!”


  5. I am scant with praise in the classroom. But when I do praise, that praise matters. The praise which I offer is based on merit — sometimes, not the best paper in the class, though. I will praise a student who hasn’t been doing well if that student submits “break through” work for that particular student.

    Students do actually know when praise is false. The worst problem can come with parents — the helicopter parents. Although I can have some break throughs with parents, too.


  6. geeez2014 says:

    AOW..such a fantastic point! I agree; they know when praise is false. Just as THEY KNOW when we truly love them and support them. And that you don’t just praise for the best paper….but for improvement.. As I’ve told you for years, I wish all American students could have you as their teacher! Parents are out of control.
    The high school I’m involved with may need me for 3 months while a teacher’s on pregnancy leave….they’re even willing to work around the day I need off. They realized, however, that one of her classes is AP and that I couldn’t do that. I asked them why I couldn’t, and they said I COULD teach it, but the AP parents are out of control pushy and demanding and they didn’t think that any sub without out VERY strong experience with that should be involved …. blew my mind. Also, she teaches no freshmen, which was a plus since those parents, too, are SO helicopter. Apparently, once our parents realize the caliber of teachers and how involved they are with our students, they finally back off after 9th grade then get their knickers in a twist all over again when their PERFECT child enters into AP classes!!!! ??


  7. Silverlady says:

    I agree with his comments, only more strongly than he put it. My 2 sons, now over 50, knew what would happen to them, AT THE TIME, if they acted like that. They would have been removed from the room & disciplined strongly outside. In fact, once at a steak house in Toluca Lake (Z knows where that is) there were the 4 of us, & another family of 4 at a nearby table. The other kids were misbehaving & being obnoxious, while the parents did NADA, ZIP! My 2 were watching & looking st us. When the others left the waitress came over & complimented us on the manners of our children. When they were in school if they got into trouble, they knew they had me to face when they got home. I would be in jail today today for corporal punishment. Didn’t hurt me, & it didn’t hurt them.

    These kids are the result of the hippie & following generations. If it feels good, do it, no boundaries. Reminds me of the pot-smoking parents in the film, ‘Valley Girl’. We also see this in the ‘everybody wins a prize’ mentality. Those obnoxious brats will be even worse as teens, & when they get into trouble, like that ‘affluenza’ kid who is on the run with mama, the parents will wonder what happened to their precious little brats. Yes, it’s not the child’s fault, but is the parents’ fault, but it’s the child who is obnoxious.


  8. John M. Berger says:

    What happens when a parent tries to raise a decent child who’s [peers] are “out of control” such as those children described above and of which we seem to have an abundance of?


  9. Bob says:

    I remember people coming up to our table telling us what well mannered children we had. Those were memorable moments. The truth is that our son was dedicated to ordering and eating, and our daughter was the nice, sweet, quiet type.

    Our grandchildren (via our daughter) are great kids. The boy is seven, and the girl is five. They are also well mannered, primarily due to their parents. We are really proud of the whole, little family.

    On the other hand, both grandchildren got my family’s loud gene. Whenever they are in their play time, the whole house can vibrate with the amazingly strong sound waves coming out of their little mouths. Sunday night, we all went to a pizza restaurant, and the kids were exemplary while eating. It was when they were turned loose on the arcade games that the seismic activity began.

    Life is good, and so was the pizza.


  10. geeez2014 says:

    Silverlady…thanks for that. I remember we’d be taken right out if we EVER had done anything nearly as bad as I see today. I even see kids running around a restaurant while the parents are in heavy conversation with friends…unreal. I think a LOT of kids need corporal punishment…!!!

    John, you’re right; that’s the really sad thing. Clearly, it’s no reason to stop raising your kids right, but seeing their peers act horribly is not a great inducement for good behavior in our kids, is it.

    Bob, I love hearing sweet stories about your family! Sounds like your grandkids are being raised well! I OFTEN tell nice quiet families, when I’m walking out, “it’s so good to see children who are so well behaved .;..thanks”
    Mom and I had Christmas Eve dinner out together and we both went to a family of parents and two teen aged girls ….Mom said “Your daughters are beautiful and it’s so good to see your family enjoying each other”…they were in SUCH heavy conversation and laughing, etc. NOBODY was texting, NOBODY had their iPhones out, …just good happy conversation with their parents. Really impressive.
    Before dinner, we’d gone to a Christmas music program at the local Catholic church….we sat behind a family of two boys and two girls…approx ages 6-12. The little girl was AWFUL and her mother was right there with her, shaking her up and down in her arms, NEVER telling her to sit down and listen…the older girl thought she was Miley Cyrus and kept grabbing her tongue as it hung out of her mouth and making fun of the music, etc etc..Parents did NOTHING. That lasted the whole time we were there…we left shortly into the mass.

    Parents deserve the compliments when they’ve done well. The parents in the church deserved something quite different but we held OUR tongues!


  11. John M. Berger says:

    “seeing their peers act horribly is not a great inducement for good behavior in our kids, is it.”
    Yes and absolutely ” it’s no reason to stop raising your kids right,” but it must be quite difficult when you consider that the “kids” that you are trying to raise right will be spending lots of time, away from you, with the products of bad parenting and “they” will be unduly and negatively influenced by [them]. Further, consider Silverlady’s sage comment: “I would be in jail today today for corporal punishment.” Well, perhaps some “kids” will end-up in “jail”, as adults, having been denied such discipline in their formative years! Liberalism engenders its own special form of CHILD ABUSE!


