Sad...but true!

Let me first give this disclaimer: I'm not a parent. I'm not married. I've babysat and practically nannied A LOT of kids. That is completely different than parenting and doesn't come with near the responsibility. So, feel free to take my views with a grain of salt. But, this is what this thing is for: sharing my thoughts. So, I'm going to!

After watching this video I had several thoughts come to mind. My first inclination, when seeing this story on the Drudge Report on December 17th, was of course, "Get this kid away from his mother!" After watching this interview, while not totally rescinding that thought... I am reconsidering.

Kids are like cats, they have amazing ways of breaking down all sorts of barriers and hiding in the most unlikeliest of places when given proper motivation. This kid, sadly, had some serious motivation (according to the mother): to see his dad who is in jail.

Why would you tell a 4 year old that his father was in jail? I realize that they are getting a divorce and so the mother is probably in some way (consciously or unconsciously) trying to turn the kid against the dad, but still... don't you think you could come up with a better story? That is a really heavy concept to burden a 4 year old child's mind.

With that in mind, I can totally believe her story about the kid wanting to get in trouble, doing the most crazy things his mind can conceive, in order to see his dad. Because, you go to jail when you do bad things, right? He knows he's not to steal, or break into someone's house, or play in the street, or certainly run away during bedtime. He's also probably been told that "boys don't wear dresses"... It all makes sense to me. And now for Pandora's box:

Oh, he was drinking a beer, too. Drunk, actually. The mom said, "I have no idea how he got it open because it was one of those tabbed beers..." Yeah, uh-huh. He knew where the beer was, probably saw dad, grandpa, and mom open those tabbed beers multiple times. He's a smart kid. He probably knew where the bottle opener was. Kids only need a little bit of example and they will be happy to imitate. This is why I almost blow a gasket any time I see adults drinking in front of their children. It sets an example. And this kid knew he wasn't supposed to drink, so when he wanted to do something bad... what's the first thing he goes for? Exactly.

I know so many responsible and loving parents who drink in front of their kids (obviously with the greatest of moderation), I can only say that it is by God's grace that their kids haven't done the same thing as the kid above (and I'm NOT talking about running away and stealing things). I knew tons of kids in HS who, in elementry, drank from their parents stashes because they wanted to do something bad, or they wanted to be "adults". It doesn't matter what you tell your kids about drinking, if you do it as an adult they will do it when they want to act like adults. Period. Drinking in front of your kids does nothing to benefit them and I will not apologize for saying so.

Obviously, there are some serious break downs in parenting here that have nothing to do with drinking. This whole event did not occur because grandpa had a beer in front of the kid during a game. Obviously. But you and the adults in your family are the examples that you set for your kids. You tell them by your actions "this is what adults do." So, when your kids want to act like adults, at any age, they will imitate that. Including drinking.


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