Recently I was having dinner with a couple and their teen-aged son. His behavior was simply unacceptable and defied every rule of dinner table etiquette imaginable. Eating birthday cake with a spatula, as opposed to the fork that was set before him, smearing icing on his face to garner a reaction, licking the knife that was to be used to cut the cake for the guests and having inappropriate discussion. I was truly appalled. Mostly because this was not a toddler, rather a 15-year-old boy, even more so that the parents simply sat there and ignored him as if it was perfectly reasonable behavior. “Hell to NO, put that ass in check” is what I was thinking to myself.
Perhaps there is a marked difference between the way that Black women parent versus that of White women. You see, the young man who was acting out was adopted and raised by a White lesbian couple from birth. Which brings up a whole slew of other questions about why he may behave in the manner that he does, but the point is there is no discipline when he knows he’s done wrong. Toleration of disrespect and talking back and getting rewards in the form of Wii’s, cell phones, vacations and any other manner of reward for piss poor behavior.
Lest I go off on a tangent, let me say that the shenanigans did not stop there. The young man decides to arbitrarily excuse himself from the family dinner, leaving his food on the table to play video games in the living room while his mothers pleaded with him to stay. Plead? With a kid? Surely, this was a joke! I may not be a parent, but I was a high school teacher and Guidance Counselor for many years, and I simply do not play that shit. There is a way to love a child and be a firm disciplinarian. In fact, it’s necessary.