Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When teenagers are allowed to earn the art of saying "no."

In this day and age, parenting is restrained when it comes to discipline because those who don't have to live with the outcomes of their rules are so busy imposing them on others.

And parenting is no different.

Cell phones were always the bane of the teenage existence at our house.  Our daughter used to have some discipline issues years and years ago, so, when she would screw up, the cell phone would go.

8 years or so ago, we'd taken her cell phone away because she couldn't even go to bed without it.  After unsuccessfully trying to get her to leave it in the kitchen when she went to bed at night, we just confiscated it.

That went on for a month or so if memory serves, and my esteemed mother-in-law, knowing we had done that and why, went out AND ON HER OWN, WITHOUT ASKING US, GOT HER A CELLPHONE.

I'd thought I'd been hearing things.  Late at night, I'd be brushing my teeth in our bathroom and I'd hear her talking to someone (her voice carrying through the HVAC system), knowing that her phone was securely locked up (and by "late" I sometimes mean at 2 in the morning.)

Finally, it reached a point where she became open about it, getting text messages in front of us, and I called her out on it.

And we confiscated that phone as well.  Still have it around here somewhere, I think.

Needless to say, that kind of undercutting of our direct parental authority by the mom-in-law became  par for her course and it started the cascade of mother-in-law damage to this house.

So, why do I bring it up now?

Well, the bruhaha over the police officer in South Carolina getting a disruptive teenager out of the classroom is the direct result of this child having learned the "Art of Saying 'No.'"

More and more, teenagers are saying "no" to authority

And that goes to the heart of this matter.

Children (meaning students) should not be allowed to have their cellphones in school.


That we allow them to have them at all in school, on or off, is an acknowledgement of their "no" rule.

But if a school DOES allow them, they then should be able to confiscate them if they see them.  Then they can return them to the parents.

But this instance started, apparently, because this child didn't want to put her cellphone away, and she had been trained to believe that she didn't have to put it away.

Here's the actual detailed facts:
Fellow students in the class that were interview Ed said " The teacher asked the girl to get off her phone, she refused, she was told to leave the class and refused, school administrators asked her to leave the class because she was on her phone and she continued to refuse, the School Resource Officer asked her to leave the room and she still refused, and it resulted in her and one other student being physically removed from class.
Other students reported " He asked her nicely to get up, over and over he did nothing wrong. They asked her to get up but she wanted to show off, To some it looks bad but she wanted to prove she was bad."
The Teacher was asked if he felt bad for what happened to her? his reply: " She should have cooperated."

I have no idea.  But it sounds plausible in this day and age where a teenager wins merely by looking at authority and saying "no."

Because at that moment, our concern as a society has shifted from maintaining order and allowing the business of, in this instance, a school to continue; to instead focusing on the perpetrator as a victim.

She had it coming.  The cop did nothing wrong in my opinion.

Perhaps next time, she'll put her damned phone away.

Meanwhile, it's a good time to review parenting.  She obviously has parents that could either pay for her phone or get her an Obamaphone; but not, apparently, discipline her enough to know when to use it.

And my own experience has taught me when people interfere with parenting... this is the kind of outcome we can get.

Because if parents were empowered instead of children, this likely wouldn't have happened.

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