Rant with Randi: What would you do?
By Randi Crawford
Suppose you (mom) are out at a girls night out with a group of friends, and your husband calls. He has some unusual news while you are out on the town having a little fun with the girls.
He reports the following information:
He hears noise in his backyard so he goes downstairs to check things out.
He finds a group of teenage boys, uninvited, swimming in your pool and a bottle of Jack Daniels, half empty. (Apparently the boys thought that you were all out of town.)
When he opens the door to see what’s going on, one of the teenagers, swimming in his pool, turns to him and says, “Hey Dude, what’s up”?
How would you handle that situation? Would you:
A. Read the kids the riot act?
B. Call the parents?
C. Expect an apology?
D. Sit down with your own children, explain the situation, and tell them that if you ever received this type of call because of their behavior, they would be grounded for life?
E. Do nothing and hope it doesn’t happen again?
F. All of the above!
Someone related this story to me while I was at football practice the other night and I flipped out. So I called the mom to find out if it was true, and get the details, and she told me yes, but that you couldn’t be judgmental of other people’s teenagers. She explained that there are parents who honestly don’t want to hear it. She said teens just do dumb things without thinking, and sometimes you have to just roll with it.
My immediate reaction was shock. I would definitely want to know if that was my kid. Underage drinking, swimming, and trespassing all rolled into one night – throw in arrogance towards an adult and my mind doesn’t even know how to begin processing this scenario. At the very least, I expect that someone would call me if that were my kid.
My understanding is that this mom’s only concern, was to be sure that your husband had actually seen the bottle of Jack Daniels. She didn’t bother to apologize on her behalf, on her son’s behalf, or seem concerned about any other aspect of the night. She didn’t even say that she would “talk with her son” and get back to her with an explanation. This is totally breaking the mom code of conduct.
Can someone, anyone, help me understand where this mom is coming from? Are there consequences for these kids?
Moms, what kind of young adults are we raising? Where are the values we’re supposed to be teaching them? I just read a long string of facebook posts and here was the issue: A mother was angry at a toddler in a restaurant, who was staring her family down during their entire meal. She was angry that the parents didn’t scold the child or make the kid sit down so her family could enjoy their meal in peace. She posed the question on facebook, “Where have our kids’ manners gone? Am I crazy to expect parents to be parents these days?” And she received tons of comments from her friends. Many parents were vocal at their displeasure with the lack of manners our kids show in public. I made a joke and told her “To wait until she had teenagers” (after I had just heard this story), and several people wrote, “That’s our entire point.” We let our kids have everything they want from an early age, we don’t discipline them and when they grow up, the inmates are running the asylum.”
None of us have perfect kids, and judging someone else for their parenting is not what I’m suggesting. BUT when a kid breaks the law, we have to step in and do something. Trust me, if your underage kid pops a squat at my house, in my pool, with booze, I can guarantee you they wouldn’t be ever be knocking at my door to “hang out, dude.”
What would you do?
Your thoughts? Contact me on my website http://blog.randicrawford.net. Or via my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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