UNITED STATES—Being a parent is no easy job. Yes, there are plenty of books out there, and everyone that you know who has a kid will have their opinion on what you should or should not do. This column is to address a growing concern with the generation that will soon take over for those us born in the 70s and 80s. I don’t believe it’s a good idea for adults to be helicopter parents, as it can manifest in your child becoming overly clingy and dependent on their parents for everything.
However, I’m seeing a bigger trend where parents are not as involved in the lives of their pre-teens and teenagers. This is a major problem in my opinion and I’ll share why. When a teen finds themselves in a situation where they are behaving badly, time and time again, its grounds for intervention. Yes, it may not go in the favor of the parent and there might be some ongoing battles, but it’s better to intervene than to ignore.
Recently, I witnessed a news story that reported several teens being involved in several robberies in the community. This was quite alarming for me because the kids ranged in age from 15-17. They were armed with firearms, but did not suspect their victim who was waiting at a bus stop to be a CPL carrier. Yep, he had a gun also, and the suspects had no idea that a moment of celebration would soon turn bloody. The victim fired multiple shots at the three suspects, striking two of them while the third fled on foot.
The suspects ran to a local hospital to be treated and authorities immediately linked the suspects to a robbery that just occurred. What was more alarming is the factoid that the teens, admitted to authorities that this is something they have done on multiple occasions. Just walking the streets and if they spot a possible victim, they strike. So I raise the question, where the hell are the parents? How are they not aware that their teen is out way past bedtime?
I’d argue most teens should not be out past 11 p.m. or midnight at the latest. I mean what the hell can you be doing, but getting into trouble. Parents have to be more vigilant to monitor their child’s behavior. I mean if your kid doesn’t have a job, yet they’re purchasing expensive items that should be a concern. If you’re not giving them the funds, it should raise the question of where those funds are coming from.
I think the biggest problem with parenting nowadays is that more kids are having kids at a young age. Can you imagine a teen raising a baby? Well it’s happening more and more nowadays and I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but most teens are not ready or prepared to sacrifice the rest of their life to raise a child. Because of that it leads to neglect, distance and a lack of caring for precisely what the child is doing. For some parents, as long as the child is clothed, feed and has a roof over their head that is all that matters.
It’s not enough, many of us who are adults and now raising our own kids, may not have been happy with the discipline and parenting tactics our parents used on us, but it worked in the long run. It helped us to understand that there are certain things you can and cannot do. Not to mention, responsibility is a major proponent of shaping a respectable adult.
There is no Bible to the correct style of parenting, but I think any parent knows when their child is doing wrong. If you see it you need to take steps and do what is necessary to get your child back onto the right path. If your child is involved in crime at a very early age, what do you think will transpire as they get older?