Shaken, Not Stirred: Keep your opinions to yourself, part 2.

August 7, 2016

 

Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred. A blog by Jim Bond.

Questioning authority is fine. My generation invented it.

Undermining authority is not. A subsequent generation conceived that one.

In last week’s blog I commented on the dangers of interfering with teachers/coaches, etc. Countermanding of or interfering with the instruction of those in whom you’ve placed your trust leads to your child witnessing a power struggle between two people in authority. As I mentioned, if you sense something is wrong, inconsistent or downright dangerous, it is your responsibility to address it…in private.

Many years ago, when my older children were small, a family friend bragged to me about how, before a conference to remedy a conflict between his child and a teacher, he told his son: “Let’s go in and kick some____”.

Wow. Really? And what did you accomplish? You taught your child the importance of sabotaging authority.

This next example would be funny were it not so sad. A generation ago I lived in Missouri and attended a childrens’ fair, in which one of the popular events was a frog-jumping contest. The facilitator explained to the children that prompting the frog by stomping the ground right behind it would encourage the frog to jump. His demonstration was less than productive, so a helpful father stepped up behind his child to illustrate the proper technique. Perhaps dear ole dad was nearsighted. He raised his foot high in the air and aggressively stomped on the frog, killing it instantly. The result was…shall I say…explosive. There was a silence for about a second, after which time the adolescent young man burst into mournful tears.

Sorrow is not the only emotion evoked by subverting authority. It will lead your child to scorning all authority. Take, for example, an incident reported by my Mason County Press colleague Dan Vargas, aka Danny V, as reported on his personal Facebook page.

“Dear parents of the little disrespectful child on a bike who…ran a stop sign and I almost hit. When is it okay to flip off a person who says ‘pay attention’!”

Apparently, the young gentleman then asked: “Want something?.” Danny V asked him who is mom was, so when the police are trying to figure who his next of kin is because he was run over, Mr. Vargas could help direct them.

Naturally, this post evoked some responses and comments, including one from Patsi who had a similar incident. In this case though it was a grandmother who “…started yelling at me and throwing profanities at me accusing me of knocking him off the bike”.

A comment from Michelle related a story about a five year-old who started yelling swear words from an open window. “The language coming out of that mouth would have made a sailor cringe,” she reported.

Subverting those in authority results in children growing up thinking the rules don’t apply to them. And just a warning…the next authority your child might ignore…will be you.

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of Media Group 31, LLC or its subsidararies, Mason County Press, Oceana County Press, and Manistee County Press.

 

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