Now, if this was happening occasionally I could put it down to random stupidity. However, this is a common and growing trend. To me most of those “issues” are not issues at all. They are just no-brainers: the dog needs her nails cut, so you cut them. The more you do it, the more she’ll get used to it. The less you fret and fuss, the less she’ll think there’s something to fret and fuss about. Hey presto, over a short space of time the dog is “cured” of her “phobia”. It is, however, a problem that encompasses all aspects of behaviour. We increasingly see dogs who work themselves into screaming frenzies over everything and nothing. They are not happy with something, so they go from barking to howling to SCREAMING to throwing themselves about in a way that could really hurt them. This is often the result of something as simple as not getting any attention.
Oh, so this is a blog about how superior a parent I am? Erm, no. Because, still mid-dog-wrestle, I rearranged my thoughts and realised that no, he was reminding me of half the people around me in general, not just the kids. And this is when I start ranting, because we have turned into a nation of toddlers – and brattish toddlers, at that. I constantly see behaviours in fully grown adults that should have been knocked out of them before they ever hit preschool. But no, not only do we tolerate them, but we seem to have made them socially acceptable.
- We throw tantrums, have meltdowns and express our displeasure liberally through rudeness. This is apparently ok because it’s “real” and “liberating”, self-control and good manners being evidently repressive and not genuine.
- We expect unconditional love, wanting people to “love us for ourselves”; this is regardless of whether we act in a lovable manner or not.
- Like toddlers expecting every squiggle to gain pride of place on the fridge, we demand recognition for our efforts and qualities, not our achievements.
- We have an overblown sense of entitlement. Where our ancestors hoped that by hard work they would hopefully achieve a reasonable standard of living, we now expect it just because.
- We self-certify, living lives of make-believe. We award ourselves labels based on no actual actions or achievement. (No, Nigel, you are not a “badass”. You’re an accountant who trains Krav Maga on Mondays.)
- We believe in happy endings. We see anything negative as a shock and a tragedy, rather than as part of the normal course of events. The truth is that life is a roller coaster ride of good and bad events, many of them only partly under our control.