Parents, your kids aren’t that special

Below is an excerpt from CNN commentator Jack Cafferty’s new book, “Now or Never.” Jack appears daily in “The Situation Room” on CNN from 4 to 7 p.m. ET.

I never presumed to have any more answers about being a parent than anybody else.
There are no perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect families — only degrees of dysfunction.
You get up in the morning and do the best you can. At the end of the day you say, “Okay, that wasn’t so bad, let’s try it again tomorrow.”
I don’t know the status of parenting in America. But I know a little about the status of education in America. Parents’ growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it’s parenting that’s on the decline, more than the schools.

Exhibit A: My wife and I have just been seated for dinner when the maitre d’ walks over and seats a young family at the table next to us and the kids start carrying on like orangutans on a leash.
The parents are going, “Timmy, that’s not nice, don’t throw your food, stop stuffing your mashed potatoes up your nose.” Are mom and dad having fun yet, picking food up off the floor, apologizing to people like us, and wiping food flung across the table off their faces?
Some parents still have this attitude that their kids are too special to be burdened by discipline. And the rest of us are supposed to put up with their little mutants. That attitude really pisses me off.

I hate to break it to them, but the kids aren’t special, and I don’t have to put up with their behavior. If you can’t control your obnoxious little brats, leave them home.


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9 thoughts on “Parents, your kids aren’t that special

  1. Agreed. Granted, I have no kids and, theoretically, thus have no say – but just because everyone’s “unique” doesn’t make everyone “special.” To the same extent, just because there are cameras everywhere and beating your kids is rather frowned upon doesn’t mean you can’t get a little stern and threatening. When you’ve five, EVERY burst of anger seems like it’ll end in a beating unless you already KNOW you can get away with it. If you tell your kid to cut it out or else and they keep going – they own you and they know it.

  2. @reboot: I know and I chuckle every time I say something along those lines. There seems to be something else going on now though. People bring their kids everywhere now including restaurants (not only ‘family’ ones), yet don’t teach them basic behavior ‘when in public’ rules. The distinction between adult and child is very muddled right now. There is no way my parents or any the ones I knew would allow the hyperactive, too much caffeine and sugar behavior that I see in the students in every one of my classes. I have had freshmen w/ real tattoos and body piercings. They’re 14!

  3. My SIL declared the other day that ‘T’ (her daughter, my niece) will not be allowed to get her tattoo until she’s 16 (next year). She already has 3 piercings in each ear and the bottom one is a zero gauge right now and is currently begging for snakebite piercing. I’ll lay odds that she gets both before her next birthday.

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