I may piss people off with this one, but so be it. There’s a video that has gone viral. It has folks up in arms both for and against. I’m FOR. So here’s the video. And then I break down my thoughts below. *Warning: There is cussing, so no little kids – but hey… Have your teenagers watch it – we’re actually going to have our kids watch it, swearing and all. And the swearing actually comes from the teenager’s post, not the parent.
My thoughts, which I posted as a comment on the video in a highly condensed fashion:
I think posting this video on her wall is a stroke of genius. The folks whining about how embarrassing that is and shame on him? Um. Number one, she opened that door. Number two, he’s posting on her forum – meaning this is the way she communicates with the world. He’s doing it on her turf, in other words. That’s a greater impact, her friends may think twice about disrespecting their own parents, and it’s a step up in consequence from the last time they tried to “ground” her for doing something similar. Does she have the right to bemoan her life, in all her teenage angsty glory? Absolutely. In her own head, in her private journal, or in a rant to her best friend. So – when she took this to her Facebook friends (Everyone repeat after me: The Internet Is Forever.) she crossed the line, and he’s bringing it right back on her head.
Some of the commenters don’t seem to get that she did something similar and had her privileges taken away (computer, phone, etc). They already went down that road, and she apparently didn’t learn anything from it. In addition, the child just didn’t use her brain – she has an IT guy for a dad.
Respect for your parents is extremely important, and really sets the basis for your interactions within the family dynamic. If I birth, clothe, shelter, and feed you, give you love, don’t abuse you, and discipline you so you’re ready for your entrance into adulthood, I demand respect. Period. It’s my job to train you. It’s your job to learn. Pissing me off is basically pissing in your own pond. In addition to making me mad, it just makes your life, and those around you, more difficult. And respect for other humans in general? Dude. I’m so glad he called her on her attitude towards Linda (a lady that cleans their home in a services/barter type situation).
Paying for chores doesn’t happen around here. I do believe we’re going to start giving allowances… Probably based on a point system. The kids need to learn how to manage money BEFORE they leave the nest, and they cannot do that without actually having money to manage. But it’s not going to be based on chores they’re supposed to do. This is a family. This is our home. First, they need to learn a level of responsibility for their own things. Second, this is a FAMILY. It’s a family home. It needs to be run, we all need to live here, and Mom (aka Me) is NOT the slave, she’s the General. Everyone should have some responsibility in having the home run. Not only do kids need to actually learn the stuff of cleaning and cooking and running a home for when they’re out on their own, they need practice doing it. I left home without knowing how to manage money, without knowing how to clean, without knowing how to do laundry, and without knowing how to cook. Seriously. I had to learn everything on my own – and it was hard, because when I made mistakes, I didn’t know how to correct them. I don’t want that for my kids. I did have chores at home. Keeping my room picked up, and emptying the dishwasher and such. But mom didn’t actually TEACH any of the actual skills I would need later. Further – everyone lives here. A family is a unit, and everyone should have a hand in how it functions. We’re a unit, therefore the responsibilities need to be taken as a unit, otherwise they won’t have any respect for the work that needs to be done, and they won’t learn how to have pride in the results of labor.
As for teenagers having jobs… That’s, I think, dependent on the child. For example, I’ve worked since I was 12. I started out babysitting, and as soon as I was 16 (legal to work) I was working. I worked, all through Jr. High and High School. I got A’s and B’s on my report card, spent 4 years in the Band and Color Guard, and worked every.single.day. for 4 hours (half time) after school. I had to pay for my own car insurance, gas, clothes, extras like music, and food (including lunch at school). After high school, I worked full time, and went to school 3/4 time. I paid for my own books. Now, in my own kid’s life, I don’t know how we’ll handle it. Quite frankly, they have trouble in school. I think the added pressure of a job would seriously effect their education, so I don’t know that we’ll go that route. I don’t disagree with it in theory, but we’ll have to see how they mature. With their particular issues, it may, honestly, be asking for too much of them. But I’ll tell you what. With as much trouble as Poe and I have had in life – If I didn’t have the work ethic that was instilled in me, I’m not sure I would have been able to mentally survive.
Computers and kids… Having a computer is a privilege, not a right. Having a phone is a privilege, not a right. Right now, my kids do NOT have a computer. If they need it to do school work, they borrow ours. We have promised them that if they ever bring home all A’s on their report card, we’ll have the discussion of having their own. Until then, it’s up to us. We have a computer I’ll be setting up for them. Right next to me. I take very seriously the concept of The Internet Is Forever. I understand that we’re in a connected generation. But I think people need to learn how to think and survive without technology first, and then use the technology as a tool to make life easier (or more entertaining) later on. Life skills first, make it easier later. My children do not have phones. Later on, when they’re older, and spending more time away from us, we’ll consider getting them. But wanting a phone to be connected to friends (as one of my sons is currently begging me) is not a good reason.
The generation coming forward, and we’re just starting to see effects of, is a gimme, precious snowflake, participation trophy generation. Let’s get one thing straight. Once you’re out in the real world, you have to work for everything. You have to work for your education. You have to work for your living. You have to work to keep your personal environment the way you want it. Hopefully, you’re able to do things you love – but the work is still there. It never goes away, life is hard. It’s up to YOU to make it rewarding as well. I think we do our children a disservice when we don’t teach them this.
Quite a few commenters said he wasn’t being respectful to her and her property. Yeah, um. Who paid for it? He embarrassed her, how dare he? (Oh, that poor precious snowflake). They said he should be brought up on charges with CPS. I found a comment from someone who claims to work for CPS. They said that 1) He didn’t harm her. 2) He didn’t threaten to harm her. 3) They wouldn’t even come out on a call like this.
Frankly, this is my style of parenting. I’ve taken toys away. Not for a time – but for good. Doors come off hinges. Locks get put on things. My kids have issues, they definitely have. But they are respectful of us, to us, to their grandparents, and to other adults. They are well behaved. They try in school. They have “fun stuff.” They laugh. They’re hugged. They’re loved on. And we expect respect, and to live up to their responsibilities, or face the consequences. We fashion the consequences to make to MOST impact possible, and follow through. The grandparents, especially, think we’re particularly harsh. And we do have to toe a weird line of “is this disrespect/disobedience or part of his mental disorder” that most parents don’t have to deal with. But my kids absolutely know what to expect from us, always. I’m not coddling babies here, I’m trying to train developing minds to be successful adults. We must adjust to abilities, and adjust to maturing/changing/developing brains and hormones. But that doesn’t change our style, or the outcome we’re looking for.