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.