‘Not my son’ — rude children and their parental enablers

Posted by on Sep 29, 2010 in Opinion | 1 comment

By Shay Dawn Burgess

THE purpose of this article is to take a look at how a mother spoiled her child only to have the young man be insolent and rude to his parents as he grew up.

Parental responsibility. File image from lancasterwillsandtrusts.co.uk

The son believes the parents should take care of all his needs and wants all the time.

We are all aware of the many environmental factors that have had an impact on rearing a child in the 21st century.

Therefore this piece is not to criticize anyone in particular. This commentary will merely explore a way a mother raised her son.

Mrs. Smith agreed to sit down for this interview to scrutinize where she may have gone wrong is raising her 27-year-old son.

First, let me provide some background information on our participant. She is a mother of a son and a daughter. She is also the grandmother of one boy.

Without a doubt, Mrs. Smith is a very loving individual who has sacrificed a lot to raise her children.

She is however very concerned at the lack of ambition and aptitude her youngest son possesses.

Joe, (her son) has made no attempt to get a job. He continues to live at home. He does not contribute to the household bills at all.

Her son has unfortunately gotten in trouble with the law for the past six years. Mrs. Smith is at a loss as to what went wrong with raising her son.

It should be noted, Mrs. Smith has had no real issues in raising her daughter. In fact, her daughter is a contributing member of the reinsurance industry here on the island.

Here is the interview in its entirety:

  • When did you start seeing that your son was out of control?

Around the beginning of Middle School which is around 12- 14 years of age.

Picture courtesy dads-space.com

He started to show that he did not want to be a part of the family unit. He preferred instead to be with his friends.

Peer pressure was a big influence on my son, so much so, his friends came first most times in all scenarios.

  • Do you think you spoiled your son? Why?

Yes, as Bermudians we have a tendency to give our children more than we had.

I think we do this to a fault. For example, my husband and I made sure our son had the very best bike when he turned 16 years of age.

We also made sure he had the very latest in clothing, shoes, and cell phones. My son always wanted the very top of the line. Expense was not an issue for us and we complied with his wishes and demands.

  • Were you ever in denial about your son’s actions?

I think all parents are in denial in the beginning. It may not be denial as much as it is just plain ignorance in not knowing what is going on in your child’s life…

  • How did you discipline your child when he showed misbehavior?

Well, I don’t believe in hitting as I think that is barbaric. I would constantly talk to my son. I really thought talking would make a difference.

But in my particular situation, it did not or the jury is still out to see if there has been a positive impact from my personal talks with my son.

  • In your estimation, was that effective?

Not really, he ended up doing what he wanted to do.

  • What does tough love mean to you?

I am not really sure what it means. I am familiar with the term. It could mean to love your child but at the same time be tough with them and not let them get away with things or give in to their demands.

When you are a parent it is hard to be tough. You just want your child to have an easier life than you did.

  • Were you involved in his schooling, i.e. attend P.T.A. Meetings?

No, I never went to P.T.A. meetings as I was trying to establish my career at the time.

I would assist with homework if he requested. This was not done that often. In hindsight, I should have been more involved in his schooling; I should have been “more in the know” of who his friends were.

  • If you had to do it all over again, what changes would you make in rearing your son?

I would have scrutinized his friends more carefully. I also would not have given him the opportunity to make so many important decisions.

  • Was your husband a partner with you in raising your child? Do you think that made a difference in your child’s present outcome?

No, my husband was there in name only. I don’t know if this has made a difference in my child’s outcome.

  • Do you take responsibility for the way your son turned out?

There are times when I do take responsibility. Because I know in my heart of hearts, I did all that I could do with Joe.

Once again this piece is not to pass judgment on any mother’s way of raising her children. We wanted to explore how a mother has coped with bringing up a son in today’s world.

One Comment

  1. I liked this because at least this woman Ms. Smith was honest to a point. There is still some denial going on if you read what she didn’t say. However, there are a lot of Joe Smith’s out there and even worse case scenarios and who where spoiled from the babies until they were grown men and still the parents would have an explanation for their ignorance. The ‘other’ siblings in the picture also suffer but usually in silence until it becomes evident ‘at the wrong times’. I am sure most know what I am saying.

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