As much as we may have gone against our parents' wishes or even explicit instructions back in the good old days, we never dared to disrespect them to their face -- let alone call them a swear word. Well, teenagers did seem more defiant back then, but definitely not toddlers or children who weren't big enough to hit back.
Since it never happened, I'm not really sure what our punishment would've been -- ax to the head, maybe? Impalement out in the front yard as a lesson to the other neighborhood brats? I don't know, and I'm glad I never found out.
Yet today it's quite common to hear 3-to-7 year-olds shouting commands and insults right in their parents' face, in public. Whether outside the nearby daycare center, inside Starbucks, or around the supermarket, I can't count the number of times I've heard some little squirt scream "Stupid!" "You give me that RIGHT NOW!" "STOP! You stop being a bad mommy!" One more taboo that has disappeared in my own lifetime...
Still, that's nothing compared to what you'll hear when they're around their family in a private space, where they know strangers won't shoot them a nasty glare, where they know their blood relatives will tolerate way more shit than the general public would.
So far I've heard "asshole!" and "little bitch!" from my nearly 5 year-old nephew when he gets angry during playtime. Well, your parents may not automatically spank you for cursing right to their face, but when you're playing with Uncle Agnostic, homey don't play dat. WHOMP!
I've had to give him three hard spankings so far, but if that only happens once or twice a year, he'll just write it off as the occasional cost of having to visit family. I doubt even a steady stream of spankings from his parents alone would correct him. It's the punishment they get from the outside world that sets them straight. If the other kids on the playground shirk their duty of beating up on the bratty kids, if the grown-ups refrain from walking over to pinch a little shit's ear in public, then children learn that it's OK to fuck around with other people.
I've tried to drive that point home by, perhaps hopelessly, trying to reason with my nephew -- that no one likes to be called bad names, so if he calls those big boys over there a swear word, they won't be like Uncle Agnostic, and they'll punch him in the face, beat him up, and never want to play with him again.
It's no wonder the Millennials continue to act so retarded and disrespectful well past their college years. Socialization grows out of socializing. A generation of micro-managed drones content in the snugness of their cocoons cannot turn out other than dismissive or mousy as adolescents and adults.
So pitch in everyone, and paddle a preschooler today. Let's all help to keep our community clean.