Maybe We Are Too Easy on Our Children

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell asks if we are raising a generation of wimps.

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Mary Mitchell, in her Chicago Sun-Times column, discusses raising and disciplining children in an increasingly complicated world.  

Are we turning our children into wimps?

I have to ask myself that every time I feel like I have to spare my grandchildren some unpleasantness I endured as a child.

And two stories recently in the news make me think a lot of well-meaning parents are raising wimpy kids.

For instance, in Arizona, a grandfather was charged with child abuse after witnesses and passers-by complained about his treatment of his three grandsons, ages 12, 9 and 8.

Allegedly, Christopher A. Carlson, of Indianapolis, "shoved" the 12-year-old and "whipped him with a rolled up T-shirt," as he pushed the kids to tackle a brutal trail, according to the Associated Press.

Grandpa is accused of making the kids "walk on ulcerated blisters, and of denying them food and water at a popular 18-mile trail at the Grand Canyon.

"Carlson told the authorities that the boys had been overweight and he thought the hike would get them into shape," the AP reported.

Grandpa must be in incredible shape because I wouldn't last three miles trekking a wilderness trail with my 11-year-old grandson. Heck, he'd be the one wielding the rolled up T-shirt.

So you go grandpa. But instead of getting a high-five, this grandparent got a court date because observers thought he was being too hard on his grandsons.

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