I’m sick to death of the anti-child bias in this country. Last week I saw an advertisement for a show, “My Teen’s a Nightmare.” Seriously? This is what we watch for “entertainment” now? The heartbreak of parents is fodder for afternoon viewing? What message do these kids get for being featured on a television program as their parents’ “worst nightmare.” I’m sure some act proud that they’ve beaten their parents down to that point– how else can they save face? I see parents who have poured their lives into their children, made mistakes sure, but truly done the best they knew to do, loved those kids, trained them, taught them, and had a prodigal. I cannot imagine any of my friends who have endured this thinking that the answer is to publicly humiliate the child by sharing the kid’s failures with two million of their closest “friends.” They’re grieved hurting people, but they still demonstrate love to the kids who have broken their hearts.
It started with the “terrible twos,” the “threatening threes,” the “fearsome fours,” and now we have the “nightmare teens?” You know, people used to be so “encouraging” to me when my girls were all under eight or so. “Oh, they’re sweet now, but just wait until they get to be teenagers.” I got so tired of being told how horrible my life would be when my children that I loved so much became teens. I got sick to death of the idea that the day they turned thirteen, they’d morph into awful people that made my life a living– well… you get the picture. They didn’t. I’m not saying it can’t happen. I’m not saying that one of my kids may surprise me and become the embodiment of the prophesies, but I have had seven teenagers so far, and they’ve all been a delight. Even if the last two were troublesome, they’d be the definite exception.
I don’t pretend that it’s easy. I don’t pretend that things can’t go south. I am a sinner. I gave birth to sinners. However, I can’t help but wonder if teenagers don’t just live up to the expectations that society puts on them. If we tell them (or their parents in their hearing) that they’ll become rebellious and miserable beasts after their age has “teen” in it, for the bulk of their childhood, why on earth do we think they won’t? People usually do what they’re expected to do.
Ok, so I’m ranting. Either way, I’m annoyed. These kids are going to be the wage-earning, voting, citizenry of our nation in twenty years. We should have high standards for them, yes, but can we not also apply the “Golden Rule” to them as well?