Over and over again we are confronted with the tyranny of the self-absorbed. Think of the college student who believes it is assault to face ideas and opinions he does not agree with and finds threatening... Think of the high schooler who refuses to complete an assignment because he or she does not like the topic or finds it offensive or simply does not want to do it... Think of the children who carry around their phones and cannot live without them (hence the problem of what to do with them in school, the ever present warning signs at every dental or doctor's office reminding us to turn them off during appointments)... Think of the dress code and the personal desire for self-expression (or could it be flamboyance) that creates a constant and unresolvable tension... Think of gender identity which becomes the whim of the day in which the desire of the moment transcends biology, DNA, and reason... Think of the approaching example of Belgium when any child may be allowed to end his or her life when that life becomes unbearable in the view of the child...
I must admit that the ever present cell phone is an invitation to share your displease with anyone who might be listening to voice or text and therefore make what is your problem, their problem.
But before we go blaming the children, maybe we ought to take another look at the parents who have created such a culture of me under the dictatorship of desire. When did parenting become the task of resolving every problem your child might face? When did parenting devolve into the burden of finding happiness for and keeping your children happy? Is this a burden thrust upon parenting or could it be that parents find it easier to resolve their own unhappiness by making their children happy? Could it be that parents are giving up parenting in favor of life coaching their children to a future they wanted for themselves but did not get? Could it be that instead of parenting and its compelling cause to say "no" we as parents prefer to say "yes" lest love be tested by disappointment and grows cold?
I wish I knew the answer. What I do know is that the parenting that keeps our children children is not the parenting of Scripture. What I do know is that if earthly moms and dads think it is their duty to make their children happy, those kids will grow up with a perspective on God that will surely lead to an abandonment of the faith. What I do know is that the home is the best place for children to learn how to deal with the disappointment that life cannot help but deliver later on. What I do know is that getting past your ego is the first step toward honest maturity and real faith. What ever happened to telling a child to grin and bear it -- or perhaps, suck it up and deal with it?
The truth is that I find adults becoming more childish and children being kept infantile and adolescent. We have invented words (think micro-agression) to create a climate in which we think we are owed an atmosphere at home, work, and play that insulates us from anything and everything we do not want to face. So we live in a world of political correctness which is really nothing more than a version of a temper tantrum disguised behind noble sounding words and concepts that ultimately mean little.