Okay, so I admit it, I try to catch a few minutes of the Today show with regularity.  It isn’t that the reporting is necessarily intelligent nor the stories all that interesting.  I honestly think it is simply the comfort of familiarity first thing in the morning.  It also provides me with conversation nuggets for the rest of the day when I don’t feel like making small talk about my children (which is always).

Yesterday, this seemed to be the talk of the day:

The video itself did not shock me in the least.  What I found shocking was the shock, appall, and horror of all of the interviewed adults (and the reporters) as if this one incident is the example that America has fallen to such a low low.  As if this behavior (and the attitude prompting it) hasn’t been around, and getting progressively worse for about the last fifteen years.

I’m guessing Matt Lauer doesn’t have kids.  Or, if he does, I’m guessing his kids don’t go to public school.  I can’t believe so many Americans are so unaware of the behavioral issues going on daily in schools and busses across the nation.

Or maybe they are, and the Today show is somewhat in the dark.

This video was pretty tame, to be honest.  Terrible.  But tame.  It is a bunch of middle-class small-town Northeastern white kids calling a defenseless old lady a “fat troll.”

Yes, it is mean.

But I guarantee if this woman had a commanding presence that non-verbally communicated, “Mess with me and I will eat you for lunch you little shits,” these kids would never have opened their dorky little mouths.

She doesn’t, of course, have this personality.  The woman is someone’s innocent grandmother.  It is sad that in order to work in a public middle school or high school today, the only way to survive is to show the kids you are meaner, stronger, smarter, and more resilient than they are.

It is tiresome, to say the least.

There is one other solution, but it often takes more time and certainly more effort than most of us are willing to put out on a regular basis, especially at the end of a long day with a bus full of brat-kids.  Had she been riding the bus long (unclear from the seven minute clip yesterday), she could have actively engaged in learning these kids’ names, and talking to them every day.  They probably would have started treating her like their grandmother.

Though I am not a behavioral expert, and certainly not a pro- at making people like me (hah), I think I can say with some certainty that in just five short years of teaching public school kids, many of them delinquents by nature, I figured out how to survive.

This country needs to get over the shock and horror of the fact that parenting today is not the same as parenting in the 50s, or even the 80s.  Kids aren’t taught how to respect people, they are taught to fight for whatever they want because they deserve it.  Most of them were taught that if they whine enough, they can have anything.  Parents don’t say no anymore.  Parents don’t say, “I’m the Mommy, that’s why.”

I loved the clip of the woman assuring the nation that these kids will “not go unpunished.”

If kids don’t even respect their own parents’ authority, why do school administrators expect them to respect school authority?  If kids are not afraid of parental punishment (which doesn’t really exist), how in the world is school punishment effective?

I feel like I could write a book or teach classes about how to do this.

But I don’t have the energy.  Instead, I’m controlling my sphere and hoping it reproduces like the children of Abraham.

I can promise that if my children one day are featured on a YouTube video calling someone’s grandma a fat troll, they will be afraid to come home.  They will fear for their lives.

Today’s Kids
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0 thoughts on “Today’s Kids

  • Yes. This was THE talk yesterday and I found that I wasn’t especially shocked either. In fact, I thought, “this woman probably should have just quit. Or lost 50 lbs. Or learned how to be authoritative.” Unfortunately, you cannot be insecure/timid and successful in America’s public schools– both for workers and students. Yes, it’s very sad, but I agree with you– this was not remotely “shocking.”

  • Just posted a link to a funny take on what this one lady would do if she was able to talk to those punks.

    The only thing I’m doing is just shaking my head and tisking. Totally 100% agree with everything you said. Except I don’t get why you can’t paddle these asswipes in school anymore. That’s what I’d like to see happen. The whole thing of ” If your parents aren’t going to raise you to act accordingly, then the school will” philosophy. Maybe that never existed but I swear I remember it growing up. miraculously I feel like the teeny sphere I live in is still desperately trying to hold on to parenting with authority not just your own kid but those around them. I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I have parents being heir kids by after they have done something unacceptable ( scare M or beat her) to apologize and take responsibility for their actions. My neighbors discipline M right along with theirs and this little things call us mrs so and so and yes mam. I dropped M off for a playdate at one of her classmates house this week and said ” please call me if she acts up and you don’t approve of her actions while in your house”. She said ” don’t worry I’ll just beat her” and she meant every word.

    1. It is hard to find parents who believe in spanking, let alone making their children take immediate responsibility for their actions. You have a great community, and I love the Mr. and Mrs. thing. (My parents were the ONLY ones who didn’t let my friends call them by their first names.) I frequently hear other parents tell me how lucky I am that my children are so well behaved. I’ve taken to responding, “It has absolutely nothing to do with luck. I did that. John and I work very hard to maintain it. Trust me, these kids were not born angelic little gifts.”

  • P. S. I think you should write a post on how the iPhone makes us all look like illiterate dumbos. I smell a conspiracy.

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