My closest friends and relatives know that there has been terrific unrest in my family for a year now. Unrest is a lightweight word for a frightening situation when it’s about a teenager.
I’ve carefully offered my thoughts regarding calling in professional assistance and it was not well received. I’m wondering now if the parents thought I’d experienced a similar problem. I never did when my kids were growing up in the 80s and 90s. And if I had, I myself would have sought family counseling. And I told the parents so. There is a young life at risk physically, emotionally and the youngster is so worth saving. My children were not plagued with drug dealers showing up near Middle Schools with introductory dugs. They were not quite so assaulted by commercial media insisting they buy this get that (oh, yes, I remember Guess, Esprit, and Michael Jordan’s damn shoes) now we have media pushing so many chemicals in foods, OTC drugs, make-up , hair product, laundry detergent/fabric softener and this generation more so than any before has been exposed to them all. They teethed on TV and little minds were immersed in commerce.
I recall a moment in time when my grandson was about 3 and he wanted a particular lunch kit. Let’s just call it Crapables. I don’t want no lawsuits. I told him I don’t buy Crapables and he threw a full hissy-fit on the floor, thrashing around and wailing. I parked our grocery cart out of the way of other shoppers and sat down next to him and waited.
He opened one tearful eye and peeked at me and said “What are we doing?”
“What are we waiting for?” he sniffled.
“Yes, for you to stop crying,” I shrugged my shoulders and gave him my I can wait forever look.
“Oh. I guess I can’t have Crapables?”
“You can have them but I won’t be buying them for you or anyone. Shall we finish this now and go home and have lunch?” I stood up
“Otay, but first tan I get a banana?”
He got his banana and later his lunch, and for a year or so whenever we passed the Crapables in the supermarket, he always pointed at them and reminded me that he knew I didn’t buy them.
I could have heavy handed it: “NO! I’m doing this for your own good.. Don’t ask me again.. Because I said so!” But I believe it’s better to deal with any person of any age with respect and common sense, and in this case relieve other shoppers of witnessing the sport.
This is base theories which for me has played out well, is that the person you see at about the age of 6 or 7 is the adult you will see. Sometimes they have to get their knocks, but barring any extreme issues (disease, addiction or brain injury) they will return to their altruistic selves. It could be as simple as they believe that we believe in them.