I had a really interesting conversation with a friend of mine last night. It really has me thinking.
We were talking about what is going wrong in our society, like why bullying is such a problem, and drug addiction, slacker-type behavior, etc.
My friend said that she thinks a lot of parents are teaching their kids by example that "the rules" don't apply to us, and by extension, to them.
Some examples she gave varied from small little things to major things. Like:
In sports, parents sideline bad behavior. Heckling refs, fighting with coaches. The kids know it's not allowed, but parents do it anyway. Lesson: You don't have to respect the authority of the coaches/refs.
Police: When a parent gets a traffic ticket and complains and moans about the jerk of a cop who gave the ticket, regardless of the fact that the driver was, in fact, speeding. Lesson: When I break the law, I shouldn't be punished.
Church: When the parents of First Communicants are told "No photos" during Mass. There's always at least one person who flaunts the rule. Lesson: I don't have to obey the rules told to me by the priest.
At school: The child gets in trouble and the parent runs down to complain to the principal. It doesn't matter that the child may have done wrong. The parent wants the punishment lifted.
Another school example: Dress code: For example, sneakers aren't allowed. The parent thinks it's a dumb rule, so sends the child in sneakers anyway. Lesson: The rule doesn't apply to me.
Another school example: iPods aren't allowed in school. Parent tells child to hide it in their backpack. Lesson: THe rule doesn't apply to me.
I could go on, and all of these are real examples I know of personally. Should we be surprised that our kids don't follow the rules as teens and adults?
I'd love to hear your thought on this.....