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Archive for the tag “Teens”

Viral Stupidity. How bout dah?

Image result for cash me outside how bow dahRemember the ‘Cash Me Ousside ‘ girl?  Yup, the 13-year old who disrespected her mom,stole her credit cards and dropped out of school in grade 7.   You probably saw her on Dr. Phil also.  Maybe you thought “What a disaster!  She would never amount to to much.”   Yes, I thought so too.  Heck, I even used her as a teaching moment for my own kids.  You better be nice and stay in school or you boys would never get anywhere in life.  Man were we ever wrong.  She amounted to much and is amounting to much more.

So much for that.  I had not taken into consideration that this was the United States of America, where fame and fortune are always just one viral post away.  It doesn’t matter what you did, legal or illegal, if it goes viral, then get ready to cash out, how bout dah?

And so it happened with this obnoxious and rude teen, Danielle Bregoli.  She became a ‘viral sensation’ with over 8 million Instagram followers!  Her appearances are worth upwards of $40,000 and she even stars in commercials! A celebrity! A success story!  Who needs school and manners?  She is projected to be a Millionaire by the end of 2017!  What a sweet story of a hard working girl.

Seriously America, it’s time to wake up!  You are creating idols and role models out of those who least deserve it.   Turning a 13-year old, Grade 7 dropout into a celebrity?  Rewarding her for being a brat?  What would you do next?  Make a President out of a… um, nevermind.

Just My Take…


Frank Friday: Too Little Too Late?

Dress Code PosterLately, there have been crackdowns in some schools on the way the kids dress, especially girls.  The latest was a Quebec teen who was suspended for wearing shorts that were not up to the school’s dress code.  Here.  In some schools, students are told to stand with their hands at their sides and if their shorts or skirts are higher than their fingertips then it is deemed offensive.   The teen’s shorts were such.  People are weighing in on this with many feeling that it is an overkill.   “With a third of Quebec teenagers dropping out of high school and cyberbullying reaching epidemic proportions, wearing shorts to class seems a relatively minor affair”.  Stated The National Post.  But is it really?

Living close to a few high schools, I have seen the way school girls are dressing.  You know it’s a problem when my 16-year-old cousin mentions it.  He thinks it’s a bit much.  It’s as if they are trying to out-thrash each other.  Who can wear the most revealing shirt, the tiniest shorts or the tightest tank tops.  Schools were once respectable institutions where students at least looked respectable, even if some weren’t.  Now it’s more like a catwalk where many go to model the latest fashions.  Schools are not just for learning Math and English etc. but also to learn how to respect oneself.  To dress comfortably but conservatively and tastefully as well.  Dressing for success starts in schools but some seem destined to make their success in other ways. Pardon my bluntness.

There was one incident where I think the school erred and that’s when they singled out a student for wearing shorts that revealed her scars.  According to them, the scars were ‘inappropriate for the learning environment’.  I am not sure about the specifics of that case but from just what I read, it was bad judgement on the part of that school’s administration.  In another school, one teen was sent to the principal’s office because ‘she was wearing a top with “spaghetti” straps that revealed her bra straps, rather than the permissible “lasagna” straps that don’t.” I see where they are coming from.  The bra is called an ‘underwear’ for a reason.  You WEAR it UNDER.  No need to reveal your Victoria Secrets.


From the foregoing, you could gather that I am in favor of the schools’ dress code.  Of course I am! I am just afraid that the damage is already been done.  I still like what the Chairman of the Lester B. Pearson School Board had to say: “It’s just imposing rules of respectable dress in that environment,” Stein Day said. “Schools are charged with teaching teenagers more than science and geography, but for the next stage of life — training them for the workforce. … You have to follow rules and just because you think a rule is wrong doesn’t make it so.”  My Take, exactly!

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Funerals Selfies Selfish look so cute...but wait, is that a coffin behind you?

Aww…you look so cute…but wait, is that a coffin behind you?