  12. geeez2014 says:

    JMB: “Liberalism engenders its own special form of CHILD ABUSE!” It does in so many ways…the one you mention is so true. And think of the transgender stuff in very little kids where boys who are suddenly 8 yr old GIRLS can use the girls’ bathroom, when straight little girls (I can’t believe I actually said that) are horrified there’s a boy in there. On and ON….teaching kids about homosexuality in elementary school, that video I published about five years ago showing a gay young man teacher telling the 5 yr olds and their parents about his life and how nice it is….Man, I think children need childhoods and this is confusing stuff for them. And we wonder why our American kids are getting so screwed up???

    This morning, I saw Heather McDonald on FOX talking about how the Ferguson Effect is raising the crime and death rates….Cops are literally afraid to get out of their cars now… She cited many cases where the media is not telling the truth about the rising crime rates…all over this country.
    But they’ll sure concentrate on that poor woman who was accidentally killed in Chicago either last night or this morning..over and OVER again on the news today. THat IS BAD.

    Rising crime rates DUE TO Black LIves Matter and other liberal BS is ALSO BAD…why not MENTION IT TO AMERICA?

    I’m so tired of the lying media.


  13. Baysider says:

    Oh boy, what wisdom. You know who has self esteem? Criminals. And other little hooligans as you describe above. It’s a wonderful feeling of [earned] pride and accomplishment when you finally figure out how algebraic formulas work, memorize your first poem, or learn to play a musical piece well. Any true accomplishment based on acquiring skill through learning and practice and achieving something.

    I see JMB’s point, but fear that – worse – some of these kids’ WON’T end up in jail. Well, maybe the white ones. But YOU will be penalized for daring to call out the flaws in their character that lead to egregious behavior. Racist, intolerant, bigoted, blah, blah, blah.


  14. Silverfiddle says:

    A corollary: I’ve also taught my kids George Washington’s adage that it is better to be alone than be in bad company.

    I am proud of my kids and their ability to be alone, to read a book, or to carry on a coherent conversation with adults. We always get compliments on them, and they don’t walk around staring into a little screen and typing ‘LOL!’ all day with their thumbs.


  15. Silverlady says:

    If I were a cop I’d be tempted to find another occupation, same field, but different. Maybe with a Security outfit. I don’t blame them one bit for not wanting to stick their necks out in gang-infested neighborhoods. On today there is a discussion re guns & safety. How Bampot & others in power, or celebs, have all the security they want & can afford to pay for, but they don’t want the private person to be able to have personal protection, & i don’t ,mean a baseball bat.

    In Va. dear old Gov. Terry McAuliffe, of ??? reputation, & the A.G. wanted to cancel reciprocal carry agreements with over 20 other states. So the Rep. dominated legislature threatened to cancel his security detail. And that was the end of that. Apparently the Va. legislature has more testicular fortitude than our Congress when it comes to putting the brakes on Bampot with his pen & phone. My

    My New Year motto: Glock & Load.


  16. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider!! You said “It’s a wonderful feeling of [earned] pride and accomplishment when you finally figure out how algebraic formulas work, memorize your first poem, or learn to play a musical piece well.”
    THIS is the feeling so many kids don’t have anymore…we all were involved, weren’t we…music at school or privately, scouts, …memorizing is now considered ‘rote’ but it gave us SO MUCH…our vocabs improved, the rhythm of English, the sheer memorization! I got to sub two high school classes about 3 weeks ago where they all had had to memorize Billy Collins (amazing, by the way) poems and I was so pleased to hear how they did. It’s NOT “just rote”, it’s so much more.
    And yes, God forbid anybody calls out flaws…!!

    SF…I love hearing that! You sound like an EXCELLENT dad, tho I know that’s not why you posted this…and YOU SHOULD be proud. I barely know you and I’M proud of you 🙂


  17. geeez2014 says:

    SF, by the way…these days, if a teen actually looks me in the eyes and talks, I think that’s a BIG DEAL, you know? I’m always impressed by that. SHOULD I be? Wouldn’t you think that’s normal? But, no……..


  18. John M. Berger says:

    ” Glock & Load.”
    I LOVE IT !!!!


  19. I don’t want to brag, but my 14 year old grandson was at the dinner table with us yesterday and continuously acted with courtesy and good manners. I was so blessed.
    i gave him a copy of Bill Bennett’s Book of Man for Christmas and look forward to working through it with him.
    I told him also that there was something in the book that was meant only for him. He kept reading the jacket cover while we kept telling him that. Finally he opened the book to find the Dunham Sports Gift Coupon.


  20. Silverfiddle says:

    Z, You wouldn’t believe how many of those compliments we get about our kids are for behaviors that were standard, normal behavior when I was their age. And thank you for not thinking I was bragging… We all have our struggles…


  21. geeez2014 says:

    “Glock and Load” Is a good one, SIlverlady!

    Ed…I’m glad your grandson is such a fine kid, too, and delighted for him that he got a coupon!!

    SF….Yes, we sure do. I wish all kids could be raised by you and educated by Always On Watch 🙂


  22. John M. Berger says:


    Why I don’t miss my youth (smiley face) !


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