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What Will Happen When Kids Have To Live In The Real World?

September 21, 2010 · 80 comments

in Life, Parenting

Most of my time these days is spent around teens and parents, usually at a sporting event of some sort.  I have written in the past about some of the poor sportsmanship I have seen on the field, but what I saw this past week made me think even deeper.

Both events took place in the past week.  Instance one was at a soccer game where a player decided to lift his shirt up and parade up and down the sidelines (where the fans sat) after scoring a goal.  (His team lost anyway, and were the heavy favorite.)  Instance two was at another soccer game between 12 year old kids.  The officials were not calling many fouls, so the game got out of control.   The child on our team bumped into a boy from the other team.  The boy on the other team then launched an F Bomb at our player, and he also screamed at the ref over every call.  In general, he was a poor sport the entire game.  (His team won.)

I thought about all the adults that allow this type of behavior to happen:

  1. The parents
  2. The refs
  3. The coaches

If either of these kids were my child, they would be in so much trouble that I guarantee that type of behavior would never occur again.  But I wonder, why do parents allow their kids to act like that?  Why don’t coaches pull these kids off the field?   Why do refs allow to kids to be rude to them?  Why do kids think they can talk to adults in such a manner?  When I played sports, nobody addressed the refs at all.  Now I see kids raising their arms and questioning the ref over every call.

I wish I could flash forward 10 years and see where these kids are.  Do they realize that nobody in the real world cares about soccer?  Once they are off the field, nobody will recognize their athletic prowess.  They will have to work hard to succeed and to earn money.  Things will not just be handed to them like they appear to be now.  If a parent allows such behavior on the field, I can only imagine how that kid acts around the house.  Will these kids ever be prepared for the real world?

I know that everyone wants the best for their kids.  However, if parents continue to allow their kids to walk around like they are invincible and infallible, then they are being set up for a big fall in adulthood.  I think if kids never struggle, it is harder for them learn self-sufficiency.  If you are raised like you are the best person on earth, and adults all around you confirm that, then you are in for a big reality check when you enter adulthood.  Wanting the best for your child is not about giving them everything they want and feeding their ego at every turn.  It is also about giving them the tools to make them successful adults.  Sure, you might come out as the bad guy sometimes, but that is your JOB.

So parents, do your children a favor.  Encourage them, love them, but also make them work hard.  Make them respect authority.   It doesn’t matter if they don’t want to mow the lawn, make them do it.  You are a parent, not a friend, and it is your job to raise them right.

Have you ever seen similar situations where you thought a child was out of control and the parent thought nothing of it?  I am not talking about little kids, I am talking about kids that are old enough to know better.  Please share your experiences in the comments section.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole September 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

Not a comment on your question… but this morning I was looking at one of my vices (a mother’s forum) and the perennial “Why does my kid have so much homework?” question came up. These women were complaining that the teacher assigns more than FIVE math problems for homework at night. AND there was repetition like both 5×7 and 7×5 were on the homework sheet.

Are we so afraid that our kids will learn their multiplication tables? Seriously? (Not to mention commutativity, penmanship, pattern matching etc.)

I get a modified Caltech sports chant in my head. It’s all right, it’s ok. Your kids are gonna work for mine one day.

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Kris September 21, 2010 at 9:04 am

Nicole – oh I cannot believe how much parents want to put a giant bubble over their kids. I am in shock over how much things have changed in just one generation. I am sure my mom would have preferred that I had more homework and was actually learning something. These parents should go spend a day in China and see what hard work is really like.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc September 21, 2010 at 10:28 am

Yes, I was in a Best Buy parking lot a few weeks ago, and some very young teenagers/preteens were apparently trying to get my wife and my attention. I was focused on my purchase and completely ignored them, but later my wife told me the horrible stuff they were saying in order to garner a response. I’m glad we didn’t satisfy their depravity.

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

Roshawn – I cannot believe how teens talk anymore. Could you imagine talking to adults that way when you were a kid? I was afraid of adults until I actually became one.

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff September 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

I think it’s weird there are so many “gangstas” walking around nice suburbs. I’m sorry boys, you are middle and upper middle class suburb kids, that does not equal “gangsta”.

I also don’t understand why teenagers want to play their music so loud in their cars that I hear the beat through my house. I have gotten up at 2am and went to talk to them before. It’s amazing how grumpy a little redhead can be at that hour – I scared two of the boys into their own homes.

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Invest It Wisely September 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Hahaha… this is funny and so true. I think all kids go through this phase for a couple years before early 20s 😉

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

BFS – they are just showing their ‘individuality’ – by dressing and acting like all their friends!

I wish it was in style to emulate professional people and dress nice and treat people with respect.

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Invest It Wisely September 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Don’t worry: When these same kids get in over their heads later on in life, they’ll make sure that the government bails them out and uses your hard-earned savings to do it. 🙂

I wish some parents took better care and were more responsible…

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

Kevin – I think I am bailing out their parents right now…

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BW September 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm

The reason their parents don’t do anything about their behavior is because the parents are just like their kids. So unfortunate for our future society!

