Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Acceptability of Rude

Rant for the week. I am shocked, shocked, at how acceptable it is for kids to be rude to their parents. It doesn't matter how young or old, whether they are male or female. I watched a mom at a park on Sunday cajole and actually drag her 5 year old by the arm to the car, the child fighting all the way, telling her mom to "get off." A friend calls and is in stunned to find soft porn featuring her daughter and boyfriend on her daughter's cell phone. I've heard countless stories (2 this week) of parents "too afraid" to check out their kids "MySpace" accounts. If they work up the nerve to do so, they are grieved and appalled at either their own kids are their kids "friends" pictures and attitudes publically displayed.

It's a given in most circles for kids to have a sense of entitlement about what is "theirs"- friends, phone, room, car, computer and accounts such as MySpace or Facebook, privacy, clothes, room and board. I am constantly hearing parents ask, "What can I do about it?" As if not funding a lifestyle of entitlement were not an option, pulling the plug on computer usage never occurred to them, not paying a cell phone account would somehow "harm" their child or requiring common decency, respect and accountability in exchange for parental authority and love were too much to ask. Seems to me that when we are expending effort to drag our 5 year olds to the car, we'll be expending that much more effort to drag our teens or young adults to wherever. Accountability seems to be a lost art among family, and from where I sit it's a sad, sad thing.

What I find missing the most in these interactions and in how many parents are raising their kids is a lack of GRATITUDE, joy and thanksgiving for what they have, for what's to come. Somehow the American dream has seemed to change from having freedom- the ability and option to make something of and for yourself, which requires vision and discipline, to a having ease and entitlement, an easy chair, fast food and uninterrupted computer time. Not a good trade-off, but one that it seems a lot of families have made.
PaxRoMomma signing off.

1 comment:

CookieMonster said...

It's really all about recognizing our authority as parents, isn't it?

I don't know about you, but I was brought up in the public education system. While I'm grateful for the chance at an education I otherwise wouldn't have had, I regret the one fundemental social truism I was taught year after year: you don't have to listen to your parents, they don't know anything anyway.

Now, this generation of children raised with this fundemental belief are trying to raise children of their own. But how can they possibly expect their children to listen and learn from them, when they know "parents are stupid"? Their hands are tied.