Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, though a great writer, had nothing on parents of teens.

***Spoiler alert***

If you are actually planning on reading Crime and Punishment, 'cause you haven't gotten around to it yet- you know, since 1866 - skip this post.

In case you're not familiar with the book, (or the Cliff Notes), the main character kills someone in the beginning of the book - for what he thinks are very good reasons, and then spends the rest of the book growing increasingly paranoid, and finally ends up in prison. But the real punishment is the agony he goes through before he gets caught. By the time he gets caught and sentenced it's actually this huge relief.

And what I want to know is:

Why is it that my life occasionally resembles a bad remake of this novel? And why do I have to be the shifty-eyed detective?

Before we had inmates children, we agreed that our parenting theory would be:
"Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves."

But the tricky part is knowing if I'm still in the teaching process, or if I should be in the letting-them-govern stage? Because frankly, right now, if they aren't employing the "correct principles" then, I'm not really open to the "governing yourselves" part.

As you may have guessed, somebody's grounded again. And as I'm trying to think up interesting, educational ways to spend a day that have nothing to do with friends, phones, or TV, I'm beginning to wonder exactly which one of us is being punished?

The good news is that it looks like this house is going to be a whole lot cleaner in about 2 weeks!


"Q" said...

Crime & Punishment?
I am so exhausted being victim,peace officer,judge,attorney,jury,jail,
prison guard, parole officer...... I've lately given up. I'm trying the "I don't have to make everything all better"(Gary & Joy Lundberg)approach.
I stink at not trying to control others. I don't know what the heck I was thinking. AAHHHHHH!!

"Buns of Steele" said...

I've always thought free agency was overrated.

kristen said...

I don't have kids, but I do teach teenagers all day long; so you can take this with a grain of salt.

I am convinced that something happens to kids' brains during the teenage years. Their capacity to listen and follow instructions is somehow impaired. The common sense thing is lacking too. Kids need constant reminders and guidance, as well as high expectations. It may take them a time or two (or 100) for that one thing to finally click.

I'm sure you're doing a great job. It's not easy, especially when you have several teenagers under one roof. Anyways, just wanted to throw in my two cents ;-)

JustRandi said...

Q and Buns- I hear ya!
Kristen - that makes perfect sense to me. I know something, somewhere is disconnected. I've just been hoping it's not me.
Sounds like you're a great understanding teacher!

Anne Bradshaw said...

Teens certainly are a unique section of society :-) I have to admit to liking them, though. In fact, I like them so much, I'm running a contest on my blog and it's all about them! It's called "Spotlight the Youth," and the prizes are worth the effort, I promise.

Randi said...

We have some of the same struggles going on here---lack of responsibility with priveledges given. I want so much to let my girl be free to make her own choices, but not when her choices are bad for her (she, of course, doesn't realize that the choices are bad!).

I may have to read C & P now! ;)