Thursday, August 20, 2009

Parenting 101

Today's posting is about children. More specifically, their parents. I do not claim to be an expert, just using a little common sense in this observation.

I have to laugh at some of these parents who think their children are soooo perfect. I sit with these moms & dads at the pool in the summer, at various sporting events, at school functions and can not believe their stupidity. I can not even begin to tell you how many times I've heard a parent say, "my child would never.....(fill in the blank)." Um, yes. Yes they would. They're kids. This is what they do.
Exhibit #1: My favorite story is about a good friend of mine who would swear on a stack of bibles that her child didn't "party." One day I was an observer at a sporting event and a bunch of high school girls sat behind me. I didn't know who they were, they didn't know me. They proceed to talk about the previous night's festivities and mentioned how "messed up" my friend's child was. One girl actually said, "has anyone checked on XXXX today to see if they're still alive?? I've never seen them that wasted before."

Exhibit #2: We have a lovely family here in our sub-division whose little angel has recently been arrested in a string of burglaries in our town. This boy has been in and out of trouble for years and years and we've even had some personal run-ins with him and his family. Mommy & daddy have supported him thru thick and thin and have even posted his bail within hours of his recent arrest. Now, I understand this particular child's behavior is extreme and I hope to God that Chris & I or any of our friends have to go thru that as parents. However, what about the parents that turn a blind eye to minor things? Are they setting their child (and themselves?) up? Are they creating a generation of spoiled children who know that no matter what they do, mommy & daddy will back them up?

Exhibit #3: T went through a lot of crap this summer. Nothing serious, just typical 15-year old bullshit. She's a tough kid; she's over it. She found out who her friends were and who she could trust (as did I at 41 years old!). A parent of one of the kids involved corresponded w/ me and told me there is "no way" her child did any of this because her child "said so." Um....okay. Do you really think your 15-year old kid is going to own up to it and risk having their precious cell phone taken away? God forbid they can't text their little fingers to the bone! Do you really think they're going to risk having their Facebook privileges restricted? We can raise our kids with the best intentions, read the best parenting books, consult with pediatricians as necessary, take them to church and to Sunday school. Bottom line is, they're still children. Just because they "said so" doesn't mean it's fact. Wake up and smell the coffee. This generation is never going to learn if parents bail them out at every turn.

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