Oxford Dictionaries this week made ‘Selfies’ the word of the year.  With everyone, and I mean everyone, taking photos of themselves in with and doing various things, some outrageous, some normal, I can see why.  Selfies are the norm and because of this, it’s no wonder that a new fad involves teens, maybe irresponsible adults too, taking selfies at funerals. The photos seem to say, “Here’s a shot of me being cute while the family of the deceased are grieving.”  Yes, it’s totally selfish but not shocking.  It was bound to happen.  It’s just the way things are heading. Everyone wants to post the pic or vid that would get the most ‘likes’ or go viral.  Even the Pope has taken a selfie.  Not at a funeral.  Some are calling this new trend a ‘self-aborbed low”.  I am calling it another example of how technology is quickly making us brain-dead.

Selfies are also posing a risk to drivers as some drivers are posting photos of them driving.  These selfies should be captioned,  “Look how stupid I am.  I am actually taking a photo of myself driving while paying no attention to the road.”  It just wasn’t enough that we text/talk and drive.

It’s the epitome of self-obsession.  Selfies are everywhere.  A pic of some teen complete with duckface, hanging out at the bar, at the gym, in church, you name it, it’s there, ready for instagram.

Taking selfies could land you in jail.  Yes, a couple of Winnipeg teens stole a man’s iPhone and needed to instagram their crime so they took selfies.  What they didn’t know was that the phone had an app that uploaded the pics to the owner’s computer.  It wasn’t hard for police to track down the culprits.

Even though it is not shocking or even surprising that teens are taking selfies at funerals,  it does not dilute the fact that it is wrong and socially unacceptable.  There’s a time and a place for everything, yes, including selfies.  While driving is just plain dumb.  You put not only yourself but others at risk. Funerals are a no-no.  It’s about respect, kiddo.   so put the camera down and show some!  My Take.

Are You Ready For The Real World, Son?

de1be3b799ff48697b4aa48295b59977Hey you!  Yeah you there with the skateboard under your arm, the headphones in your ear and the backwards cap.  How old are you, son, sixteen?  You should be in school, it’s only 2pm.  Oh, you have a spare?  Nice!  Take those headphones out of your ears and let’s talk for a little bit.  I know you would probably rather we text but let’s kick it old school.

Now son, do you know what you want to be when you grow up?  Not yet?  Why not?  I am not saying you are a loser but there are kids your age already making big dollars.  They are entrepreneurs.  They know what they want.  Son, it’s a dog eat dog world out there and only the strong will survive.  There isn’t an app for it.  You sink or you float.  Are you prepared?  In the real world, they play for keeps.  They keep track of the score and there IS a goalie.  Someone will try to keep you from scoring.  Out there, you pass or fail, no making up grades.  No remedial classes.  You don’t get to pick your team, the team picks you.  Son, are you feeling me?

You hate your parents for giving you rules to follow. Telling you to stay in school, go to bed, come home early. Well in the real world, you have to do those things to survive.  Skating and listening to music is all fine and dandy  but son, you have to be ready for the real world too.  It’s gonna creep up on you man and like Hulk Hogan used to say, “Whatcha gonna do, Brother?”

Friday Fodder: Declining Moral Values

thThere are many differing opinions on the reason for the decaying of moral values in our society.  One thing that is mutually agreed upon is that it is indeed decaying.  Or declining.  Some say it is just scriptures coming to past.  Others blame it on television. Maybe it is all the above and then some.  For me, one of the major reasons is parenting.  Moral values go hand in hand with parenting.  Proper parenting ensures that values are instilled in our children.  If we fail to do that, then they grow up barely able to discern right from wrong.  Then they make their own laws.

It’s interesting to note the differences in the problems that schools in the 1940’s faced compared to schools in the 80’s.  Just a 40 year gap.  Astounding!  In the 40’s, the major problems were truancy, running in the halls, talking in class, and chewing gum.  In the 80’s, the problems included teenage pregnancy, violence, stealing, rape, bringing knives and guns to school, drug abuse and vandalism.  And that’s in the eighties!

The students still run in the halls but now they run with guns.  They still chew gum and chew out their teachers and talk back to them.  Yes, I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of parents.  But…but…we can’t control what our kids become when they grow up.  This is usually our whiny and pathetic excuse for our failure to provide our kids with the proper tools to grow into men and women with morals.  In truth, we are too lazy, ill-equipped to teach or just bad parents.  Yeah, there is such a thing.  But how about television? So many bad shows out there and their friends are also influential.  Gimme a break!  No excuses!  Some of us do suck at parenting.

