Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Don't Like that Kid and I don't Like her Parents Either.

The party had evolved, or rather, devolved into the kids making-out on the patio and skinny-dipping in the pool. The parents, tucked away in their palatial kitchen-- lined with granite counter tops and high end stainless steel appliances… were apparently oblivious to the children’s activity—I hope. This was not a high school party—this was a 13 year olds’ birthday party.

You know I obsess about The Beast’s friends, but I am not sure if I mentioned it—I have an unhealthy fixation with the parents of her friends too. I know…for someone who refers to her child as The Beast, has questionable parenting practices of her own and relates her personal rag-tag upbringing on-line…one would think I should not talk…yet, chatter away I do.

Perhaps it is unfair to equate house size or level of luxury to parenting style, but just on anecdotal evidence I have noticed a decrease in control/engagement with the child the larger the house or the appliances. McMansions, Viking stoves, Architectural Digest kitchens, Audi in the driveway are all red flags to me. Red flags that suggest the parents are driven, busy and probably pleasing their children rather than parenting them.

When I think back on my own childhood—it was the rich kids in the new development houses that had THE parties. They had the basement rec rooms with the pot and alcohol. I think I witness more pot consumption in suburban basements during my high school years then in my entire college career—which is saying a lot. I can only imagine with these larger houses and busier parents this little pre-view of the Young Teens Gone Wild Pool Party is just the beginning of a long slide downhill into the high school years.

I am thinking boarding school.


Pam J. said...

I think I would react just as you did about all those red flags. I sympathize with you on this age of child-rearing.

My husband taught 8th graders for a while and concluded that all kids 13 and 14 should be sent to work camps instead of traditional schools. Work camps in the good sense: they would work outdoors, anything physical, and no one would make any attempt to teach them anything academic because their wildly shifting hormones and developmental spurts don't allow their brains to absorb much anyway. I've always thought that made sense.

LazyMom said...

I totally agree--something like sleep-away camp for the entire year.