Most children today don't understand wait a moment or only once. Why should they? It is not what they have learned.
I don't know what you means when you say "most children today". NO CHILD today or in the past is born understanding those two concepts. 2 or 3 years-old kids (like JennyT's or mine) do not necessarily know the concepts yet, no matter how much discipline. It is just maturity-wise and evolution-wise not possible.
The parents have to teach them. I do it because the consequences of not doing that part of the job are even worse in the long run, but it doesn't mean I like the job. The good thing about being child-free at heart but with a child, it is that I don't feel guilty when my child tries to get away with things and I say no. "It doesn't break my heart" (as I hear other mothers say) when he cries for some silly reason. My son has learned to sleep alone from day one almost. He is not allowed to play with some big toys in the living room , takes his shoes off when we gets home and he knows he has to wash his hands. There is a lot of order in his life (and hugs too). But he will still try things and test his limits and it is just a very annoying job I never wanted.
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