Friday, February 10, 2012

Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen


WOW! I just watched this video that Hubster sent me on the FB this morning. If you watch it, I am sure you will have a reaction -- Positive or Negative you will have one. It is long, about 8 minutes or so, and for some it will be hard to watch for the emotional side of it. Others might find the language objectionable, but no matter what -- see it through to the end.

Personally, after all we went through and really are still going through with college brat, I feel for this man. The things he said about his expectations of responsibility for his child are very nearly the same things we have said AND continue to say. The emotion he struggled to keep under control in his voice shows how hard it can be for parents when faced with children who seem not to care about anyone other than themselves.

Kids today are hard to punish. There are so many rules that prevent parents from doing a lot of things that 25+ years ago were acceptable. Now, parents are simply scared to do anything, and many do nothing OR many do much that is ineffective because that which would be is likely to bring trouble down on their home. One snarky teenager can make one snarky phone call in anger and it can have devastating effects on the entire household. Even if nothing came of it in the end, there is still a record of it and still an accusation. These things can affect your employment, your credit score, your credibility, the trust of your contemporaries and ultimately your family. There once was a very distinct difference between parenting and abuse, yet in our society today, that difference is extremely blurry. No wonder parents are scared.

I am the first to admit that I SUCKED at being a teenager. I had a lot of stuff swirling around me. In all honesty, I didn't know up from down, left from right, near form far, love from hate or if I was coming or going for the most part. In spite of being a bad teenager, I had a job, I made dinner most nights and I did my chores with enough regularity for them to count. When I decided on my 16th birthday that I had had enough of High School and dropped out, I was informed that same day that I had better find a full time job, because I was going to be paying rent if I wasn't in school. So, I got a full time job and I paid rent. It wasn't much, but it was enough to sting when subtracted from my net pay. As soon as was allowed by the school board, I registered for and took the GED --  ON MY OWN. (B+ average tyvm...) No one told me to, I just did it, because even though I was a sucky child, I was not about to let my Mother's predictions of utter failure be the end result. (Somehow I think that was the intention all along... Tricky woman!)

The Father in the video made a statement, maybe even an extreme one -- but in this world there are fewer and fewer ways to defend yourself against kids and the drama is all too common. I say good for him. I hope like hell his daughter (and mine for that matter) will realize that life is not a free ride and that we must all do our share.

This link takes you to Tommy Jordan's original FB post -- I read some of the comments and I was glad to see so many were supportive of him. Obviously I know, as should you,  that there are two sides to every story, BUT as someone who has lived the extreme teen drama from both sides of the playing field, I tend to think there is more than enough truth in his story to make his video reaction credible.

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