The best substitute for experience is being sixteen
– Raymond Duncan
American dancer and philosopher
Even though this is a quirky piece of news from Foxnews.com, I think it has a message about our society. An 11 year old Pennsylvania boy has been charged with killing his father’s pregnant fiancé. He was in a county jail, but then was sent back to a juvenile facility. The judge ruled that it was in the boy’s best interest to be in a juvenile center, even though he has been charged as an adult. He’s accused of shooting 26-year-old Kenzie Marie Houk in the head, killing her and her unborn baby boy. Houk’s mother said this boy had been threatening his dad’s fiancé for a while.
Now, what makes it quirky–he’s 11 years old, it’s his dad’s knocked-up girlfriend…you know, it’s got all of the salacious parts in it–that he shot her in the head (she’s pregnant…you know, it’s really dramatic). But it also points out something very important. Now, it is not usual for kids to murder the new love in one of their parent’s lives when there is a divorce. That’s very unusual; it doesn’t happen every day, especially with a kid this young.
But what does happen to kids when parents divorce or go off with other people, have more kids, shack up, maybe marry, maybe not, is that with all the chaos they start not doing well in school, they start experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol. They get in trouble with gangs, they get very depressed, and they get into accidents which are really attempts at suicide.
In other words, they act out in all kinds of ways, they show tremendous rage or turn completely inwards. We get lots of calls from people annoyed about how their kids are behaving after they’re divorced and re-married and getting on with their lives. “Why aren’t the kids just conforming? Dammit.”
So this is a very unusual circumstance. But his pain and motivation is out there every day as you take away the kid’s foundation, as you make him compete with other people’s kids, new kids…whatever. And my guess? You’re going to see more murders, or attempted murders from kids in these situations. Why? Because this goes all over the media and gives kids ideas. They go on the internet, they get ideas, and their little brains that are totally unformed yet…little ideas that are bad sound good when other people have done it. And they get in the paper and they get on the internet and they get on television. I suspect you’ll see more of this. Up to now, you’ve mostly seen just self abuse. Self abuse, meaning everything as simple as not washing, not having friends anymore, not working hard in school…to self-mutilation, to addictions, to promiscuity, to illegal activities. This is a big notch up, don’t you think? Especially when it all comes from the same place: chaos.
I read in my local paper about a formerly wealthy 90-year-old man who now has a job as a “greeter” in a local store. It seems the company that managed his money was making bad use of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and all was lost…especially since this gentleman’s once fully-paid-for home was re-mortgaged to get a third of a million dollars more to invest in this debacle.
Ironically, one of the factors which keeps people alive longer and healthier in mind, body ,and soul is having work, i.e., some purpose and activity not only to occupy their minds and time but to challenge them.
Coincidently, a dear friend of mine owns and runs a lovely hair salon. It seems that every month she complains about the “young thing” at the front desk. It seems young women can’t be counted on to come to work regularly, much less on time and do their jobs as receptionists and appointment bookers. Obviously, this is not one of the highest-paid jobs in the universe, but young people today seem to feel entitled to “more” rather than grateful for “a foot in the door” and potential long-term opportunities.
Here’s where these two stories intersect: I told my friend that she should hire a retired, mature woman who would appreciate the extra money, would like contact with lots of people as colleagues and customers, and would probably love having her hair done for free. The mature woman would appreciate the excitement and daily mission, and my friend would probably get one of the most reliable workers she’s ever envisioned.
Were I hiring right now, I’d be a reverse “ageist” and get somebody with a work history and the maturity to appreciate an opportunity where they can still be important to somebody about something and get paid for it!TrackBack URI
Not long ago, I heard from an exasperated family, because their teen daughter had violated some house rules and explained that the rules just weren’t “fair.” Guess what? I agreed with the daughter! Find out why:
Or watch other videos at youtube.com/DrLaura.
Read transcript here.TrackBack URI
I’m turning my blog today over to a 15 year old, who wrote me the following:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Hi. My dad sent something to my email that frankly made me sick. A young 13 year boy is now the father of a baby girl that was just born last Monday. The fact that the parents of this young boy let him have a 15 year old girlfriend, and the fact that they support this, makes me angry.
This poor little girl is going to grow up with an extremely young mother, an even younger father, and is probably going to live in a broken home. These kids are not ready to be parents.
Fortunately, my parents are together and happy, and all my life I’ve been given examples of what a relationship should be. I’m 15, and will never make the mistake of getting pregnant before I’m married. I feel sorry for the mother and father of the baby, because they’ve been robbed of their childhood. They will never get the freedom now that I have.
I’ve listened to you for as long as I can remember, and I guess some of what you’ve been saying has sunk in. I was talking to my mom about the story and telling her how this baby needs to be given a good home with GROWN UP parents to take care of her. I couldn’t help thinking afterwards “WOW! That sounded like Dr. Laura!” Thank you so much for your preaching, teaching, and nagging that helps many little babies just like this one.
