August 3, 2006

Toxic Parents

Go all know a bunch. Parenting teenagers is hellish, and as this story in the Washington Post points out, there seems to be a bootful of people that haven't quite grasped the concept of who's in charge.

Do I want to know where my kids are? Absolutely. But it goes beyond that. I am obligated to know what they're up to, who they're with, and what they're doing. It doesn't matter how tired I am, or how much money I've spent on them - I still am responsible for them. Period.

I know people who have perfected hands-off parenting. You end up with the inmates running the asylum. And in my asylum, I'll have you know I am still in charge. Read through the linked story to the woman who was the 'coolest' mom. She was so proud that she'd kept her figure so as she was supplying her teenaged son and his friends with booze and drugs, she could also have sex with FIVE of them. Ahhhh, isn't that nice. All those life lessons handled in one-stop shopping.

Little boys are noise covered in dirt. Teenage boys are hormones in baseball caps. Think back to your teenage years - did you seriously need any help finding drugs or booze or trouble? My parents were my backstop. I at least knew I wasn't allowed to do it, even if I occasionally did do it.

My mother used to tell me "I know that right now you hate me, but one day you'll thank me...", and she was absolutely right. She was right about wearing a hat, she was right about the 4th guy I dated, she was right about using moisturizer, she was right about smoking, and she was right about the leather pants. Wait, no she wasn't. The leather pants were awesome.

But she was right to be my parent, and not my friend.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree! But what happens when the turmoil of an unhealthy upbringing hits you at 35?
Your concerns are normal and natural. the way you enforce those concerns are normal and natural also. If you were to act differently....perhaps erring on the side of over concerned consistantly. Using some of the tools listed in Toxic Parents at will...what then?

August 18, 2006 3:49 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Hey Paul, nice to hear from you.

If I'm tracking your concern correctly, you wonder what happens when kids who have been raised terribly become parents themselves.

I agree - we're the product of our upbringing. But I also have this concept that at some point everyone has to grow up and take responsibility for themselves. There are far and away enough examples, and enough help, out there, for parents to quit blaming their own parents for everything that's wrong with them.

Of course, I say this knowing I'm probably going to get blamed for all the stuff I'm screwing up with my kids now!

August 19, 2006 12:49 PM  

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