It seems we’ve come to a whole new low in society, the final fruit of a generation of spoiled children and parents who (it would seem) have failed to set boundaries and actually parent their offspring.
If you aren’t familiar with the story of Ethan Couch in Texas and his attorney’s outrageously SUCCESSFUL plea of Affluenza as a defense in his drunk driving that left FOUR people dead, by all means click HERE or do your own Googling, there’s plenty of fodder. The gist of the story, as I see it, is that there are a group of young people (and for the minute, let’s leave affluence out of this) that steal beer, get drunk, drive and wind up killing 4 people and left 2 with serious injuries. This week the judge in the case sentenced Ethan to 10 years probation and a long-term treatment facility and NO JAIL TIME. Just chew on that a minute. It’s like grizzle, you simply cannot swallow that.
Parents, we have a DUTY to parent our children. Perhaps no one told us,or maybe we just weren’t listening/believing, but the sad fact is that parenting is the hardest flippin’ job EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR. From the time our sweet and precious bundle crosses the threshold of placenta to oxygen it is Game On. No joke. Sleepless nights and sleep-deprived parenting, potty training and 2-year-old defiance parenting, sibling rivalry and sharing parenting, school days and friendship parenting, tween angst and teen independence parenting, college life and young adult parenting and then…..then….then…..we can be friends. First we must parent. That, folks, is a marathon, so best fuel up!!!
Parenting means loving those kids and setting boundaries. Let’s clarify:
plural noun: boundaries
a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.
Failure to set those boundaries leads to confusion when our kids are trying to figure it out for themselves. I’m not advocating helicopter parenting, however, I AM all for setting up expectations and explanations of WHY we set limits and the consequences and following through. The follow through is the hardest part and the most crucial, otherwise, where is the lesson learned? And lo, there are MANY, MANY lessons to be learned, and some a few times before the lesson is mastered.
Currently, our 8th grader has had a semester of slacking to the max in his math class. Now, it IS an 11th grade math class and we don’t expect an “A”; we DO expect effort. The effort has been lacking to the tune of a D/F which has resulted in some pretty uncomfortable consequences. Those consequences have resulted in 1)renewed focus, 2)more attentive and interactive child, 3)renewed vigor on task, 4)completed assignments, 5)increased understanding, 6) D/F to a C and 7)mature and tremendous communication among us and our son. It’s a challenge and sadly, we’ve done this last year and apparently we have short-term memory in this house at times and need to repeat lessons, however, as seen with our 10th grader….they DO learn, apply and adjust with much fruit to be shown. Like I said earlier, it’s flippin’ hard; parenting is hard.
In the words of Nike, JUST DO IT. and then do it again. and again. and again.
Otherwise, we will have more BS “Affluenza” nonsense diagnoses to deal with rather than just calling a spade a spade. If you mess up, there are consequences and if you REALLY mess up….there are REAL consequences.
Ethan (like MANY before him) made a terrible and tragic choice that dealt consequences that he will deal with mentally for the rest of his life. Sadly, his consequences aren’t much different from the coddling that led to his poor choices. Mamas and Papas, come on, let us ALL buckle down and hold our kids accountable for the choices they make, because Lord knows the mess we are in for when we don’t.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.