After having a recent discussion amongst some girlfriends, it really got me thinking: is it a generational thing or a rite of teenage passage that has kids acting like they’re downright crazy? When I was a teenager, I admit I did a lot of stupid things I wasn’t supposed to do. Sometimes I got caught and sometimes I didn’t. But I was deathly afraid of my parents, so there was no way I was going to outright disrespect them to their faces. But I had friends and acquaintances that I would witness talking back to their parents, disregarding their authority, and just being downright nasty towards them. I never had a taste of alcohol until I was almost a junior in college, and never smoked as much of a cigarette in my entire life. But I knew of friends, and friends of friends, who did those things. When I think about kids/teens doing any of these things today, I think back to when I was their age, and remember people doing some of the same things. So is it really just “kids these days,” or have kids always been out of control? Let me paint the picture for you, and then you can tell me if you think I’m wrong…
One of my girlfriends brought up a situation with a friend’s son who got left out in the cold (literally) for coming home past curfew. Curfew was 11:00 p.m., and he decided to show his face at 12:20 a.m. at which time he rang the bell, knocked on the door, and nobody let him in. It’s winter, so it’s definitely cold outside. However, before he left, the mother said something to the extent of, “When you come home past curfew, don’t even bother knocking on the door because you will not be allowed back in.” So this reinforces my belief that not following the rules is a common occurrence for this young man. Apparently, he thought his mother was bluffing when he decided to stroll on back to the house at 12:20 a.m. He kept blowing up everyone’s cell phones in the house, and leaving messages explaining how cold it was outside (he wasn’t dressed appropriately for the weather), and how he was sorry and should’ve gotten home on time (uh…ya think?!).
Now, if this had been my first time hearing of this type of behavior exhibited by this person, I probably would’ve had some sympathy for him. But it wasn’t. This is the same kid who up and left last summer to spend a week at the beach with his friends after his mom told him he could not go. This is the same kid who decided to throw an underage drinking party in the rec room of his uncle’s condo building (unbeknownst to the uncle). This is also the same kid who swore up and down he would do better, behave, change, and prove everyone wrong once he started college. However, his mom received notice that he’s in jeopardy of losing his scholarship and failing his freshman year. So my response to this situation was in agreement with the mom choosing to let him stay outside…all.night.long. When she left for work the next morning, he was still sitting on the porch (you can judge if you want, but I laughed…yup, I sure did).
So in this debate discussion I had with my girlfriends, it was insinuated that the mom was wrong for leaving him out in the cold. That maybe after a couple of hours, he should’ve learned his lesson and have been let back in the house. We also discussed the fact that kids don’t understand things like curfew until they get older and become a parent themselves. I have so many questions. Why didn’t he call his friend to come back and get him? Why didn’t he walk to the metro and either camp out there, or take it to a friend’s house? My thing is this: when you have young men like Trayvon Martin getting shot at for just being a young black man that “looks suspicious”, you have really got to do better. You can’t continue to act as if you can roam the streets all hours of the night, and not have the potential for serious consequences. Thankfully, nothing serious happened in this case, but that is the reality of the world we are living in.
BMWK — Do you think this situation is specific to kids being raised in this generation? Was the mother right for leaving her son out in the cold until morning, or should she have let him inside the house?