This brilliant statement comes from an op-ed in the WSJ's Opinion Journal that Glenn Reynolds wrote about the fact that parenting is very tiring nowadays, because it has more responsibility — and responsibility of a type that often diminishes rewards:
You're responsible for your kids in ways previous generations weren't, but your ability to discipline them is much reduced; and as my wife, a forensic psychologist, notes, the bad kids know that they can cow most adults by threatening to call 911 and make a bogus abuse charge. And forget disciplining your child, even with a harsh word, in a public place. At the very least, if you do you'll be looked on not as a virtuous parent helping to preserve the social fabric, but as that worst of all sinners in contemporary American culture: a meanie.
I certainly know that my kids, who are nice, bright kids, are still infinitely less pleasant to be around than my peers and I were because they're not interested in carrots, and society has deprived me of sticks.