Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Children, parents, and teaching lessons

Once, when I was a young child, I screamed and acted like a child when my parents took me out to a restaurant. They warned me, but the story goes that I apparently didn't listen. So, they took me outside, locked me in the car, and went back in to eat. I could see them while they were dining on the other side of a window. I learned a lesson.

At age 11, I played with pink muscle men. Also played "guns" with a neighborhood friend, but using sticks, hands, and cool alien-like weapons. When I misbehaved for whatever reason, and didn't listen, there was a threat from dad. At times, he only had to refer to a belt to get me in line. I learned a lesson - of course, that depends on who you talk to.

Not liking it, lessons were learned and parents were there to keep me in line. Not bribing me with snacks, or allowing me to take an inch and mile and watching while it happened. They did the job.

Now, enter recent news stories. The now 21-year-old Pontiac man who at age 11 shot another man in the head with a rifle, who's been released from jail after eight years and is now getting state-subsidized tution and apartment rent. Don't forget about the pink suit and shoes he wore at the final hearing. Secondly, the parents angry with an airline because they were kicked off the plane following their 3-year-old's 15-plus minute trantrum before takeoff. So, rather than "giving them more time" or abide by a request to illegally place the kid on their lap, the crew told the parents they'd have to leave the plane to accomodate the other 112 passengers and the schedule.

Anyone missing any pieces here? Can't say, but it seems like we're missing some important lessons in life here. Parenting is needed. Of course, these stories come on the heels of others in the past year where schools have banned tag, dodgeball, playground-typical activity because of parent gripes and the fear of being sued. We should all fear for what's ahead. With the type of parenting we've got, and the type of children that are being raised these days, I'm afraid to think what kind of lessons these children are being taught and the adults they'll grow up to be. Not a very reassuring thought.

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