As people get older they seem to lose inhibitions. Mainly they say things that when they were younger they thought but kept to themselves or said privately.
A few weeks ago my mother, wife and I had dinner at a restaraunt. There was a woman and a small child around three or four years old. The child was screaming, not crying, just screaming to scream. It was very annoying. We were trying to have a nice conversation after we were through with dinner, but were forced to leave. Walking past the woman my mother made the comment that in her day parents didn't allow children to scream like that and then walked on. I paid the bill and the lady came out, kid still screaming and left. I thought that was the end of it, but the woman came back in by herself and started screaming at my mother. I positioned myself between them and in my strongly projected "teacher voice" told her to back away. I repeated my request three or four times until she left. We waited about ten minutes and the manager walked us out to the car, he was very supportive of us in the matter. That didn't stop the woman from driving past us and yelling some obscenities.
Is it just me or are parents today so afraid of being charged with child abuse that they have given up on trying to discipline their children?
Mom never beat us, but she did have a wicked pinch that got our attention and let us know to stop whatever behavior we were doing. Dad was fond of saying when we were in public, "Children should be seen and not heard!" I've read many child psychologists and other writers demonizing that statement, but we learned there was a line not to cross when in company and to respect our parents and other adults.
Today you can't go into a store or mall without the crying and screaming of kids that didn't happen thirty or forty years ago, but let a parent give the child a reason to cry and the full force of the law will hit like a ton of bricks.