Yes,  sometimes we do our best as parents but our kids still veer off the track.  You can’t be blamed in that case, but when I see so many instances of parents who have apparently thrown in the towel, allowing their wards to do as they please, we have a problem and it’s us.

Then there’s the justice system that seems powerless to do anything to curb youth crime.  Too  young to show their faces in the media.  Too young to name them.  Too young to punish them.  Punish the parents instead if they try to punish their own kids.  Protect the kids at all cost!  Even if that cost is morality.

Just my take.

Stolen, misplaced, phantom shoes

School lockers found in National University of...

Yesterday I made an adjustment in how I deal with Teenager. I am making a conscious effort to be less confrontational when he slips up.  Instead of always being on the offensive and confrontational, I am going to try a new approach and see how it works.

Yesterday, I made a list of his problem areas, the glaring issues that generally get me going.  I awarded a points system to each depending on their importance.  At the end of the week, when the points are tallied, if he gets a set total in the positive, he gets to bargain for extra time allowed outside or anything within reason.  If he goes above the allowable amount in the minus, (for failing to adhere to rules etc.), then he gets fined by docking an hour off his time allowed outside or whatever depending on parental discretion.  (I haven’t presented it to him as yet).

So far, yesterday went well.  I picked him up from a psychologist appointment and on the way home, engaged him in light convo.  Get this, he even bought a burger for the both of us!  I am taking him for burgers on the weekend as a settlement.

Last night almost undid all the above.  We were sitting down having another light-hearted when the topic got a bit more serious.  Let me pick it up from the serious part of the convo.

Teenager: Hmmm…there’s something I wanted to tell you but I forgot.

Me: Well Ok.  Must not have been that important then eh?

Teenager:  Well…You will only get mad anyways.

Me:  Well if it’s something that would make me mad then it is serious and I should know about it now and not later.

Teenager:  Well…remember those Nike Gym shoes you guys bought me? I lent them to my friend…

Me:  (interrupting) What? You gave your shoes away? Hmm…I am not sure you should be lending your shoes to anyone…(still maintaining calm and poise).

Teenager:  Well, (here’s the kicker, pardon the pun), he said he gave them back and they were in my locker and now I can’t find them.

Me: (Getting exasperated but still calm mind you). So you put your shoes in your locker, locked it then when you went back to your locker, you opened it and your shoes were gone?

Teenager:  Yep.

Me:  Come on, tell me exactly what happened.  Did you really get it back from your friend? Did you misplace it? Just the truth.

Teenager:  See? That’s why I hate telling you stuff.  You never believe me! I said I don’t know what happened! I put it in my locker and now it’s not there! ( I could see he was getting agitated).

Me:  (Calm again. How do I do that??) Ok, see it from my point. If you had a son who comes home and tells you that he locked his new and expensive shoes in his locker and no one broke into it but they are gone, what would you say?

Teenager:  Well I will tell him he can buy another from his allowance next time.

Me:  And that’s it?

Teenager:  Well yeah…

Me:  Ok, well I guess you can just buy another one with your allowance.  Heck, I’m thinking you should maybe buy two or three so when you lose one you’ll have backup. (sorry, couldn’t resist the sarcasm but I’m still even keeled mind you).

Teenager:  OK  (you know the way teenager say it as it ooo kayy)

Me:  Hmm…that’s some weird story though. Those shoes just walked out of your locker like that.  Hmmm…sounds like you guys have ghosts in your school…

Noticed the ‘new’ me?  I could have responded with ‘What??! You went and lost those kicks that you wanted so badly and begged us to buy for you? You shoe-losing-non-stop-texting-non-compliant-kid!!” Then got the belt out and flogged him.  (Relax, I am just joking about the texting flogging). Anyways I didn’t and you know what? I felt all the better for it.  Let’s hope that this ‘new’ me can withstand the first major obstacle that comes along…

You still on that flogging thing? I said I WAS JOKING!

