July 22, 2012

Not my kid

Friday night my family went out to dinner.  Seated next to us was a table with a 12-14-year old boy, his grandparents and another older gentleman.  If I had to guess, I would say that the boy was in town visiting the grandparents, as he wasn't from around here.  By that I mean he had a distinctive accent, or lack thereof.  He certainly wasn't from Texas or anywhere else that a little twang normally creeps in.

The boy was wearing head to toe Lakers regalia - jersey, shorts, shoes and a hat.  A flat-brimmed, too big for his head, ugly ass hat that still had the original stickers on it and was placed so that the midline of the brim was somewhere near his right temple. (I got news for all you sideways hat thugs - the 'leave the tags and stickers on' thing has been done before.  Google Minnie Pearl and tell me how cool you feel now).

I know many a parent that is guilty of letting their kids display a misguided sense of independence through their clothing, speech and activities.  When a kid is four and wants to wear his Superman costume to the grocery store, that is cute.  When your upper middle class white kid wants to dress and talk like a thug, sporting his Metta World Peace jersey, show some parenting skills.
I am never really surprised at the outfits and attitudes that I see on teenage kids out in public.  I am thankful that I seem to have instilled some sense of modesty and decorum in my oldest kids (the others are too young to know for sure).  Boom wonders aloud if girls know or care that their ass is hanging out of their Daisy Dukes.  We laugh at the muffin tops and outrageous attempts to display teenage cleavage.

When Bang tries to throw out some youthful attempt at sounding tough or ghetto cool - like, 'You mad bro?' - our family busts out laughing.  That is never going to fly in this house - and acknowledging that isn't going to harm Bang's psyche or cause him to start dressing all in black.

When are parents going to start taking a stand?  What has the past 40+ years of indulgent parenting gotten us?  Baby daddies, childhood obesity, gangs, drugs, thugs and the biggest welfare class our country has ever seen.  There is no sense of personal responsibility or accountability, no work ethic, no moral foundation.

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