• November 8, 2013
  • blog

Charlie Sheen’s twins are only 4-year-olds, and they are out of control.  Then there’s the overweight 16-year-old who beat his mom to death with a frying pan and attacked his father a few hours later.

Oh, and I didn’t get around to writing about the mother who put her baby in the microwave and turned the quick-cook kitchen appliance on.
Two of my daughters, when teenagers,  used to tell me I should stop nagging them because they were good kids who were not on drugs and not pregnant.

“What more do you want?” they asked.

But that was some twenty years ago, when I guess the worst nightmare for a parent was my daughter’s description of the topics a parent might have real complaints about.
There’s something to the old-time religion I was brought up to understand – parents didn’t play.  The Bill Cosby over-used phrase, “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out,” had deep meaning in the Black community where I was raised.
While neither my parents nor grandparents used these words, they didn’t have to, because the look they could send your way was much worse than any death threat.

The elders in my circle of keep-the-kids-in-line weren’t just relatives – they were neighbors, brothers and sisters of the church, the storekeeper, dentist, postman, iceman, garbage man and anyone else I came into contact with.

Beat my mother to death with a frying pan and lay in wait for dad to get back home because I got my smart phone taken away? This is what happened to the large 16-year-old currently making headlines.

“Back-in-the-day” as my childhood time is frequently referred to, punishments were seen in my household as exactly what the kids deserved for the misdeed committed.

We were taught the expected standards of behavior and, just as important, we learned what was going to happen when we crossed the line.
My mother, I’m sure, got weary of listening to her babies cry, but while there was no microwave to pop us into, she could have abandoned us on a streetcar bench.

And just like there was a behavior standard for the children, there was also one for the parents. There were people who had expectations, high expectations, for them, especially when it came to how they raised their children.

Charlie Sheen’s youngsters are out of control because that’s the way they’ve been raised.  My grandmother used to say that people had dogs who obeyed, so she knew her grandkids could be expected to do the same.

Those twins of Sheen’s who’ve been reported kicking and spitting on other kids and torturing the family pets are just one frying pan away from a murder charge.
Now, I would never advocate leaving kids on the streetcar bench or throwing them in a microwave, but I’m pretty close to saying that the parents who raise  kids who are capable of killing them, need to have their parental rights taken away very early in the game

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