That’s just how teenagers are

While I am on this teenagers rant, let me take the opportunity to let it all out.  My last post detailed my dislike for inappropriate texting by my cousin.  After relating this and other teenager related issues with a few of my friends, I noticed that a common response was ‘that’s how teenagers are’.  Puhlease spare me! I simply do not buy this. Teenagers are supposed to be rebellious, unhygienic, lazy, rude and disrespectful, so get used to it and adapt.  That’s what I am supposed to believe? Well not in my house!  This nonchalant and resigned acceptance is partly to blame for the rise in youth violence.  Unfortunately, this same attitude has permeated our court system.  How many of these youths are usually repeat offenders?

Teenagers are just how we make them.  If we allow them to be the things that we think they should be just because they are teenagers, then of course, that is how they are going to be. (I am not saying here that they won’t or can’t change to become very good contributors to society. Lots of them do).  Should we allow them to disrespect us because we know it is just a teen phase?  Is it wrong to deny them the opportunity to text when and where they want as this means we are not allowing them to be teens?  Do you see where this is going?  It simply is not acceptable to sit back and wait for this phase to pass.  Nip it in the bud.  By teaching our children to differentiate right from wrong, acceptable to unacceptable behavior, we may well be eliminating the chance of having one of ‘those teenagers’. You know how they are…

1-2-3 Texting…

My cousin finally got the Blackberry he craved.  He had a ‘generic’ phone for a few years and wanted a BB so he could enjoy all the cool stuff that came with it like bbm, facebook app, etc.  Plus all his friends had one.

So far, it has been a nightmare at least for me.  I have never hated seeing someone texting as much as I do now.  Thanks to him, I am a vigilante on the lookout for people texting in places and situations they should not.

He texts while surfing, eating with family, washing dishes, watching tv…I am seriously disgusted and sickened whenever I am forced to see him engaging in this activity.  The fact that he shuts out the world when he’s texting, is the clincher.  I have had to repeat myself loudly too many times.  Did I mention his showers are approximately 30 minutes long as he texts for 20 minutes while locked in the bathroom before actually getting into the shower.

I am in a constant mental fight trying to restrain myself from snatching said bb and dashing it against a wall.  I am not sure how much longer I can hold on to my sanity…

It’s just the way teenagers are, right? Now that’s another topic…

check out my other blog relating to the texting issue…

The weird kid

Today, I saw a ‘weird’ teenager at the bus stop. He was totally an outcast.  Standing there naked of any electronic device.  No wires dangled from his ears and no cell phone nestled in his hand.  I noted how he looked confident and studious as he waited for his bus. How odd that his neck was not craned over a cell phone sending text messages, oblivious of the world around him.  In this electronic and texting age, this kid was the epitome of odd and weird.  Didn’t he feel the urge to listen to some loud music blasting out of some Dr. Dre’s headphones? How about keeping tabs on his friends waiting at the bus stop across the street?  The ones he sat next to in class…

Not believing this weird and unusual sight, I decided that this teenager must have some even weirder parents who instilled such odd values in their son.  Maybe they had no television or if they did, they did not give it the worship it deserved. Maybe they had a no-cell rule at the dinner table. Heck, if they even owned a computer, I can assure you such weird parents would have time limits set on it. It was incredible that such people still exists.  How dare them defy the status quo! How dare them not conform!

As the bus arrived to pick up Mr. Weirdo, my eyes followed him to his seat.  He probably felt my stare because he suddenly glanced in my direction and a trace of a smile cracked his face.  Then he waved.  Weirdo…

Eating, eating, eating…

My 14-year-old cousin who is also our Foster kid, does not seem to know when he is full.  He eats or at least wants to eat every few minutes.  He is constantly in the kitchen, even when he has just had a large meal.  The weird thing is, when he is out skateboarding, he sometimes goes 8 hours or more without eating anything.  Maybe he’s eating out of boredom…On the other end of the spectrum, I can barely get my 3 little boys to eat anything that is not a ‘treat’.  Maybe that is not too bad considering their Foster brother eats for 3.  I can hardly wait for them to start eating like growing boys. NOT! Forget saving for college, I should start a food savings account.

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