The facile externalities of lousy parenting

I admit: I’m a sucker for hifalutin language. Imagine my joy when I came across the term “facile externality”.


In essence, facile externality is a negative consequence you obtain when you take the easy way out. While your approach (such as in business) may be highly efficient, and who in business today doesn’t want to be efficient, it may cause the end result to be less appreciated.

That immediately got me thinking. Efficiency is often just an excuse for taking shortcuts, for performing at a lower level than is necessary. Companies talking about raising their efficiency frequently opt for the “easy way” of laying staff off, instead of finding ways for being smarter and more innovative.

But we also find facile externalities in parenting. Today’s generation and that before it have produced mostly people who are, for all intents and purposes, useless for society. They are narcissists with a strong sense of entitlement and easily given to hysteria.

This is the fault of parents and teachers.

Parenting and teaching aren’t easy tasks. And when you take the easy way out, you end up with… millennials.

I have met and heard about millennials who are true gems and exceptional: not only are they polite and well-mannered, but they also have a thirst for knowledge and education, are extremely intelligent and know precisely what they want out of life.

Unfortunately, they make up only a tiny fraction of all millennials out there.

The problem starts at home: parents always trying to be friends with their kids, always praising, always giving in to their offspring.

Children need discipline – and, no, I’m not talking about spanking them. What they do need is order and structure, and parents who are parents (and not friends), as well as boundaries.

Those who are brought up in this way will grow up to be mature and decent adults. Those who are not will become gigantic narcissists who don’t give a fig about other people or respect authority. Oddly enough, girls seem to be particularly impacted by this.

We only need to observe a group of millennials and how they act in public and interact with society. Take public transit as an example: boys will tend to give up their seat for disabled, elderly or pregnant individuals, but girls stay put, even after they have been told off by the bus driver and other passengers.

Even worse, our society has not only produced an army of narcissists, but also a generation of hysterical people. Yes, hysterical. What else would you call someone who runs out of a classroom crying because of a word or topic broached by a teacher or fellow student? Or out of fear over the mere expectation that such a word or topic might be raised?

Sure, in modern-day parlance, we say that he or she has been triggered. In reality, the individual is throwing a hysterical fit. (That, in fact, would be a good reason for spanking.)

The effort we put into a project (product, service… children) will increase its value – for us and others. Reduce that effort, and its value decreases.

Author: Werner Patels

Translator - Thinker - Writer

2 thoughts on “The facile externalities of lousy parenting”

  1. Ok the original Economist article was a hilarious April Fools joke but I’m confused about whether this piece is also a joke. If this was satire, well done.

    1. It started as a joke, but it is actually an apt term and frame of reference for the ills of society today.

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