Hello everyone. This past couple of weeks have been quite interesting. Not so much for me as I have been dealing with a tsunami of a headache, but a lot has been going on in my country, socially, politically and cozai….religiously. While there is an issue that I am just itching to dwell on, I am going to see how it unfolds before making an opinion.
Last week, some kid stowed away on the wheel of a local airplane he assumed, was heading to America. The kid was extremely lucky to be alive as the plane was flying at a low altitude and God has a thing for fools and drunks…..except in slasher horror flicks. The thirteen year old was running away because he was punished by his parents and decided to go try his luck overseas. He had only a school bag. Just a bag. Didn’t he read the manual?
When I heard the news, all I could think was ‘stupid kid’. Then I got into a debate with one of my friends who felt the kid should be lauded for his brave act. That things are getting worse in the country and the boy is trying to find a better life. He contended that the boy was probably a brilliant kid who has not been given a chance to excel here and believed that he could make it in America. I listened carefully and all I could still think was ‘stupid kid’. He is 13!! He is not some unemployed graduate who is struggling to find work for years and is now desperate. He is not an extremely poor man who has lost all hope that things would get better and is willing to risk it all to find “greener pasture’. He is a spoilt 13 year kid with TWO living parents who got beaten, didn’t like it, decided to go to America because of all the movies he has seen. He assumed Life must be grand there. He certainly was not smart enough to realize that he is stowing away on a local airplane. I realize that I am making an assumption about the kid, but what did he think he would do when he got there? walk in and get adopted? Personally, I think he is a silly kid that has watched too many movies. I may be wrong……….unlikely.
Two days after this news broke, I was informed that a relative of mine has also run away from home. He did something very wrong and was punished for it. Next he left a note…………Yes an actual note…….stating ‘Since you (the dad) think I am useless, I am going to go and be useless somewhere else’. For some reason, I found it amusing, perhaps coming closely in the heel of the first story. We (my sister and I) wondered if he had found his way to the airport. While we understood his parents would be worried sick and we cannot excuse the language his father used, we knew he would return. There is something very entitled about this generation of kids. We lived in a generation where everyone gets a medal for ‘participating’, parents can sue schools for the most frivolous reasons and children feel that they can get away with anything. We are breeding a generation of Miley Cyruses and Lady Gagas (will dwell more on this another day). Surely enough, he returned home after the money he took along was exhausted and the person he was squatting with, kicked him out. He came home hungry, claiming he had not eaten all day. Although I know it is counter productive, I would probably get a stronger cane if I were his dad. Kids are very impressionable. The moment he believes that if he does something wrong, all he has to do is threaten to run away again, all parental authority is lost. However, flogging a kid who ran away because he was flogged just feels silly. ( I will most likely do it though)
I know my thinking is old school and there are a million and one ways of training and correcting a child without resorting to corporal punishment, I believe a fine line should be drawn as I had started in my previous article here.
Drop a line. Let’s hear your thoughts. How will you handle a runaway teenager?