Monday, March 23, 2009

Can I get an "Amen?"

I just lifted this from my friend Dana's blog. I'd like to make 10,000 copies of it, then drop it from a plane over the neighborhood in which I work! Hell, it should be sent to every household that has a child, just to be safe!!

"Below is an excerpt from CNN commentator Jack Cafferty's new book, "Now or Never." Jack appears daily in "The Situation Room" on CNN from 4 to 7 p.m. ET.

In his new book, "Now or Never," Jack Cafferty says parenting might be on the decline more than schools are.

I never presumed to have any more answers about being a parent than anybody else.
There are no perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect families -- only degrees of dysfunction.
You get up in the morning and do the best you can. At the end of the day you say, "Okay, that wasn't so bad, let's try it again tomorrow." Some of my instincts were pretty good and some of them were awful.

I did stay engaged and didn't say to hell with being a father when my first marriage ended. With the younger girls, I eventually made the choice to clean up my alcoholism before I pushed things to the point of no return. But most of the credit does to my second wife Carol; to the girls; and to God Almighty. Ultimately, I've just been very fortunate.

I don't know the status of parenting in America. But I know a little about the status of education in America. Parents' growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it's parenting that's on the decline, more than the schools.

Exhibit A: My wife and I have just been seated for dinner when the maitre d' walks over and seats a young family at the table next to us and the kids start carrying on like orangutans on a leash.

The parents are going, "Timmy, that's not nice, don't throw your food, stop stuffing your mashed potatoes up your nose." Are mom and dad having fun yet, picking food up off the floor, apologizing to people like us, and wiping food flung across the table off their faces?
Some parents still have this attitude that their kids are too special to be burdened by discipline. And the rest of us are supposed to put up with their little mutants. That attitude really pisses me off.

I hate to break it to them, but the kids aren't special, and I don't have to put up with their behavior. If you can't control your obnoxious little brats, leave them home.

They don't belong out in public annoying other people, period. I don't remember a generation of kids ever so indulged and enabled to behave so badly. What's going on?

I remember as a kid I was expected to behave myself out in public or suffer the wrath of one very angry father. And of all the things that used to piss him off, those expectations didn't seem unreasonable. Something's gone terribly wrong here. My guess is it has to do with the breakdown of authority, the collapse of strong family structure, and the abdication of parental responsibility, dictated in part by the necessity that both parents work.
Plus, we have a whole generation of Baby Boomers who are too busy feeling entitled to prolong their own self-indulgent, self-absorbed adolescences to rein in their own kids."


Anonymous said...

All of that and the fact that a parent can go to jail for using corporal punishment anymore. I'm not necessarily an advocate, I've just been in the school system long enough to know that it made a difference in the classroom......

M said...

....if you did drop them, could they read those big words? Or even give a shit?

It is difficult to teach kids good behavior...I remember walking my own toddlers around outside a restaurant so as not to disturb others eating while we waited for our food. When they were older we made sure they used their manners and as a result we got many compliments from waiters and isn't easy being a parent...that's why you are supposed to wait until you are sure about your spouse and OLD enough to stop being a kid yourself- and responsible enough for a family!

Good psst :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Yep. I agree with this too.
The best thing we can do with our children is to teach discipline and give love. That is it.

Miles To Go Before I Sleep...... said...

I'm glad you stole this little diddy :-)

I thought about it afterwards and was like, "Shit, my kids have been those kids before tho..." Then I realized, No, they havent. They have been obnoxious at times but we have almost always been firm with how we expect them to act. We have taken them to the car/bathroom/lobby if they act out. We also try to take them to places that are "kid friendly" too... if we want a nice formal dinner out, we usually will not take the kids with us...

As for the schools? I used to think that "schools are in decline" like I was told on the TV, in the newspapaer, etc. However, when I started Zak in public school.... it then dawned on me that it really wasn't the school, it was the area of town I lived in and the lack of parental responsibility taken.... kids repeatedly "forgotten" to be picked up by parents, 4 and 5 year olds walking to school unattended, parents getting angry at teachers for SIMPLE discipline... it's ridiculous!

I'm sure there are the occasional "bad teachers" out there, I just haven't met any to date when it comes to my children... then again, I'm a proactive parent and I will do 100% of my part in the education of my boys :-)


Busy Bee Suz said...

Your falling/bathtub story is terrible. You better be careful. Linds fell in the tub a few years ago and busted her chin...had to get stitches. (glue really)
I also worry about this sort of thing too...but we are getting older now, we could break a HIP!!! :)

Tom.... said...

Hey there, take it easy on us Boomers. Although I see the writers point. Too many of my peers are starting to act like their parents did,expecting the world to move aside for their needs. When we had our little ones, and a few bucks to spare to go out to eat, we made sure we went some place where there were other maniac kids, so ours just didn't stand out too much. Still, little Timmy did manage to trip the waitress and slip a peanut into her shirt. Ah, those were the days.
Tom Anselm,teacher and author

SJ said...

I agree only to an extent, because I am all for discipline and have been known to whisper, "I am about to smack the SHIT out of you" to both of my children at many, many points in their lives. I have followed through on it if pushed. I a big believer in the follow thru.

However, in restaurants, at a certain age, there is no control over kids. No matter how you try, they do whatever the hell they want, while you look sheepishly around at others who think you do not discipline your kids.

ChiTown Girl said...

NOT trying to sound like a bitch, but then that's why those kids shouldn't be there! Or, at least they should only be dining out at kid-friendly places like McDonald's or Chuckee Cheese's. I go out to relax and enjoy myself, not be annoyed by other people's children. If I wanted to be annoyed, I'd have stayed home with my own!! ;-)

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I've always felt that children need TWO things (more than anything): 1) unconditional love and 2) discipline/clear boundaries.

Seems like too many parents fall short on both of these now.

So sad.