Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Real American Idol

This is going to be a controversial post. It will also be easy to misunderstand.

The biggest idol in America today is children.

While it is true that children are under attack and there is more abuse today. While it is true that child molesters are treated too lightly and there are too many in poverty.

But in middle and upper class America- children have become idols.

I work in a wonderful school. I feel a lot of support and encouragement- but my heart grieves over the average parenting style.

There used to be a saying- "When momma's not happy - no one is happy"

Today that quote is - "When little Johnny's not happy- no one is happy"

Kids today are given more leisure and doting attention today than in any time in history. The average middle and upper class kid has experienced so much leisure and life experiences, that they are bored and soft- and cry at the least discomfort.

Parents are kids buddies and I have seen moms and dads tremble before their idols when they whine.

The results have been very destructive:

We spend more money that ever seeking the perfect upbringing for our children. Ballet, tennis, golf, voice lessons, travel soccer, sunday A.M. basketball, year round baseball, gymnastics, martial arts, travel, T.V., no chores, carted around carte blanche, concerts, movies, big ticket restaurants, cell phones, shopping sprees, ipods.

Sadly, the materialism has led to thanklessness and selfishness.

We believe our kids first over authority figures. I rarely ever have a parent check with me to see if their kid's version of a situation is accurate. They call angry- ready to support their kid over me. When I explain my side of the story, they often calm down and apologize. I call it the speed of the internet and the accuracy of the weatherman.

We tear down coaches and teachers who draw hard lines and discipline. Teachers and coaches are leaving the profession because the parents seem unreasonable and unbearable.

I know a coach who suspended a kid for lying, missing practice, and having a bad attitude. The parents requested a meeting with his superior and asked that the coach be removed.

Parents let their children pick their school, their clothes, their music, and their friends without any input at all. I will say, "Are you going to let them choose heroin or not- or you at least going to put your foot down sometime."

WAKE UP AMERICA- love your kids by saying no- let them feel some loss- don't dote on them all the time- support authority- discipline- make it hard sometimes-hold back some life experiences for later in life- tell them what you want and expect them to do it!

In the end, they will love you for it.

Love your children- but please- stop worshipping them.

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