Kids these days.

It baffles me how my boyfriend’s oldest son can get away with anything. There’s a real problem in this country with parental rights. I can see it in the kids that walk around these days acting like they run the fucking country and won’t take orders from anyone. Here’s a kid who has grown up being used to getting whatever he wanted in the snap of a finger and never being disciplined properly, so when it comes time to lay down the law he doesn’t take it seriously. And because he’s never been accustomed to being effectively dealt with, he thinks it’s some huge travesty when someone steps up to him and tells him how it is. Shame on parents who raise their kids like this. You raise spoiled brats who become uncontrollable, manipulative, angry, whiny, lying thieves later in life. I have a niece and a nephew like this as well, who were also raised by marshmallows and ended up becoming a parent’s worst nightmare. They have the nerve to cry to me and everyone else in our family about their problems with their kids. “We don’t know what to do!” We give them logical advice… what is the kid most attached to? Take it away. Stop giving them cellphones and ipods. But it’s like talking physics to an amoeba.

Besides that, it’s a little late to change strategies. Once they reach about 16, their behaviours are pretty much set for life. WHY DON’T PEOPLE GET IT!

And they wonder why their kids turn into jerks. You know what I got when I got mouthy or caught lying? A nice crisp smack across the head. I firmly believe that this was the best tool a parent had in controlling their kids, and now it’s gone. My parents were the last generation of child-rearing folk who were able to keep their kids in line. I was lucky; I came way later than my brother and sister, who were both quite familiar with the leather belt. People in our generations didn’t suffer from disorders like “ADD”, which is the equivalent to slapping a 20-letter-long bandaid over a spreading infection and not understanding why it isn’t getting better. If you haven’t noticed, ADD usually crops up in kids whose parents don’t know how to deal with them. I’ve known people with ADD and they come from households where they rule their parents, and that wouldn’t have been the case if they got their rear-ends paddled once in a while. That’s how we shift blame from parents to genetics in modern society. Give it a name and medicate them. Works well, doesn’t it?

But I have a hard time understanding how a kid like this, who more than anything needs some hard reality checks, can be felt sorry for. Am I missing something? Because I have zero sympathy. What the hell is the matter with parents who truly believe that sorrow is a good match for criminal activity? Oh you’ve been stealing and pawning? That’s ok… instead of yelling or pressing charges, I’ll feel sorry for you because you’ve “fallen and need help up, instead of being kicked down further.” And while we’re at it, let me pay for your phone bill and give you money all the time too even though you’re of adult age. And if you don’t want to keep a job because you can’t learn to be responsible or just don’t like working, that’s ok too. You can stay at home and not pay any rent and let me continue supporting you until you’re 30, until you find a woman you can take advantage of. It’s perfectly fine to go through life being a mooch and a bum, just because you’re my kid and I love you. Gee, I wonder why the kid has no incentive to get off his ass.

I almost think parents who have this mentality deserve to go through hell with their kids. It looks good on you for never disciplining them. I have an aunt who turned in her own son when she found out about a crime he committed, and she didn’t flinch because she knew it was in his best interest. And now he’s one of the most responsible people I think I know, AND he has the best relationship with his mother. He’s got a great job, although he had to struggle for about 7 years until his name was cleared. There is NOTHING wrong with being a hardass parent. I push my boyfriend to be harder on his kids all the time because it makes me sick what they get away with. They will never be self-relying individuals when they grow up if they don’t have a parent who pushes them. If that’s the monster you want to create, then you’re doing a wonderful job. But if you teach your kids to go through life with their hand out, then they’re going to be dependent for the rest of their lives. The whole point of raising kids is to teach them the lessons of life for the generations that come after us. Teach them to stand on their own two feet so they know how to survive on their own. It’s good enough for every other animal in the kingdom, except humans. If we’re moving forward technologically and sociologically, then why should we not be moving forward independently as individuals?

I had to. This is what makes me so angry with this kid. Everything major that I own is because I earned it. The only major item my parents bought me is the laptop I’m still using, which I got as a college graduation gift 7 years ago. I took great care of it because I appreciated it. This kid… his dad bought him a beautiful laptop last Christmas and he falls asleep on the couch with it behind his head, nearly falling off. He had it scratched up in no time. Then a month later he’s on about how much he wants an ipad. Are you fucking kidding me? You can tell the difference between kids who appreciate what’s done for them and those that just expect it.

I went to Europe twice because I paid for it. I got my first job at 14 and saved my money until I could go, and my parents deemed me responsible enough to go with a tour group by myself at 16. I bought my own car, I paid my way through school, I have good credit and I pay all my bills, I have savings… etc. Nobody did those things for me, except me. No trust funds were set up for me, and I’m not coming in to any inheritance or properties. My parents helped me with my rent when I was living in destitution in my early 20s, but I always paid them back. When I moved home I gave them rent and they didn’t even have to ask. I’m grateful every day that I had to do everything myself. I’m not always proud to be a woman because of how so many of them represent us in this world after coming so far to gain equality, but it makes me proud to be not only a woman with a successful career, but a woman who doesn’t rely on anyone but myself. My parents are proud of me because they raised me to be the woman I am today. They can honestly look at themselves and know that they did an upstanding job. But that’s because they had control over me. They taught me the lessons I NEEDED in order to be who I am, in the world, by myself. I wasn’t sent to the corner to “think about what I did” any time I got in trouble. I was smacked and had things taken away from me. I was grounded. And, there was no such thing as allowance because I’ve never been without a job since I was 14, except my first year of college. If they were gone tomorrow, I’d already have the foundation to move forward because I never needed their help. I’m a well-oiled machine.

