Attitude Adjustments Needed By: Stacey Honowitz
I have been dealing with kids in my job for a very long time, my job dictates the need to meet with kids on a daily basis of all ages. I have been doing this job for twenty-four years and and I can tell you that the attitudes of kids has changed drastically. We live in a society where there is such a sense of entitlement, that kids feel “deserving ” of all the luxuries even when their behavior is despicable. I don’t know who should get the blame for this, but certainly the parents who are responsible for them need to get it in check. I never professed to be the best parent in the world, but I know that I try, although my efforts sometimes fail.
I used to think that the bad attitude came from being abused and neglected, which are the majority of the kids that I deal with. I thought that because their life was rough, it gave them “carte blanche” to have a chip on their shoulder. I would completely understand that, and would never throw in my two cents. Needless to say, I walk a fine line when talking to them, and I have to imagine what there lives must be like living under those horrible circumstances. I have to say though, that there are many kids that I do see who have a terrible homelife who are as pleasant, and well behaved as you can imagine.
What I am talking about is the girls and boys who I see because they are involved in sexual relationships with older kids (over 18) and they are sometimes twelve. I am talking about the girls who constantly defy their parents directions and sneek out of the house to go meet an older guy to engage in a sexual relationship. I am speaking of the girls who have a sleep over at someone’s house and all decide to get naked and take pictures, and then are stupid enough to post them on a social networking site. What has the world become?
Case in point. Yesterday I had a meeting with a 13 year old girl and her mother, as she was involved and engaged in a sexual relationship with a 19 year old boy. I could see “attitude” written all over her face when she came into my office.. “What am I doing here?” she asked in a nasty curled lip way. She was as nasty as the day was long. She looked away from me, and her mother was sitting right there. Her mother looked at me and just shrugged her shoulders. It was an almost, “now she is your problem”. I told her why she was there, that I needed to know what her involvement was with this defendant. She stated “its my business, and my privacy rights, I can do whatever I want.” Again, mom just sat there and said nothing. You didn’t here mom chime in with “stop being so disrespectful” or “who do you think you are talking to?” Again, the girl was 13. This is not unusual, as I see it over and over again. We have changed into a nation that is scared to discipline our kids. If I ever did that to anyone when I was growing up that would have been it. I would have been grounded for life, and had my mouth washed out with soap. This type of banter between her and I set the tone for the meeting. “I love him, I look older than 13, I have had sex with 3 other people, and I don’t care what you have to say.” I said to mom “is she in therapy, reponse no” “Why is she still allowed to have Iphone (as the guy could still make contact) her response “oh she needs a phone.” Response,” Really? for what, to text sexually explicit comments to the guy? I got my point across (without disclosing my prosecutor tactics). I said to the mom , “I’m NOT the sex police.” You need to grab a hold of her, stop being afraid that your kid won’t talk to you. If you don”t nip this in the bud now, forget it.
Parents should never leave it up to someone else to discipline their kid. I got the impression from the mother that it was my job as the prosecutor to whip this kid into shape. To a certain extent that is true. It is a part of my job to try and seek out why this behavior is going on. But I don’t go home with the kid and night, nor is it my job to put them in their place. Society has opened it’s doors to bad, deviant, sexual, drug induced behavior. As parents we need to make sure that just because its out there, doesn’t mean they have to engage in it. Make sure that they realize they are still the kid, and their privacy, becomes your property if they can’t conform.