The Screeching Child Hypothesis

Yesterday I was loading up on groceries and getting some minimal fishing kit. (Today I’ll get the fishing license and try out the kit… all my good stuff is in storage far far away, and, well, a fisherman’s gotta fish…)

While I was in the check out line, for about the 4th time in as many days, a horribly horrifically loud SCREEEEEEEECH! was let out by yet another Yard Ape that ought to have been left in the yard, not brought into public view.

In other times, the parent would have looked horribly embarrassed, and either hustled the offending mouth outside (and perhaps into a sealed car where the cacophony could be contained better); or even more likely: A swift swat to the bum would be delivered and the SCREEEEEECCCCHING would turn to quiet or sobbing (or again, the reversion to the sealed metal can of quiet…)

But no.

It seems that the Modern Mommetary Theory of child rearing parallels the Modern Monetary Theory of economics and with equally catastrophic results.

But this set me to thinking…

Remember that iconic video of the campus “protester”, an overly sensitized adult baby screaming to the world due to Trump being elected?

A Fragile Leftist Screaming 'cause Trump Won

Screeching Trump Hater

My question is simple:

Is this just the inevitable result of The Modern Mommetary Theory Screaming Banshee Babies growing to adult size and NEVER having had their bum swatted for being a PITA to the rest of us? Have they trained a generation to scream until they get what they want? To expect zero consequences from an emotional tantrum of social abuse aimed at the rest of us?

Is the “everybody gets a trophy” mob now taking over the levers of power, and when they don’t get what they want, well, by God they will scream at you, attack you in the streets, try to get you fired, even steal the ballot box if that’s what it takes because, you know, screaming and screeching always has worked and No Bad Thing ever followed the forceful stealing of some other infant’s toys…

Did it all really just begin with, and arise from, the un-swatted bum of the perpetual SCREEEEECHer child?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to The Screeching Child Hypothesis

  1. Jeff says:

    Three words: Doctor Benjamin Spock.

    Ruined three generations so far… I prefer Dr. Dobson, more to the other end of the scale (his “Dare To Discipline” is probably a rebuttal to Spock, et. al., but it’s good. He also has a nice Family Health Book (complete with gross but informative pictures for fledgling parents with sick children)…

    Have to wonder what the next step from screaming and “safe spaces” is. Outer spaces??? (One can only dream, I s’pose)…

  2. I had never heard the word yard ape before but the unpunished tantrums of the very young do seem to have similarities to those much older, who always seem to get their own way and are often in like minded bubbles with those who will never give them the metaphorical smack they might deserve.

  3. YMMV says:

    “Have they trained a generation to scream until they get what they want?”

    I think that tactic is innate, but reinforced by success. In other words, the screamer gets what they want by training the parents to give it to them. They think like a baby crow.

    And the result, for those that do grow up:

  4. Skeptic says:

    We found the best and fastest remedy for a screeching, screaming child was a small glass of cold water tossed in their face. The shock is enough to stop the tantrum and get their attention.
    I suppose in todays woke culture you could be charged with child abuse and many other make believe crimes and have you child scooped up by child protection do-gooders.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    Yes,, back in the “Old Days” the cold water in the face was found to be the best “STOP” to those bad behavior acts.The unexpected shock is a great reinforcement to “No” when dealing with unwanted activities. Argument and logic has no effect on yard-apes.

  6. another ian says:

    Another term for the “swatted bum” – “palm psychology”

  7. cdquarles says:

    Yes, cold water to the face, a quick rap on the knuckles, a swat to the bum all worked. Then, your folk would be told and you’d get another one for acting inappropriately in public. In high school, the teachers and principal carried the ‘board of education’. Little need to use it, though.

  8. David A says:

    So much ignored wisdom…

    “Spare the rod, spoil the child”

    “Pain is a prod to memory”

    “Hard times create strong men.
    Strong men create good times.
    Good times create weak men.
    Weak men create hard times.”

    “Will power is rooted in won’t power”

  9. Sandy McClintock says:

    @Skeptic Yes I like it. Our dogs and cats have usually responded to a water-pistol squirt.
    I hope my granddaughter’s behavior might be improved by this. ;)

  10. DonM says:

    Iv’e done it twice (I don’t know why when in the right (or wrong) frame of mind … maybe just tired and didn’t give a crap).

    I turned back to face the screaming kid in the cart behind and just start whining louder than them, waiving my arms around a little … not quite mimicking them, but being just as obnoxious. They know they are being a pain in the ass, and it is such a surprise that an adult will act just as obnoxious that they stop.

    One stopped and stared, when I smiled back they laughed a little. The other was smart to realize what I was doing and shut up an changed into an embarrassed pout. Neither of the parents were upset at me.

    I told my 2-1/2 year old that if she ever did it then I would just make more noise than her. She never tested me.

  11. DonM says:


    They are usually pretty smart. When she seems like she is ready to learn something ask her if she knows what positive and negative reinforcement is; then go from there. Use the dogs as example “… most dog’s don’t do well with negative reinforcement, so we give them treats.”

    When they get all shitty you say “well the positive reinforcement doesn’t seem to be working with you ….”
    Try to get the rational/thinking part of their brain to take over.

    Or use cold water … shock the id into submission.

  12. Pinroot says:

    “Spare the rod…” was the best parental advice ever given. My mom was never shy about swatting us on the rear if we acted up in public.

  13. philjourdan says:

    @Climatereason – really? Never heard of Yard Ape? Others I like are rug rat. Grub snatcher.

    My youngest turns 30 this year, so I have experience. And they never behaved like that in public!

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    A number of years ago my lady and I were dinning at modest restaurant, In the booth across from was a Young Family with 3 young children, very well behaved. So well behaved I thanked them for the pleasure of their company for supper.
    It can be done, Our children learned early on bad behavior would NOT be tolerated.

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