I’ve talked before about how badly we’ve muddled up the growing-up process in the United States, but I never looked at it from the parents’ perspective. Glenn Reynolds at TCS Daily, however, did the work for me.The main thesis of his article is that the social and economic costs of having and raising children have gone up significantly over the past century, while the social and economic benefits have all-but disappeared. It is an inescapable truth—and one that explains the dwindling birthrates in first-world nations.

Reynolds also captures another inescapable fact: treating kids and teens like totally helpless babies and prohibiting effective discipline does a grave disservice to the children and puts undue burden on the parents. It is no wonder that many parents today fall to one extreme or the other—either keeping kids micromanaged well into their twenties and thirties, or resigning in frustration to letting them do whatever the hell they want from eight-onward.

  • The Parent Trap (TCS Daily).