I know my parents loved me, because they showed it in many ways. I always had a roof over my head, food on the table, and plenty of support and encouragement in whatever I wanted to do. But I think one of the best things they ever gave me was limits. Kids today don’t seem to have limits.
While Mom and Dad showed a lot of trust in me, it was because I knew that there would be hell to pay if I stepped too far over the line. And overall, I respected those limits. I might have driven my car a little (or a lot faster) than they would have approved of, and I tried to lure a few girls into the backseat of said car, but I never did drugs, never got into trouble with the police, didn’t drink and drive, and avoided the other things I saw some of my friends get into that led to trouble. I think that for me, doing something that would have disappointed my parents and seeing that in their faces would have been worse punishment than anything that they might have doled out. But I also had no doubt that punishment would have been swift and sure if I had goofed up.
These days too many parents seem to be afraid of their kids. It’s like they have abdicated their role as parent in favor of being their children’s friend. And I don’t care what the warm fuzzy thinking is these days, that just doesn’t work. You can love your kids, you can nurture them, you can share a lot of interests and activities with them, but somebody has to be in charge!
We are currently staying at an RV park on Washington state’s Long Beach Peninsula, a rustic seaside resort area where you can find all of the things any beach town should have, from shops selling T-shirts and salt water taffy to espresso. You can walk on the beach, pick up shells, charter a fishing boat, watch for whales, and build a sand castle. What you can’t do is get on the internet very easily.
Verizon service is pretty much nonexistent here, though I have been told that AT&T is somewhat better. The other day I watched a young girl of maybe fourteen standing outside of her family’s RV having a total meltdown because she could not text her friends.
I’m not talking being upset and whiney, this was a screaming, hysterical tantrum that you might expect out of a two year old. “You can’t expect me to go two whole weeks without texting! I want to go home right now! My friends will think I’m dead! I hate you both and I wish you were dead! I want to text! I’m going to kill myself! I’m running away and hitchhiking back home!”
I could hear her from the next street over, and even other kids were shaking their heads in amazement. And what did her mother do? Did she tell her to shut up and behave? Did she turn her over her knee and give her the spanking she deserved? No, she said, “Let me talk to your dad and we’ll drive over to Astoria (20 miles away) and find someplace to get you an iPhone and set up an AT&T account.”
Really? That’s how you deal with an out of control, spoiled brat? You reward her for her behavior? And we wonder why our country is going to hell in a hand basket? What that kid needs is a trip to the woodshed and a big order of butt whipping to go. And her parents need a swift kick too, for allowing and encouraging their kid to be such a hellion.
Tags: AT&T, disciplining teenagers, iPhone, kids out of control, Long Beach Peninsula, out of control kids, parenting skills, poor cell phone and air card service, setting limits for kids, spoiled kids, texting, tough love