In the last week there has been a string of vandalism and destruction in the area that i live. First a group of boys trashed a scoreboard at a little league field, then broke into the supply room and burned the teams equiptment and jerseys. There was no personal vendetta, these boy were ages 17-19 and randomly decided to do it after getting drunk. In another story several teen girls have been arrested for going on a vandalism streak, spray painting several cars and houses with black spray paint. And of course there was the rash of Easter vandalism, with churches being vandalized in Ny, Mass & CT over the Easter weekend.
Now i don’t want to sound old, hell i’m only in my 30’s, but what the hell is going on? I’m going to openly admit i did some irresponsible crap when i was a teen. Car surfing? Dumb as hell…, Driving to Altona or Champlain Ny in the middle of the winter to see a girl on a school night? really dumb (look it up, the places are in the middle of nowhere). Bonfires at the beach? ok, those were just fun….Did my parents always know where i was, and was i always where i said i was? hell no, no matter how good parents are, and i had (have) great parents, no parent ever really knows what their teens are doing. But you know what? no matter what we were doing, the things we did never hurt anyone but ourselves and never did anything that led to the destruction of property. Even as dumb reckless teenagers we still knew there were lines you didn’t cross and there was a unspoken level of respect for other people in general. Were we perfect? no, but what seems to be going on today is a whole new level of stupid.
It seems like there are no longer boundries, anything goes. We can blame the internet, we can blame text messaging, we can blame music and video games and Mtv….. But you know what? that’s not the problem. Those are just symptoms of the problem. The real problem? PARENTS. Yeah, it’s really that simple, your kids are a direct reflection of how you raise them. Parents have become afraid to be the bad guy, afraid to lay down boundries and punish when nessasary. Everyone wants to be touchy feelly, be friends with their kids and help nurture them to be the best they can be….
You know when i became friends with my mother? when i was about 22. Yes, we were always close when i was young, but it was always known that she was my mother, not my best friend. And when she had to punish me, ground me and take away things like tv and telephone, she did. And although i sometimes hated her for it, i really respect her for it now. because i could have ended up like one of these little losers, running around, wasting their lives and hurting innocent people in the process. No, when i was @ 22 we went out to lunch together and had our first beer together. we had a conversation as adults and i finally knew my mother as a person, not just a parent.
I know, people are going get their undies in a bunch about this, but be honest, where else does the responsibility lie? we’ve been letting tv and school and shrinks raise our kids for well over a decade now, and where has it gotten anyone? there’s a time for accepting reponsibility for your screw ups, and America, guess what? it’s that time.
I always joke that you need a permit and a background check to adopt a dog but anyone can get pregnant. Weird, the joke isn’t as funny anymore, now it’s just sad and more than a little scary.