Wednesday, April 09, 2008

When Does Parental Responsibility End?

I am not an excitable person, but an easy way to send me right over the edge is give me examples of the complete lack of self-accountability and responsibility in this country... For example, why should I give a flying ____ about people that entered into adjustable rate mortgages they couldn't afford? Or why should my tax dollars pay the college tuition for a 'reformed' heroin junkie? Or worse than that, pay for infant formula when breast milk is free? Not to sound callous --I'm sure I'd have too much sympathy on an individual basis, but federally mandated? No.

BUT, that being said, the line blurs for me when it comes to enabling parents. When does the parental responsibility end and the "child's" begin?

When I was 19 my GMC Jimmy (that I worked and saved for) was stolen by a drunk kid that proceeded to get into 5 hit and run accidents with it. Of course I was awarded a monetary judgment, but knew I'd never see a penny (I was right). At the time I wanted to sue his parents. They had bailed him out of trouble in school and bailed him out of jail his entire life --so I felt they had a shared responsibility for my predicament.

The other day one of my sister's neighbors (a 60 year old man) was beaten to a pulp by a new 40 year old, crack head neighbor. This little crack head's well-off family has been moving him from apartment to apartment for years...whisking him out to the next one once he gets in trouble. Once again...enabling.

There really wouldn't be a way to determine which parent's should share in the havoc their children cause, but it's a nice thought isn't it... maybe with that looming over their heads more parents would learn that saying 'no' and letting kid's take responsibility from early on will make them better people.

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