Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When Will Parents Grow Up?

Fights between fans (mostly black teenagers) during a championship high school basketball game at Madison Square Garden turned into a melee that spilled into the streets and subways, drawing police on horseback and in riot gear. At what point will we take responsibility for our own? And who exactly is responsible?

When I express my opinion that parents are the overwhelming factors responsible for the behavior of their children (and this responsibility knows no race, religion or ethnicity), I am berated by people who use the same indolent, lazy excuses, such as:

  • I have to work too many hours; therefore I cannot keep up with my child’s every move.
  • I have a good child. He/She only gets in trouble when those heathen friends are around.
  • (My personal fav…) Rap music/Video games are too violent these days.

Whenever I hear these excuses I want to grab these parents by the thoat (yes, I meant that spelling), because all they are doing is providing excuses for themselves and the behavior of their children. This is ruining our future generations.

If rap music and video games are too violent or too sexual for your taste, why wouldn’t you take the steps to confiscate said video games and cd’s from your children? If your child’s friends possess less-than favorable qualities, what prevents you from keeping your child away from those bad apples? Sure, your children may throw a tantrum or two, and you may have to beat that ass sometimes (something I highly recommend). But the point will be made that you as a parent have rules that the child must abide by.


You can spend time with your children, and learn what makes them tick. Understand what their interests are and work with them. Teach them right from wrong, so you don’t have to worry about what they are doing while you are at work. These are the things caring parents do.


Anonymous said...

Minus the gunshots, this happened periodically during basketball games when I was in high school. To place the majority of responsibility upon parents shoulders is far too simplistic of an approach.

Brother Spotless said...

Sure, the problem is more complex than something I can blog about in this space. But the fact that incidents like this occur with teenagers more times than not is striking. Who is teaching them? More specifically, who is not?

Parents today, by and large, are lazy, and are more than willing to let avenues of media play role model for their children.

Brother Lightness said...

These kids are in high school! That means they're anywhere from 13-18 years old. Think about all the stupid things you did at that age (and continue to do), in spite of the values your parents instilled in you.

Brother Spotless said...

Of course I broke rules my parents set for me; I broke many. But there were many levels of parental rules broken before I even approached breaking legal rules.

Teenagers are taught how to act. Parents should be the ones to teach their children, and they are failing. Of course there are examples of problem children who, in the face of even great parental supervision, continue to act a fool. But those individuals do not represent the majority of children within the black community. Most children respond positively to constructive parenting.

At what point in history did 13 year-olds become mature enough to take responsibility for themselves? Sometimes I wonder if parents forget that they are in their position for the child, and that the child is not their for the parents' amusement. It's as if once the child grows out of the initial infant/cute phase, he/she is not worth the time or energy required to be raised properly.