Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Another Disturbing Trend

Why is it that parenting has deteriorated so badly recently??? Case in point: According to a post on GSB.net (click here), some teenage girl has a dangerous obsession with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. This girl is so deluded that she has literally hundreds of pictures of Billie's wife Adrienne all over her walls (think stalker-type on Law&Order). Now in and of themselves, a bunch of pictures on someone's wall may not seem so bad. Innocent teenage infatuation, right??? Wrong. What makes these pictures so sinister is the fact that Adrienne's face has been mutilated and threatening messages (like Die 80, Die) have been written on them.
Now the obvious question is: Where are the parents (even other teens were asking this very same question)??? To answer the question: You'd be surprised how jaded and blind parents can be. Some parents are disturbingly in denial about the activities of their kids. They can't face the reality that their kids are sick and need help. It's a dangerous place to be. Some parents are also afraid that if they commit their child, somehow the media will find out and everyone will think they are a bad parent. I've got news for them: If their child hurts someone, the media WILL find out and brand them a bad parent. So it's a lose-lose situation. It's a pride issue with the parents. They do not want to admit that something is wrong within their family. They want everyone around them to believe everything is perfect, when the reality is everything is falling apart. It is what happens when people live their lives based on acceptance and approval of others. It's a vicious cycle.
This chick needs a psych eval and maybe jail or mental hospital time too. If her bizarre behavior is left unchecked, it could have tragic consequences. Now, I hope and pray that that does not happen, but I am not going to bury my head in the sand, either. There have been too many celebrity-stalking cases and cases of sick teens running amok and the parents claiming "I didn't know my teen was mentally unstable". I have a simple solution: talk to your teen. Ask them what is going on in their lives. Do not belittle and make light of their problems. What may seem like nothing to you, may seem like the end of the world to them. Remember, you were that age once too. If your teen seems troubled, and you feel like you can't solve it, seek professional help. Talk to their doctor, to your pastor, to their guidance counselor or the school nurse. Look on the internet. Focus On The Family is a great resource for parents who want to build a relationship with their kids. Don't be their friend, be their PARENT. That is what they really want. If your teen rolls their eyes at you, they are listening. There is hope and there is help.
On the privacy issue: kids should not have as much privacy as adults do. Kids need protection and guidance. It's the paradox of being a kid. On the one hand, we want our parents to leave us alone, but on the other hand, we want them over our shoulder.
Granted, overbearing parents are just as bad as overly permissive parents (studies prove this). Parents need a happy medium. Unfortunately, today's world is a lot scarier and parents have to protect their kids from so much more than my parents had to when I was growing up (I'm almost 24). The happy medium of today is yesterday's overprotection. The lines are shifting and it leaves both the kids and the parents confused.
Now for the girl's roll in this: Kids are not robots. They have their own free will and make their own choices. Parents play a roll, but the kid makes the ultimate choice whether they want to be "good" or "bad" (mental illness notwithstanding). She has made a choice (consiously or unconsiously) to act psychotic. If she chooses to act on her delusions (which again, I hope and pray she doesn't), she will have to own up to her misdeed(s) and pay the consequences. Depending on where she lives and her age, her parents may have some consequences as well. The bottom line is that this girl needs some serious help. She needs to be put under the care of a competent psychiatrist ASAP, BEFORE she hurts someone.

1 comment:

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