"Affluenza"* possible here?

"You know how SP parents are..." I've heard versions of that line over the years from those are, or who deal with, politicians, teachers, and varsity coaches.  And that opening line  sometimes has been completed with a description that includes helicoptering whiners who rail against punishment and sub-A grades, and allow alcohol-friendly parties and sexual experimentation.  Which means, I think, a lot of coddling and few limits.  Is that a fair assessment?  Is that a bad way to parent? 


Edie McGee December 15, 2013 at 08:39 AM
As an older, and somewhat old school, mom of a 6th grader at SPMS, I've definitely seen signs of affluence directed in ways I choose not to direct it at our house. For example, when the first interims came home, my daughter told me about a classmate who'd received an iPhone 5S (the latest model) because his average in each class was above an 80. When she got her first report card, she wanted to know when she would be getting her iPhone for making principal's honor roll. She knew the answer, of course, and that is "never." What, rewards for grades? I think not. No, studying is your job, kid. As for helicoptering, when she was given an honor last year, another parent asked me (with a straight face) what *I'd* done to secure the honor for her. And the answer is . . . "nothing." Affluenza. Gotta love it.
Thanks December 15, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Wussified parents who can't say NO have created a D.D.D. relationship w/ their children. "Discipline Deficit Disorder". --- Dave Ramsey, financial guru. An example of an enabling affluent parent: the teenager who got nailed in Massachusetts for picking up her drunk friend at a drinking party indeed should have been kicked off the HS volleyball team. Yes, she was doing a good deed, and she should stand by that intention. But, it was wrong to be at the party. Period. No tolerance policy for varsity membership means she is not exempt. Drunk-friend should have called her own mother, or Volleyball Captain should have called her own mom or called the drunk-friend's mom. Too many kids skip doing the right thing by not alerting the parents or the authorities because of the threat of being perceived as a snitch or facilitating another's due meeting with deserved punishment. I think there are parents in SP keen on avoiding consequences out of a sense of entitlement to a gilded future. Is it rampant here? I don't think so. Does that happen here? Yes, I've seen some Patch reporting about SP examples.
Edie McGee December 16, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Zero tolerance policies are generally a bad idea, though. They exempt administrators from actually having to think. Sure, you can get accusations of favoritism and abuse of discretion. However, one of the canons of statutory interpretation in the law is that you want to avoid any interpretation that yields a nonsensical outcome. It makes no sense at all to punish socially useful behavior, which would include acting as a designated driver. So ... I STRONGLY disagree about the Massachusetts case. We want to ENCOURAGE social responsibility among our kids. Yes, it would have been better if she could have contacted her parents, and it's too bad that their relationship was such that it wasn't possible for her.
Mom3SP December 16, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Edie, I think you have a very good argument, but the fact is that the no-tolerance policy was in place when the young woman signed up for the team. She could have withdrawn from the team at any point because she couldn't agree to the consequences should arguably extenuating circumstances arose, or she could have considered the consequences when deciding how best to help her friend, which one way or another, she needed to do either knowingly risking her team spot or endeavoring to get the friend help without the risk. Either way, making the sacrifice, if that's what was needed or best done in order to help the friend, was a noble act the parent could have supported rather than lobbying to overturn the consequences. HOWEVER-- after accepting the consequences, she might have worked to change the system for others, or her own future membership--which I hope she is doing now-- so that future such dilemmas are made easier or the moral burden shared, as you suggest, with the administrators.


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