Aldine ISD police say a 16-year-old student at Nimitz High School was so upset with his substitute teacher for taking his phone, he pushed her onto the ground. My question is, what made this kid think that kind of horrible behavior was anywhere in the vicinity of okay?
My momma did not tolerate bad behavior; not from me, my siblings, her students or any other child within striking distance of her piercing gaze and tough reprimands. Parenting was non-negotiable. If she said “do it”, I answered “Yes mam”. Same with my Dad and my grandparents. It was about respect. It was about teaching me the principles and values that make me a productive, contributing, solid member of society.
From the moment I could even understand what “respect” was I knew it was not a choice but the ONLY option. I knew being a good kid did not make me corny or nerdy or a momma’s boy; it made me a good kid, period. That carried over into my teenage years and into adulthood. Discipline, preparedness and commitment to excellence was reinforced while I was in the military, however –bottom line- it began at home. It continues in every aspect of my life. I practice it in business and in my personal life. I learned early on that principles never change. People do.
The past few weeks, social media has been a slide show of prom and graduation pictures and videos as teenagers prepare for one of the most important stages of their lives. Some go off to college, others enter the military, and others still go right to work. For many, this will be their first opportunity to live without the constant supervision of parents, grandparents, extended family, teachers and even neighbors. Parents and caregivers, let’s prepare our kids to rise up to the responsibility by ensuring they use what we teach them at home, in society. Arm them with the principles, discipline and the pride they need to stand out, not act out and encourage them to always be at their best. That includes respecting authority without being passive, having ambition without being cut-throat, confidence without being arrogant, and pride without being an egoist. If we don’t teach our children how to deal with authority, adversity, challenges and yes, success, we set them up to be outcasts instead of standouts.
Congratulations to all the grads. You have every right to be proud of your achievements! However (parents and teens) as you take the time to pick out the perfect suit and gown, post pictures and videos… make sure you are celebrating a life that you have helped prepare to flourish long after the pomp and circumstance fades. It all begins at home.