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

BW – You are so right. I think the parents that allow their kids to act like prima donnas on the playing field don’t notice because they are so busy telling stories of how they won the football game in the fourth quarter in twelfth grade…

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Squirrelers September 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I was on a plane once where there were kids that were traveling alone. It was a business trip for me, and it was from Miami to Chicago. Two were teenage girls sitting next to me, and the other two were boys in the row behind, on the other side of the aisle. I think there may have been another younger girl as well. From what I could gather from their discussions, a few of the kids were siblings, and the others were friends. It seemed like they were on spring break, with their Dad – where the parents were divorced.

Anyway, probably too much detail. The key thing that struck me was how poorly behaved these kids were. They girls were loud, talkative, had zero respect for anybody, and were obnoxious. They were asking my where I lived, why I was in Florida, what music I liked (all sarcastic of course) – all the while giggling. And cussing, too. They were probably 17 or 18. I, of course, was the “old man” sitting next to them, even though I was probably 35 at the time. Trust me, as stodgy as I might sound, these girls were beyond irritating. I couldn’t wait for the flight to get over. I

They were yelling across the aisle to their siblings/friends on the other side, and throwing things back and forth. They missed throwing some food (in a packet, like crackers/pretzels or something) and accidentally hit a lady in the row in front. The kids said sorry sarcastically, and then kept laughing. The stewardess asked them to calm down, while giving me a sympathetic look. Did I mention I hated that flight?

They proceeded to loudly announce where they went to high school and where they lived – clearly, they were from big money. It was said in such a way to taunt the stewardess.

Now, as I mentioned, the parents weren’t there. But I shudder to think of what THEY were like.

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

Oh my gosh, that would be horrifying. Reading your comment, I felt like I was sitting on that plane with you, wanting to smack those teenagers.

You can bet this was not an isolated incident. Kids don’t act that ridiculous out of the blue. The parents probably all want to be their friend and let them run the house. I wonder if those kids have ever been feature on Teen Cribs on MTV.

I wonder if you could have complained and gotten to move up to first class? What brats!

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Sandy L September 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Some of the biggest jerks I went to school with actually have pretty normal lives…jobs, kids, mortgages. One of them is a plumber. I suppose he could never work for anyone else because he was such always such a jerk head, so now he works for himself. I wonder how he treats his customers.

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

Sandy, I do believe some people can grow up. Or, they search the world to find that one person that can put up with them for more than a week. Being a plumber may be perfect for him because when you are desperate, you don’t care about the personality. You just want someone to fix the darn drain!!

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Mandy June September 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I agree. Don’t you just wish you could see how those kids’ parents act, too?? I’m sure they’re right along side their kids cursing at the ref. Sometimes it’s the parents. You can’t really blame the kids if their parents raised them that way. And the worst part is that those parents might not ever change so they breed a generation of kids that are just like them in every single way.

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

Mandy Jane – I have seen it both ways. There is a dad in our town that is notorious for being a bully and just bragging about his kids left and right. Shockingly, his kids are very nice, at least for now.

I have also seen kids that have terrible attitudes on the field and their parents are surprisingly nice, at least on the surface. However, I think a lot more goes on behind the scenes.

Overall though, I definitely agree. Most of the time, the bratty kids have ignorant parents that are either ‘bratty’ as adults, or just refuse to be a parent and look the other way. Or, they are totally blind and just do not see it.

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Money Reasons September 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

There are multiple reasons that parents let there kids get away with murder (luckily I’m not one of those).

I’ve noticed parents are afraid of getting loud and reprimanding their kids. They just let them do as they want.

Other parents are afraid to reprimand other parent’s kids because of law suites. In sue happy American, this happens way to often.

I try to explain to my kids why such and such kids was wrong to do what they did, and why it was dumb of them to do so. They I tell them that they can’t do that! I don’t know if it helps explaining why some kids (and their parents) are jerks and inconsiderate, I hope they do understand… at least some day.

I know this is wrong but sometime, if whatever the offending kid did. I’ll tell my son (or daughter if he’s on the field) loudly that they can’t do what the offending child did because is was inconsiderate, etc. It probably confuses my son/daughter, but I do that so the offending kid’s parents hear. (lol). So far, I’ve never had one come back and confront me, but I’m sure I will someday… When it happens, I’ll just dance around it though 🙂

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 9:06 am

Money Reasons – I too have made comments in hopes the other parent would hear. However, I think they are so blind and deaf that they would just never get it. Or, people must be jealous of their kid, or whatever ridiculous justification they have.

I don’t know what has happened to have a complete turnaround in just one generation. When I grew up, you just played. There wasn’t all this whining and everything else. On the other hand, parents have always gotten out of control, especially with baseball.

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics September 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Some parents are proud of their kids behaving this way, unfortunately. A neighbor of ours think it is “cool” to be friends with your daughter so she joins in their cussing session, giggling along with them, complaining how the teachers are horrible… When their mother is not around, the kids make fun of this. She has completely lost her respect with those kids. I am not a parent, I don’t know how I will handle, so I shouldn’t be giving any comments. But this experience taught be to NOT be over friendly and forget that I am their mother first and not just a friend.

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Kris September 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

Oh my gosh, that mom should get some counseling. Teaching your child that they should make fun of their teachers and other people is just awful. That mom probably thinks she is the coolest, most fun mom on earth and has no idea she is making a fool of herself. Why in the world are parents so desperate to be friends with their kids???

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