How Not to Parent Teens… . [14 Dec., 2014

Closing the day with some thoughts about last night’s house-trashing on our street.
1).  When I walked through the party around 8:30p-8:45p, there were students of every faction: marching band, varsity football, basketball, high steppers… and students who do not necessarily participate in any activity other than to ‘sheep’ and follow the crowd. Many, and I mean very many, of them were simply standing shoulder to shoulder, talking; high-strung, nervous excitement.  Party hype and exaggeration.  They were, of course, in a schoolmate’s house where it was known the parents would be gone most of the evening. Unfortunately, many of them were totally out of control. To name and point fingers labeling one group of students as the cause of this incident is inaccurate and unfair.  Many of the students, upon recognizing ME, began to scatter and leave immediately:  they knew they should not be there.
2). A vast majority of the students were recognizable [town name] HS students – every grade level was represented. There were also a handful of post-high school young adults and/or recent grads around for winter holidays.  They should have known better and either left or put an end to the damage and destruction.  They are just as culpable.
3). When your child, or mine, comes to you and says (or asks permission, which is appropriate), “I’m going to so-and-so’s party”, do any of you still ask, “Are the parents home?” or do you simply load your children into the car, drop them off, and believe them without actually knowing whether or not adults are present? I have to wonder, especially from the number of non-driver-students waiting and worrying in the street, before and after law enforcement arrived, that many of the parents were clueless to the nature of this party, and how the invitation even came about. [It was an internet invitation from the youngest daughter who, literally broadcast there would be kegs of free beer, weed, and her parent’s would be at the local firehouse Christmas party for hours.  Everyone’s invited, bring your friends.  Stupid, age-appropriate 15-year-old idiocy.]
4.) You can point the blame finger at the host family, the host parents, the hostess teen – but the behavior of the students who attended the party is the direct and express responsibility of that student and their parents/guardians. Period. How our darlings behave in public, and to some extent, in private, is a direct reflection of what they are being shown and taught at home. If you are a horse’s ass, so will your child be; if you are polite and mannered and considerate, hopefully, your child behaves that way. They mirror what they see and last night was a frightening reflection of our community if this is an indication of how the adults are behaving. 
NOTE:  The lack of regard for another person’s home was astonishing:  the dining room table split in two, lengthwise, the legs busted off.  Antique living room chairs torn and broken into pieces, fabric shredded.  Wallpaper torn off the wall; holes in the sheetrock and the pantry in the kitchen and the liquor cabinet ransacked.  The toilets clogged, urine everywhere, and the stench of cigarettes, weed and beer, thick.  Broken glass, broken doorknobs, trampled garden beds and trash all over the yard and into the street. No part of this house was not ruined by YOUR children.  Worse, the last few boys who ran from the police, threw rocks breaking two large plate glass front windows.
Keep your noses clean and learn how to parent your children. They have enough friends; they need leaders not buddies.
Peace, Homeskillets.

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