Dec. 15th, 2008

johnstonmr: (Default)
So, I saw a comment in another person's journal (name withheld because I respect her and don't want people jumping over there who aren't already there), and I didn't want to start a shitstorm, so I didn't reply to it. But it essentially posited that the journal owner needed to enter a new phase of relationship to her daughter, wherein she's a friend first and a mother second. And I nearly burst a blood vessel holding in my howl of "WHAT THE FUCK?" Then I posted my own advice in a polite manner (I hope), and came here to vent my frustration. Sincere apologies if this pisses anyone off. I am in Angry Teacher Mode.

The parent is ALWAYS going to be the parent. You may lose some authority, but you're still the parent; you still have some responsibility to your children, and sometimes that means NOT being their friend. Sometimes it means telling them the truth, even if that truth hurts, and even if it's going to make them angry.

I see what happens when parents try to be more friend than parent to their kids. I see it every day, and believe me, it isn't pretty. It's teenage pregnancy and boys who are failing because they can't even read. It's kids who have kids and 20 year-olds who are still trying to graduate from high school. It's poverty and wrecked lives and an endless cycle that won't break until someone stands up and says "No. I will not let my child do this."

Can the original poster of the journal MAKE her daughter obey? No, of course not. But that doesn't mean she should cross her fingers and hope the kid learned enough from her, either. Because even if the law says an 18-year old is an adult, the reality is that kids that age do not, on the whole, have the capability to make rational decisions about their future, because neurologically, most 18 year-olds are not yet able to project into the future sufficiently to make good decisions. That's not a by-the-seat-of-my-pants opinion, that's neuroscience. Full brain development isn't accomplished until the early 20s, and some neurologists believe that about 25% of the adult population never gains that "forecasting" ability.

Bottom line: Jokes aside, you don't stop being a parent when your kid hits 18.
johnstonmr: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Because I'm a teacher, and it's actually MORE work to miss a day than it is to work, I go to work anyway unless I'm contagious with something awful or just too sick to move. I rarely get that sick, unfortunately.

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