Showing Kids The Boundaries

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Thank goodness there are still a few people walking around with common sense and a clue, like the prosecutor in Western Michigan who dropped a misdemeanor larceny charge against a local mother for taking the iPhone away from her 15-year-old daughter.

According to an AP report, it seems the girl had gotten in some kind of trouble at school and mom decided to punish her by taking the phone away. But then her ex-husband filed a criminal complaint on the grounds that the phone was his property, and the cops actually arrested the woman.

Turns out the phone did belong to the kid and the state wisely concluded this bit of parental discipline was none of their business, but not before mom went through her legal ordeal.

It reminds me of the backlash against a Texas mother who found out her fifth-grader son had been verbally abusing his fellow students and decided to put a stop to it by making him wear a T-shirt to school for a day that read “I am a bully” on the front and back.

She took a beating on Facebook for it, but claims the boy got the message and his behavior has since improved.

What gets me is the apparently widely-held notion that kids are little glass flowers who can’t be handled with anything but kid gloves for fear their tender self-esteem will be shattered.

No civilized person condones child abuse of any kind.

But kids need their parents and other adults to show them where the boundaries of behavior are, and teach them how to respect those boundaries.

They crave that help, and are unhappy when they don’t get it.

I bet almost every parent hearing me say this is nodding vigorously, but there are apparently still adults out there who don’t get it, and are eager to disrupt attempts at real parenting.

Maybe we should take away their iPhones for a bit, or make them wear embarrassing t-shirts.

Hey, whatever works.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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