Where Have All the Parents Gone??

Okay, folks, let’s talk about another party filled with teens who are drinking, and where are Mom and Dad? According to recent news stories, they could be right there at the party with the kids, delightedly watching their offspring slug down alcohol. Why not? It’s so much better than if they were drinking elsewhere because…well, Mom and Dad wouldn’t look nearly as “cool” to their teenagers as if they let them drink at their own house!

They say it’s to prevent drinking and driving, or to teach them to “drink responsibly.” But, to allow your children to do something that is not only foolish and potentially harmful for them physically, mentally and emotionally, but is also ILLEGAL, can have no redeeming rationalization.

And, this is simply a small part of the larger national fever to coddle, adore and give, give, give to our children until (and I’m almost giddy here!) we all become best friends…or, until we succeed at making them into the most entitled, egotistical, disrespectful, and selfish generation on the planet.

As a parent and teacher, I’ve watched the trend the last few years, and it is frightening: the desire never to “embarrass” or “humiliate” a child by telling him/her they did something – yes, I’m going to say it – STUPID; the angst over allowing students to receive the grades they actually earn (gasp!); the astonishing excuses for bad behavior made by parents; the reluctance to demand respect from children towards adults, for the simple reason that they are ADULTS, and know better about most any given thing at most any given time!

My favorite sentence in a recent newspaper article was: “Teens say there isn’t really anything parents can do about their drinking…”. This is hilarious. Where do these kids learn that haughty disrespect for adults? From us!

The next sentence read, “Some adults disagree with that.” SOME adults DISAGREE with that? Shouldn’t the next sentence be something like, “The teens who made that statement are unavailable for further comment, due to the fact that they’ve all been sent to military school.”? The fact that ANY adults AGREE to be helpless in the face of children wanting to drink, or smoke pot, or chat privately on a computer – or run with scissors – is astounding.

So, all you parents out there who have thrown up your hands and said, well, kids are gonna drink, what can ya do – here’s what you can do:

1. Tell your child that you were mistaken in allowing him to make all his own decisions since what kind of Pampers to wear, and that until he is at least 18, you’ll be reclaiming your parental decision-making responsibilities.

2. Know your kids’ friends’ names and information. Call and introduce yourselves to their parents. Check on where your child said he would be, and make sure there’s supervision.

3. Tell them that if they ever drink or smoke pot, they may not go out unsupervised for the rest of the school year, and their driver’s license will be put off/taken away for one full year. Period.

4. MEAN IT!!!

And, if they “hate you!” for it? Kiss them, hug them, and remember – this is your job.

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