Monday, November 15, 2010


I have long been of the opinion that crappy parenting plays a large part in the disobedience, lawlessness and general thug mentality of our youth these days. Recent events have brought me to doubt that just a little bit.

I have seen some kids who I know were raised better than they act. I have friends who have teens and twenty-somethings who are total shitheads, even though I have known these kids since they were knee-high to a grasshopper and I KNOW that is not how they were raised.

Now, I am faced with the unenviable circumstance of having a child living in my household who refuses to obey any of the adults in his life, refuses to comply with his teachers, and generally thinks his shit smells like English Lavender.

In this case I PERSONALLY know he was not raised in such a manner.

I am truly at a loss...


suz said...

Who are his friends? He's learning somewhere that he can get away with it. Maybe you should make his life EXTREMELY boring for a while. He cam be among civilized humans when he chooses to act like one. No anger, no battles. Just the logical consequences of his behavior.

Meadowlark said...

I feel your pain.

Of course, she's 24 now, so it's improved a bit ;)

Hang in there

*Goddess* said...

And that is why you hear those stories on tv in which the neighbors say, "Wow, I can't believe he/she did that. They came from such a nice family...."

Charles W. said...

This, more than anything else, scares the piss out of me about eventually becoming a father. God speed sir.

Alanna Mitchell said...

It's confusing I agree. Consider these: is your son 2nd born? Is your position as a PC making him more than usually rebellious? Is it the ME generation? Is it it some or all of the above?

Life's about choices - you can only educate and support someone for so long, and then let them make up their own mind, and do their own thing. Parents are THE most important factor in a kid's upbringing, but in this wired age, umlike when we were raised, (I'm betting), there are so many more externals to consider. You can do everything right, and still "fail".

lisa said...

Sometimes they just have to do their own thing, fall flat on their face, and discover the consequences.

I found, with my kids, that the harder I pushed, the harder they pushed back. Unfortunately, if you demand change as a condition of love, the kid resists the change to prove that they are loveable just as is.....

Jay said...

If he survives adolescence and the hormones get to settle then at least you know he has a solid upbringing to fall back on.
Let the games commence. Good luck.

Tigger said...

The one with all the responsibility makes all the rules. Your house, your rules. His only choices should be obey or attend military school.

Gator Girl Tales said...

I think Lisa hit it dead-on.

Aerinah said...

Sorry to hear about your kid, Officer Smith - that sucks. And I agree that proper parenting is crucial but not the only factor in how kids turn out.

I agree with Tigger that kids should follow the rules of the house, and that military school is an option if they get out of hand. But you need to be careful how you phrase things: if you teach your kid simply that the breadwinner makes the rules, that may cause them to think they can do any illegal or immoral things they want to once they start earning money. In other words, it's not about power. Rather, we need to teach our kids to do the right thing, because it's RIGHT.

SunTzu said...

First of all, this is probably atleast partly a case of the good old "When i was young..." Kids have always acted up, since the dawn of time. And parents/adults in general have always said that they were never this bad. Hell, im 24, and i say the same thing about todays 15-16 year olds. Truth be told though, pretty much everyone was the same.

Force wont work on any decently smart kid. He will figure out that whatever you do to him, he can do back to you tenfold. Kids dont magically turn bad, its always the way they were raised. Is it the TV? Then dont let him watch TV, or explain to him why he's wrong to think the TV has the truth of it. Same goes for basically everything there is. Problem with todays parents is that they either 1. Expect the TV to raise their kids, or 2. Expect the teachers to do it for them.

Kids dont turn bad for no reason. The parents are ALWAYS to blame.

Officer "Smith" said...


He falls on his face and discovers the consequences several times daily. That's not cutting it.


I'm going to take a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) here and say you are probably not a parent.

To say that the parents are ALWAYS to blame and it's ALWAYS the way they were raised is flat out ridiculous. Mrs. Smith and I do everything we can to teach our kids the right and wrong of being a civilized human being. We "explain" until we are BLUE in the face.

I most certainly do not expect the television to raise my children, nor do I expect our underqualified and unmotivated teachers to raise them.

It's quite simple. One kid gets it. One kid goes to great lengths not to get it.

How about this, Sun. You come and try to parent this kid for one week. ONE WEEK. I really doubt you'd last that long without knocking his teeth out. I, unfortunately, do not have that luxury.

You would see that nearly everything he does is very intentionally wrong. He goes out of his way to do things he knows are wrong. He gives not a tinkers damn who he injures or offends. He disrespects any adult (and most of his peers) who stands in his way.

For you to say his parents are to blame for his behavior is simply asinine.

Unless by "to blame" you mean I have shown him the correct way to behave so he can do exactly the opposite...

Candi Apple said...

I'm quite sympathetic, and this is why I'm not so interested in having kids. Apparently I turned my mother's hair gray early. I'd be curious to know exactly how old he is since that can be a big determining factor of what's going on in his little brain.

I liked what almost everyone else had to say, I thought some great points were made. I also disagree with Sun, it's irresponsible to blame parents fully for their children. That's like saying children have no free will of their own- which they do. Even kids who know the difference between right and wrong sometimes just don't care.

I'd be more likely to say that MUCH (but not all) of how children behave is a reaction to their world. Be it their parents, siblings, friends, teachers, something they saw from the car window or on the news. I'd say the best bet is to try and find out what that is.

Before he drives you mad!

Mad Jack said...

I'm going to take a WAG and suggest you may be living with a teenager. If so, you have my sympathies. Teenagers will wear you right out.

Part of the problem might be biological. Hormones can be so far out of balance as to drive the teenager and everyone in a three mile radius right over the top. The trouble is that the teen does not know anything is wrong; he only knows it isn't quite right. He certainly does not know what to do.

Biology aside, I have known families who will let their teenager live with someone else for a while and see if that helps. A change in venue can work miracles in some cases. One single working mother I know of had two teenage boys and one daughter, and the boys were always in trouble with the police. Eventually they both got shipped off to a camp for troubled youth, and wonder of wonders, both excelled at the camp. The oldest 'graduated' first and didn't want to leave. He liked the reliability and structure the camp provided, as did his younger brother. I'm not suggesting you go this route; I'm just saying it worked in other cases.

You might also try prayer, whether you're religious or not. Because, well, you just never know what might work, and you might get some much needed Divine intervention.

In my case, I can honestly say that you're doing something I couldn't do. I don't have the temperament to tolerate regular abuse. Eventually the little darling would say the wrong thing at just the wrong time and you'd all be reading about me in the morning paper.

Best wishes to you, sir.