Dumb and Dumber Parents Teaching Kids Non-Accountability

A former Boston Bruin, Mike Milbury, landed up in our local jail, charged with assault and battery of a minor. At a youth hockey game that he sponsored and in which he served as one team’s assistant coach, he grabbed a twelve year old kid’s jersey and swore at him (A kid from the opposing team). The mother of the kid said Milbury went beyond that re. physical abuse. Milbury’s version–provided in today’s Boston Globe Sports section, maintains that the kid bullied Milbury’s son, steadily throughout the entire game. Milbury asked the opposing coach to police his players; no response, just one of those “everybody’s doing it.” Milbury insisted he just tried to separate the bully from his own kid when all else failed. Who knows what happened? Witnesses support Milbury’s story.

Assume his side for the moment. Where is the nitwit mother of the other kid? Are parents incapable of policing their own kids? Holding them accountable for their actions? Coaches too for that matter? In “Coach,” what I think is his best book, Michael Lewis recounts his high school baseball coach, who lamented that for many kids today “All this is about a false sense of self-esteem. It’s now bestowed on kids at birth. It’s not earned. If I were to jump all over you today, you would be highly insulted and deeply offended. You would not get that I cared about you.”

It’s about over-parenting and under-parenting. Don’t blame the school, the coaches, the teacher: blame your kid or at least try to ascertain their responsibility for their actions. And try to stay out of the damned way once in a while, letting professionals ply their trade. Lewis’ coach lamented that he no longer enjoyed meaningful relationships with his players. “I can’t get inside of them anymore. They don’t get it. But most kids don’t get it. The trouble is every time I try the parents get in the way.”

For this life task we require no license? Amazing: the most important job in life and the least regulated….

Founder and Executive Director, Tzion; Teacher and Scholar, Gann Academy

Posted in My View, Teaching Tagged with: , , ,
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[David] has a brilliant mind; he is a scholar of great range and depth; he is a deeply devoted father and husband; his outstanding abilities at organization are manifest in the splendid Me'ah Program he created and fostered; he is a forceful and moving orator; he is a man of both compassion and commitment; he is a teacher who fortifies and inspires; he is a natural leader; and his contribution to the Jewish community is legendary.
Sacvan Bercovitch, Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature, Harvard University

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