Skip to main content

Open letter to parents of teens: what the *^&*% are you thinking????

I am many, many things, but I am not naive.  I know a thing or two about teenagers.  I was one.  I have a bunch of 'em, and I have taught them for years.  I get 'em.

I know that since about the mid-1960s, teens in the US have faced a wall of sin and temptation, usually as soon as they cross the threshold to school every morning.  Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, baby, live and in person. Alcohol flows, condoms are dispersed and everybody's doin' it.

Dear Husband and I have always talked to our kids about all this stuff, and have tried to be really sensible about it.  As I mentioned, since I'm not naive, I haven't ever thought, "MY kid's NEVER gonna....", but the message we have always given our kids is:  No.  No drugs. No sex.  No alcohol.  No. (If you get into trouble at a party, call me.  I'll come get you.  And we'll talk.  Yeah, we'll talk.)

Here's is what I don't get.  Curly-Haired Daughter has a number of friends who's parents seemed to have completely abdicated the fight.  Here's the box of condoms.  Just make sure you drink at home so we "know you're safe."  One set of parents even bought their kid an old camper so he and his friends have a place to get high. One kid got an MIP (minor in possession charge), and the next night his mom was dropping him off at a party, after making sure "nobody had any alcohol".  Huh? 

What the *&^% are they thinking??

Honestly, I can't figure this out.  Do the parents just not care?  Are they too tired or busy?  Do they figure it's all so inevitable that there is no way to stem the tide, so they're just going to try to minimize the damage?

To me, it's like telling your kid:  "Shoplifting is wrong.  Very wrong.  Don't ever do it.  Now, that being said, I want to make sure you don't get caught, so here are my tips.  And if you do get caught - no worries.  I'll be there to bail you out."

Parents without backbones - unite!  Time to stop allowing your kid to do whatever he or she feels like doing.  Because guess what?  It's damaging them!!  It hurts them:  mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally.  And the only message they are getting from Mom and Pop is:  don't bother us with this.  Leave us out of it.  It's too hard.

I am the first to admit that raising teens in today's culture is no picnic.  But there is no excuse for well-educated parents to simply give in.  Your kid needs you:  be the adult, be the parent. Be a superhero in today's culture and prove to your kids that you care, you will hold them to a high standard and they can succeed.  Don't just hand them the keys to the liquor cabinet and look the other way.  Your kid - every kid - deserves better.


Comments

  1. I think that, in today's world, there are too many Moms (and Dads) who want to be "buddies" with their sons or daughters. They are spending 40+ hours a week at work, and don't want to appear to be "mean" to their kids; so permissiveness kicks in. You are so right when you urge them to "be the parent"! The time to be "buddies" with their children comes later, when the kids are grown. Believe me, our sons understood especially well when they grew up and had children of their own. -- Rosemary

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I love comments, even if you don't agree, but please don't leave anonymous posts. A well-mannered reader leaves a name!

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…