DISCLAIMER: I’m using what happened in McKinney, TX as a jumping off point to my questions about what is happening with our youth today. I am in no way saying the kids were more at fault than the cop. I believe all parties involved acted pretty despicable. I’m merely using this opportunity to start a discussion about what the heck is going on with kids these days. I don’t have it figured out. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it. It’s no surprise to anyone that there has been a change in how kids see themselves, carry themselves, and conduct themselves. This post is aimed at a discussion about that, and not my interpretation of the McKinney events, what opinion I have of who’s at fault, or what side any of us should take. There are plenty of other articles and threads out there discussing those matters that you are welcome to join 🙂 Here, I want to talk about kids, authority, and what we are producing for the future. Mmmkay? 🙂
The biggest question I had watching the McKinney events unfold was, where were the parents? After the dust settled a little, I still saw very little about the kids parents speaking out, being interviewed, making statements. Actually, to date, I’ve only seen one article from a father of a teen at the party, and he was calling for the cop to be fired for pulling his gun on the teens. He actually also stated that he didn’t blame his daughter for trying to run, because that’s what he was taught, to always run from cops because he’s black (Father speaks out). Why weren’t they speaking up about anything else? I couldn’t find a single parent that said “Yah, I’m disappointed in the choice my son/daughter made today.” Where the heck was that? We’ve seen parents come forward in a variety of ways before, from bailing kids out of jail and taking on the “Kids will be kids” argument, to parents defending poorly chosen actions, by trying to find a scapegoat in authority. We’ve seen a mother beating her kid down, for his poor choice to riot and protest. But is it enough? Are parents truly involved in their kids character building choices anymore? Where are the parents teaching responsibility and respect? Whether a broken home or a pinterest home, kids have lost so much… Responsibility, Respect, Compliance, and definitely Ownership of their actions, gone.
The kids were wrong, the cop was wrong, the neighbors were wrong. Where were the parents? It all makes me #scared.
When I was a teenager I went to illegal parties. Cops came. We ran. Kids jumped out 2-story bathroom windows and slide down the garage roof into the snow, trying to get away. The cops mostly stood on the sidewalk and watched the scatter. Kids that got caught, black or white, were told to go home, OR sometimes even driven home by cops, AS A COURTESY. Then we started planning the next party. It happened. When the jig was up, we went home. We didn’t vandalize, talk back, or swear at anyone but ourselves, for being so stupid.
The world has come to such a disconnect. What can we do about it? Those of you that read this, please, get so involved in your kids business that you know which kids around them are not being parented, invite them over endlessly, and parent them. I mean in the real sense of parenting them. Teach them manners, love them with correction. I am constantly reminding kids around me of their ‘please’ and ‘thank yous’. They aren’t bothered by it. No kid hates me because I make them say please. Actually, once they’ve heard enough of it, they start remembering on their own. Funny how that works.. Give kids what they aren’t getting from the non-responsible adults in their life, and help break some chains.
Why? Because its our responsibility to pick up the slack. Set the example of promoting love, peace, and guidance. Push your mind to seek out wisdom and then share that with the easily influenced spawn around you. Get a cheap pool for your back yard and invite them all in. EVERYDAY.
At my kids school, a white, well-to-do 5th grader once called me a B!tch because I asked him to “Please scooch over so we can get past on the sidewalk” Seriously? What is happening to kids? He didn’t actually think I was a b!tch I’m sure, but somehow we’ve created a populous of kids that are so determined to exercise every ‘right’ they
think they have. What the heck.
You have an opportunity as an adult to bless the kids around you in an influential, foundation-building way. And why? Because all kids are worth it. Period. Let’s all take on some of the blame and step-it-up a bit.