It makes me cry to think that this story probably won’t have a happy ending, and my heart goes out to that baby. Thank you so much for fighting for kids who can’t speak for themselves, and being a great role model.
Laura O.TrackBack URI
I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
– George Washington
First President of the United States of America
“I love your show, but it makes me CRAZY when you subscribe to the double standard that men get a pass on being sexually cavalier but women are to be thoroughly and soundly condemned. Why, oh why, don’t you condemn the men as much as the women? Why aren’t they just as ‘piggy’ and deserving of condemnation? That societal attitude encourages men to attempt to use women sexually as their birthright and also encourages women to be insecure and distrustful of sex in general. You’re putting a sexual burka on women overall with that attitude.
I’m not advocating casual sex. I’m condemning the acceptance of a double standard. Come on! There are two sides of that coin and each should assume major responsibility for engaging in casual sex. Until the act is equally condemned, how can women take those rules seriously?”
This is a recent email from a listener taking me to task for what she perceives is a sort of anti-female, double standard mentality.
First of all, God and nature are responsible for the reality of a double standard. Women have breasts from which to suckle the baby born from their uterus after a nine month gestation. Women’s high-pitched voices and hearing are geared for the infant-mother bonding that miraculously takes place right after birth. Women’s temperaments to nurture, cuddle, coo, and protect are hardwired into their psychological programming. Women are different from men.
There is no question that men more easily dissociate love and sex. Young males in particular are open to sexual experiences for the challenge, orgasmic satisfaction, and status among other males. These qualities are not synonymous with femininity.
Women give themselves sexually to men out of love, a desperate desire to be wanted and loved, or for money. It is not typical, as it is with men, for a woman to feel proud of the number of men who have penetrated her; and the only women who look for the sexual challenge are those so twisted with anti-male rage that domination of a male is a form of psychological rape which satisfies that neurotic anger.
Males are generally out of control every which way until they fall in love and take on the obligations and responsibilities of a man committed to a woman and family. All the research demonstrates that men who are married make more money, are healthier and happier, and function better socially than “loner” men. In fact, the deranged males who perpetrate horrendous acts of violence are generally such loner males with no families to make them feel important, give them purpose and direction…and love.
Women are the taming and socializing force in society. Men will only do what women allow. Remember the ancient Greek classical play “Lysistrata”? The women in the town refused to have sex if their men continued to participate in war and violence. Poof, all the violence stopped. Women have always had the power over men; but feminism got women off the track of realizing that, and on the track to only hating or disdaining men.
Now, women have largely become “pigs.” Instead of embracing modesty, pride, values, and self-value, they parade around showing their bodies like Playboy bunnies, have sex before “hello,” shack up with men without marital commitment, make babies on their own (declaring that men/fathers aren’t necessary), use abortion as birth control, and don’t imagine feminine sweetness has any place in marriage and are bored with sex with their husbands but turn on to every other Tom, Dick, and Harry. That is why men have little respect for women these days.TrackBack URI
A Connecticut state lawmaker is proposing legislation that would bar schools from punishing students for their electronic insults – even if they write them on class computers during school hours.
This idiocy is in response to the punishment meted out to Avery Doninger, a 17 year old high-schooler who was disciplined in 2007 for writing a blog from home using vulgar language to defame and insult school administrators.
School authorities barred her from running for office at Lewis B. Mills High School in Burlington as a “punishment.”
Her parents – of course– are suing!
I can’t believe I heard the whole thing.
On FoxNews.com, almost 100 people put in their two cents; the following was the most cogent of the bunch:
“‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ As far as I can tell, Congress did not impede on her freedom of speech. The child needs to learn that while she is free to say whatever she feels, there are repercussions to the things we say.”
And there it is. You have the freedom so say whatever you’d like – without any consequences? I think not.
Colleges and employers have recourse to Internet records and can judge students by the electronic trail they’ve left behind, according to Tom Hutton, senior staff attorney for the NSBA (National School Board Association). Well, let that be a lesson to adolescents who feel bigger than their britches with this pending legislation!
The girl’s mother “wished her daughter ‘had used more sophisticated language.’” Instead of standing by the school punishment to teach her daughter the consequences of not thinking behavior through in advance of indelible actions, she’s making it a cause for free speech.
Oh please. It’s another one of those cases of parents defending their children right or wrong because they don’t want any criticism or don’t want to risk their children’s ire by punishing them for wrong- or stupid-doings.
Imagine if the teacher had put on a website that this girl was a “douche bag.” Would anyone defend the teacher or would he or she have to take sensitivity classes and then be fired anyway?
We are getting way too far in “The Lord of the Flies” for my tastes.TrackBack URI