But on that point, I wonder how that kid would feel if something happened to his father. This is something I came to understand around the time I was his age. Every time I said something shitty to my parents, or did something awful to hurt them, my dad would usually reinforce that to me. “What would you think if something happened to one of us and you never had the chance to say goodbye and say you’re sorry?” Food for thought.

I can honestly say, at least we have peace in our house right now. It sucks to watch my boyfriend’s heart breaking because his son won’t talk to him, but I really think his mother deserves to go through what we’ve been going through for over a year with him. She thinks she knows it all, and yet she’s got a son who can’t keep his head screwed on straight. Let him be a slob in her house, let him lie to her constantly, let him rack up her grocery bills without contributing. Let him destroy everything she worked hard to buy, either for herself or for him. Let her fork out thousands of dollars for his benefit and watch him waste it. She’ll get tired of it eventually and they’ll get into a fight, and he’ll end up back here. This is the game, the very famous game that kids going through divorce will play. And the divorce works to Mom’s advantage because since she’s already angry with her ex, any time her son gets in trouble it gives her a perfect excuse to launch grenades at his father and take the focus and responsibility off her son. So it does NOTHING to improve the son’s behaviour. In fact, all it does is reinforce his belief that he doesn’t have to listen to his father at all. It’s as simple as making excuses all the time, which he’s a master at. If you buy into it, that’s how he’s going to be in every aspect of life.

She was in these shoes a year ago. She can’t be that perfect.

The sad thing is, he’s a smart kid. He’s capable of so much, but he’s gone down a bad path because his parents allowed him to – not ONE parent over the other, but BOTH. He’s stolen from us, and he’s stolen from her. He’s stolen from his grandparents, who have been the ones to bail him out when he was in trouble. Every time we go through something major with him, we give it enough time and he seems to be improving (because he puts on a very good act) for long enough until he figures we’ve forgotten about it, and as soon as he thinks he’s gained back enough trust to do it all over again, he does. And every incident just keeps getting worse.

I don’t know how many times we’ve caught him lying, but you’d think if you’ve been busted that many times you’d eventually learn to stop doing it. Nope, he’s determined to fool us, although I’m always one step ahead of him. I tell his Dad when he’s lying, and I’m usually the one who catches him when he lies or steals. I don’t have kids of my own, but I was one not that long ago. I know the game… but now I’m the adult and I’m not putting up with it. Len has given that kid the benefit of the doubt more times than I care to count. He’s never been a wayward father. He’s BEEN the one who let him get away with it because he tried TOO hard to pick him up and dust him off. Look where it left us.

Another point of contention for me is that his mother believes, that despite his indecency, he deserves the same benefits as his brother. So that means if his brother has great manners and does amazing in school, and takes care of everything we get for him, that if we get him some major item for Christmas, we’re expected to do the same for the other one. Well, I have a problem with that. I don’t particularly feel comfortable dropping $1000 on a TV that he’s not going to take care of, because we’ve already seen how he handles his belongings and it hasn’t gotten better as far as we can tell. And we can risk trusting his word that he appreciates it and will take care of it, but by the time he wrecks it it’s too late to do anything about it. What would be the point in spending all that money on something that’s just going to end up destroyed? I understand how difficult it is to do for one and not the other, but at the same time maybe that should be a lesson to smarten up so you can be rewarded for your GOOD behaviour. And at the same time, it’s not fair to make one kid go without just because the other one can’t get his act together. I don’t understand why you’re supposed to reward bad behaviour. In what universe does this actually work? Why can’t kids EARN things? My brother has made this mistake with his kids, and history keeps repeating itself. They can push him and tell him they hate him, and declare that he drop dead, because they know at Christmas they’ll still get a new laptop. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Only one of his kids has any manners or respect, and so I say again… does it seem right that she go without if they decide not to reward bad behaviour for the other two? Let the other one(s) go without. It’s not going to kill them if they have to be sad that they didn’t get an expensive Christmas gift because they made bad decisions. And if you’re overly concerned about them being upset by this, then you’re teaching your kids the wrong values. Christmas isn’t a competition over who gets what. Any time you receive something, you should be grateful. It’s up to the buyer’s discretion what they want to give. There are people out there who get NOTHING for Christmas, so if you teach your kids that it’s ok to be upset that you didn’t get the same thing or something equally expensive as your sibling, then you’re an absolute idiot and you deserve to have headaches with your child. Isn’t this why we were threatened as kids that we’d get a lump of coal if we didn’t behave? Seriously people, get your heads out of your arse.

So those are my thoughts over what’s wrong in the world of parenting today.

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