Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 29, 2013

Child Proofing Society, Conclusion, by David Bower

An Unexpected Development

Over the years two things began to happen, both of which surprised me; the first was the rather futile efforts by society to child proof itself, and the second was the death of the grown-up.

What had led to these developments, what had happened to make these even appear in our society? The blame can be laid at the feet of the increasingly popular decision to abandon the time-honored concepts of teaching self-control, self-discipline, and self-restraint and the consequences of that decision was beginning to take its toll on society. As children, raised in what was hoped to be a childproof environment, began to age physically their emotional development and sense of personal responsibility lagged far behind.

The concept of “victimhood” began to blossom and prosper as the adult children looked to blame others for their bad judgment; they were victims of inadequate efforts by society to adequately childproof their lives from their own misbehavior! They became victims of circumstances beyond their control and thereby innocent of any wrongdoing. As I write this our society’s notions of victimhood have become deeply entrenched and are being enhanced and supported by society; nobody is responsible for their actions, everybody is a victim of circumstances.

I am already seeing a few evidences of this in the media with regard to the Boston Marathon Bombers, how did our society fail them to the degree that would cause them to do such a thing or were they victims of their mother’s fanaticism? It will be interesting to see if this absurdity catches on; obviously, according to this theory, they are victims of an inadequately childproofed environment and are certainly not responsible for their own actions.

The Death of the Grown-Up

A few years ago I discovered a most remarkable book, “The Death of the Grown-Up” by Diana West. St Martins Press, 2007. The book is subtitled, “How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.” In her book, Ms. West describes the situation facing Western Civilization as a generation of young people refuses to grow up and assume the role of adults. We are seeing in our own nation the results of this refusal to assume adult responsibilities. Everywhere one looks we see physical adults acting like children and refusing to accept adult responsibilities.

The book is filled with pages illustrating examples of this failure and if you are interested in learning more I encourage you to get a copy of the book. It is not an easy read but it is a valuable read if you have any interest in the future of the United States of America or, on a more global scale, Western Civilization itself.

I am convinced a major part of this collapse is due to a failure to instill in children the virtues of hard work, self-control, self-restraint, and self-reliance. The historic, “protestant work ethic” has disappeared from the world scene along with classic Christian virtues and the primacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Child Proofing Society

As a young father I rejected the notion of child proofing the room and believed the proper approach was to train the child. I rather naively believed society would be the turning point in the lives of those children raised in a child proof environment. As they became adults they would have to learn the virtues of self-control, self-reliance, and self-restraint if they were to survive.

It gradually dawned in my thinking over the years that society was not requiring these children to grow up but was, in fact, beginning to try and child proof itself to accommodate them; self-indulgence had replaced self-discipline as the norm. This realization came gradually to me so when I discovered Ms. West’s book I was immediately intrigued by her thoughts and agreed with her conclusions.

It is true that not all young people have refused adult responsibilities; many have assumed their roles as adults and perform admirably in the numerous roles adulthood demands. What is disappointing is the excessively large number of adults who are still acting like children. As permissive parents die off more and more of these adult children will be looking to society to take care of them. After all, they are victims of parents who thoughtlessly died and left them with no means of support either financial or emotional.

Disintegration From Within

It would appear that as a nation we are in a transition stage and may be nearing the end of a historical cycle. Over the last several years much has been written on the “Fall of a Democracy” but the concept as it is popularly circulated today seems to have had its origin in a speech given in 1943 by the President of Armstrong Cork Company according to research done by Mr. Loren Collins.

Mr. Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company, in a speech entitled “Industrial Management in a Republic,” delivered in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria at New York during the 250th meeting of the National Conference Board on March 18, 1943, had this to say: “Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.

The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas. New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies. Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas. Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all. Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era. It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out.

Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States. Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties. The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.” – Henning W. Prentis, Industrial Management in a Republic, p. 22.”

What do you think?


  1. I thank the Lord for you, David. He is using you in a mighty way, believe me…. when your first post on this subject came through, I was with a young man who was in desperate need of a word from the Lord, regarding his family. I shared it with him and just sent him part 2! His children are still young enough to benefit from these lessons, praise God. I told him I’ll be praying for their strength. it is much more difficult in this society to raise children in the fear an admission of the Lord.. we have grandchildren, lol!
    thank you for what you’re doing.
    peace and blessings to you,


  2. Again, a great piece. I did forward this to my friends. Thanks, again. Dick


  3. Following the truth of your article, I should be saddened and frightened…BUT GOD!!! I choose to put my confidence in our Great God for my children and my grands, and I know you do as well David. “For the Lord God is our sun and shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Ps.84:11NLT. I will rest in God’s truth. Elaine


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