Archive for the ‘1’ Category

An Out Of Control Child Or Is it Parents Fault?

April 21, 2010

I was reading my friend Rose’s blog when a comment someone made caught my attention. Rose’s blog was about things she hated that most people she knows seem to like.  The comment that caught my attention was from a friend of hers that hates “parents who let their children run the family/home/life”.  This comment caught my attention because of something that happened earlier in the day at my house.  While I hadn’t intended to blog again so soon I find myself w/a topic & a story to tell. Yesterday, my boyfriend Brian’s son “D” was having his friend “Z” over for dinner; & “Z” is the reason for my story. 

Let me acquaint you w/”Z”. When I first met him I thought he was a sweet boy, both Brian & I were glad for “D” to have a friend to play with who lives just around the corner.  There aren’t a whole lot of kids in our neighborhood; it’s rare to see kids outside playing; riding bikes etc.  The first time he came over to play at our house both he & “D” were jumping off the furniture in “D’s” bedroom; but mostly “Z” was. I believe this is when the box spring for “D’s” bed broke. I was downstairs in the living room & I thought they were going to come through the ceiling & land next to me on the couch!  The next time he came to play they were crawling, bouncing & jumping all over my leather sectional & ottoman in the family room. I noticed a hole in one of the sectional cushions the next day.  Mind you, I’m talking about 12-year-old boys. They should have grown out of jumping on (& off) furniture years ago.   A couple of weeks ago “D” called Brian from his cell phone to tell him that he’d gotten in trouble on the school bus & had his bus privileges revoked for 2 months, as a joke. Obviously, this is not a joke we’re going to laugh at & “Z” was clearly heard in the background coaching “D” on exactly what to say.

Day before yesterday; the boys were in the yard getting “D’s” bicycle from the shed. “Z” decided to grab the tree limb cutters & started swinging it around like it was a sword, breaking & smashing branches off trees & bushes.  He swung that thing like a baseball bat & sledge-hammer; really intent on breaking everything in his reach. It’s a miracle he held onto the thing (it’s quite long & heavy) & didn’t hurt himself or “D”.  I’d gone out to bring the dog inside, & saw what he was doing.  I stood there watching frozen in place w/disbelief at the disrespect to our property; but more afraid to call out & startle him for fear he might lose his grip & the cutters would go flying ‘into’ “D”.  “D” saw me watching, told “Z”, who promptly threw the cutters into the bushes, picked up a branch he’d just smashed off a tree & pretends that was what he saw swinging around the whole time.  (Yes, I did just fall off the turnip truck.)  But…. he’s not my child so I just walked over, found & picked the cutters up, put them away & told him he was lucky he hadn’t hurt someone. No apology forthcoming.  The boys leave without picking up the mess “Z” just made.  I told Brian what “Z” did to the yard & he’s not surprised. By now we’ve had numerous discussions about him & neither of us are so glad for the friendship anymore.

Yesterday, Brian told me that “D” asked if “Z” could have dinner w/us. I was hoping he’d said no considering the behavior from the day before. Instead, Brian tells me his parents went out & left him behind because he wanted to stay outside playing, so he’d said yes.   In come the boys & Brian sends them outside to play until dinner’s ready. Brian was  grilling up some burgers & therefore was outside to witness what happened.   The boys were on the trampoline at the rear of our yard when a couple 6-year-old girls from the house behind us go out to their yard.  “Z” saw them & proceeded to pull his pants down & is yelling to the girls “Hey! Wanna see my balls?” (for those sensitive to language reading this, my apologies.)   Obviously Brian heard the taunting, looked up from the grill & saw the boy with his pants down. We won’t tolerate that kind of behavior, & he was sent home. 

Brian called “Z’s” parents to tell them what their son did, & that he’d been sent home.  I couldn’t tell you what their reaction to the phone call was; because I didn’t bother to ask.  The reason?  These are parents who allow their child to rule their home. “D” tells me this boy is in constant trouble at school, on the bus, & at home.  I can’t count the # of times “D” has stated “Z”  is grounded;  but the kid shows up 5 minutes later ringing our doorbell looking for “D”.  According to “D”,  groundings’  last for an hour or less @ “Z’s” house. The moment his parents ground him, he throws a hissy fit of a tantrum & they rescind the punishment.  I get the whole don’t ‘overly’ punish your child for bad behavior philosophy, if the child feels like he’s already lost everything, there’s no incentive to behave.  On the flip side; how does grounding a child for an hour or less; or relenting on a punishment when the child throws a temper fit & pouts, teach a child there are consequences for their actions & behavior?  This is irresponsible parenting at it’s finest.  These parents need to realize their failure to act, be firm, establish rules & boundaries, as well as consequences, extends beyond their front door.  “D” went on to say that “Z” always yells at his parents & never listens to them. Brian & I have long speculated that the reason “D” is so welcomed at “Z’s” 24/7;  is so that his parents don’t have to deal with him.

I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of trouble that boy will  be in by the time he’s 16; I just hope & pray that he & “D” are no longer friends by then.  And I hope that those little girls couldn’t hear what “Z” said & that their parents were near by to hear Brian scolding him, & realize the offending child is not a member of our household.