Yesterday, a friend was telling about a situation with her 16 year old daughter who badly wants her own cell phone. The mom had put two requirements this girl would have to meet before she could get one. These were simple enough conditions, things any 16 year old should have been doing without a bribe. One was that she would have to be turning in every homework assignment without exception (no grade requirements, even), and the other was that she would keep her room clean. For some reason, the daughter was having trouble accomplishing these basic tasks. Still, the daughter blamed her mom that she could not have a cell phone. The mom was mean and unfair. The mother said her daughter seemed to have no concept of actions and consequences, or that she (the daughter) was the master of her own fate.
I thought about this briefly, and realized that the concept of "consequences" has been un-taught in our schools. No one is allowed to fail, and great accomplishments by students aren't given the recognition they should be. Everyone must be "equal". Our team sports, at least in the younger grades, publish the same misconceived trashy lies. Every team gets a trophy. All players get trophies. Exceptional teams and players are not spotlighted, for fear someone else's feelings might be hurt because they weren't noticed. Even though they did not excel. This concept of "everyone is the same" insidiously teaches our children that there are no consequences for what they do. Responsibility for one's own success or failure is erased by these policies, and the lesson learned spills over into other segments of these kids' lives. What they want, and what their friends have, should just be given to them, regardless of what they do or don't do.
Fortunately, we still have some say in our own homes and families. At least for now. It's up to parents to teach these important concepts, that we can and should achieve all that we strive for, that actions do in fact have consequences in life whether the PC Police say they do or not. But we must teach our children. They will not learn this important lesson in their schools or activities.
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