Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bad kids aren't born, they're made

"Mean Girls" in suburbia

Here is another illustration of how our society is ailing. To fully appreciate things, please read the linked article. I’ve said countless times that the behavior of our children is not the problem with American society, but is a symptom of a problem…poor parenting. This problem transcends social class. It’s found in the inner cities, and the upscale suburbs. People just don’t know how to parent, or worse they simply don’t care what they’re doing to their kids. Today’s parents have more interest in themselves than their children. We, as a society, are betraying the next generation.

Case in point, five high school girls have come under scrutiny in suburban Texas for basically being out of control. They were disrespectful to teachers and coaches, drinking regularly and posting inappropriate photos of themselves on the internet. Most of this occurred with few consequences. Why? Mainly because one of the girls was the daughter of the school principle, who has since resigned under pressure from the school district. We see similar problems all over the country. Kids go to school with weapons, or they assault other students or even teachers. They’re involved in lewd sexual behavior, drugs and alcohol to large extents. Whose fault is this? Yes, kids will be kids, but at some point we have to start asking questions about how much of this is "normal" adolescent behavior and how much is simply parental failure. In many cases, it’s the latter.

Here’s what I see. Parents aren’t as interested in school performance. They don’t seem to push their kids to excel in academics as much as "social-demics". Nowadays, it’s more important to us as parents for our kids to be with the in-crowd, to be popular. It’s more important to maintain social status than a GPA. We dress our 6 year olds in pageant wear and parade them in front of judges, who assess them and give them value based on their looks. We want to know if our kids are being invited to all the right parties, rather than when their next algebra test is. Basically, we’re raising a generation to be co-dependent, and have their identity based on what others think rather than personal accomplishment. The drugs, the alcohol, the partying, the lack of respect, is all okay as long as it gets them in with the in crowd. Pathetic.

Parents want to be friends with their kids, and this is not conducive to a healthy parent-child relationship. You can't be your child's friend because that makes discipline difficult. When's the last time one of your friends grounded you? Take an active interest in your child's life, keep lines of communication open, but don't try to be one of the guys or one of the's a big mistake.

It’s time we called these parents what they are…bad parents. This high school principle…she is a bad parent. Period. It’s not society. It’s not the media. It’s not "teenagers being teenagers" that produces this behavior. It’s bad parents. And until we start calling them that, and injecting a little shame into the situation, the situation will not change. Pit Bulls aren’t born vicious killers, they are taught to be that way. Kids are not born to be antagonistic and disrespectful and self-destructive, they’re taught to be that way. Bad kids aren't born, they're made. Let’s not forget that, and hopefully one day our parents will grow up and begin teaching their kids rather than acting like kids themselves.


Dan Trabue said...

Just curious: Are you a parent?

No judgement in that question, just a question.

As to your argument, I'll gladly agree that there is a lot of bad parenting happening. A lot of teaching revolved around maintaining the status quo, even when the status quo is not valid or desirable.

I agree, too, that we, as a society, are betraying the next generations in many different ways. Personal responsibility and accountability are rare commodities everywhere these days.

John The Patriot said...

I am a parent, and raising a child properly is challenging enough without having to deal with the undo influence from kids whose parents shirk the responsibility. It's one of the reasons why home schooling has become more popular.