Failed Parenting

One of the most important things a parent can do is lead by example. Any time a parent does something that is not above board, it is a pretty good bet that their child will learn that it is okay to take shortcuts that may not be entirely honest. Unfortunately there seems to be a group of parents that despite their success has not yet figured this out.

The Associated Press is reporting today that federal authorities have charged a number of wealthy and famous people with falsifying information to make sure their children got into their schools of choice. I understand the desire of any parent to provide the best education possible for their children, but this scheme definitely stepped over the line.

The article reports:

Fifty people, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, were charged Tuesday in a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation’s most elite schools.

Federal authorities called it the biggest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, with the parents accused of paying an estimated $25 million in bribes.

“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in announcing the results of an investigation code-named Operation Varsity Blues.

…At least nine athletic coaches and 33 parents, many of them prominent in law, finance or business, were among those charged. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday.

The coaches worked at such schools as Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, Wake Forest, the University of Texas, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles. A former Yale soccer coach pleaded guilty and helped build the case against others.

The article continues:

The bribes allegedly were dispensed through an admissions consulting company in Newport Beach, California. Authorities said parents paid William Singer, the founder of the Edge College & Career Network, the bribe money to get their children into college.

Prosecutors said Singer was scheduled to plead guilty in Boston Tuesday to charges including racketeering conspiracy. John Vandemoer, the former head sailing coach at Stanford, was also expected to plead guilty.

Colleges moved quickly to discipline the coaches accused. Stanford fired Vandemoer, UCLA suspended its soccer coach, and Wake Forest did the same with its volleyball coach.

Several schools, including USC and Yale, said they were victims themselves of the scam. USC also said it is reviewing its admissions process to prevent further such abuses.

This is a sad commentary on where we are as a society. Obviously some parents want to take the guess work out of college admissions. What is the lesson they are teaching their children? I wonder exactly how much of these scheme the children involved were aware of. Certainly if a child is recruited for a sport he has no knowledge of, he might notice that something is amiss. I hope the penalties for the parents are severe. As much as I can sympathize with the stress of getting children into good colleges (all three of my daughters are college graduates, two have advanced degrees), what these parents did is inexcusable–first of all because it is patently dishonest and second of all because of the example it sets for the students.

Common Sense In The Era of “Me Too”

Not everyone tells the truth all the time. In a thirty-some-year-old sexual assault charge, who know what happened? Memories cloud, memories fade, whatever. So what is the mother of a son supposed to teach her son to protect him from someone else’s memory which may or may not be correct?

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article that all teenagers and mothers and fathers of teenagers should read. The title of the article is, “How to ‘Christine Blasey Ford-Proof’ Your Son.”

The article includes a number of suggestions on how to avoid the circus we are now seeing in Washington. This is the list:

  1. Take him to church and make sure the lessons stick
  2. Train him to document any unusual circumstance
  3. Teach your son to assume he will one day have a position of high importance and encourage him to live accordingly
  4. Don’t trust women

The author of the article elaborates on each principle and why it is there. The fact that anyone would even think any of this is necessary is a sad commentary on our society, but we are watching the potential destruction of a man’s life and his accuser’s life over something that happened thirty-some years ago. That is truly sad.

I would also note that there was a time when simply teaching your son to respect women was adequate. I am not sure that we still live in that time.

 

 

Prepare For An Exponential Increase In Government Intrusion

Yesterday The Examiner posted an article about a provision of ObamaCare that has not gotten a lot of publicity. The provision allows government agents to engage in “home health visits” for those in certain “high-risk” categories. Doesn’t sound too ominous until you look at the “high-risk” categories.

The article lists the categories:

Families where mom is not yet 21;
• Families where someone is a tobacco user;
• Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and
• Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.

Missing from the list given in the article is families with firearms, but that is now included in the questions your doctor is supposed to ask you.

The article explains how this program will totally invade the privacy of Americans and undermine the authority of American parents:

Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown said that despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary.”

“The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks,” he said. “A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to ‘intervention’ in ‘school readiness’ and ‘social-emotional developmental indicators.’ A farm family may be subject to ‘intervention’ in order to ‘prevent child injuries.’ The sky is the limit.”

Joshua Cook said that while the administration would claim the program only applies to those on Medicaid, the new law, by its own definition, has no such limitation.

“Intervention,” he added, quoting Brown, “may be with any family for any reason. It may also result in the child or children being required to go to certain schools or taking certain medications and vaccines and even having more limited – or no – interaction with parents. The federal government will now set the standards for raising children and will enforce them by home visits.”

The Health and Human Services Department has allocated $224 million for these home visits.

This needs to be stopped before it begins.

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A Wonderful Contrast To The 99 Percent

Yesterday Hot Air posted a story that should remind us what our real priorities should be. This is a picture from that article:

Boaz Reigstad, Down Syndrome, pro-life

The picture is of Boaz Reigstad, a five-year old who will shortly turn six. This picture has appeared on Facebook.

The article reminds us:

Reigstad also happens to have Down Syndrome. That, too, is visible in his picture — but it takes a back seat to the joy and warmth of his expression. Sadly, the apparently cheerful child is the exception to a startling rule: About 90 percent of pregnant mothers who learn their babies have Down Syndrome choose to abort. As The Blaze puts it, “That means [just] 10 percent of children are brought to term after the mother learns of the condition.”

Raising a child with a disability is an incredibly difficult job. Over the years I have known people who are raising children with serious problems. I have watched the struggles and the special love between these children and their parents. It is a sad commentary on our society that only 10 percent of children with Down Syndrome are allowed to live.

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An Amazing Comment From Parenting.com

Tents at the Woodstock Festival. Volkswagens w...

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What follows is part of an article at Parenting.com:

We know the unemployment rate (over 9 percent) and the number of us living in poverty (more than 46 million. That’s roughly one in seven). But Occupy Wall Street is not helping those people. Occupy Wall Street is a temper tantrum in a private park. And it’s parents, moms and dads, i.e. us, who are to blame.

At some point on the parenting evolutionary chart, we went from restrained to indulgent. We went from being parents to being friends. Peewee baseball games stopped keeping score. Everyone got a trophy. If there was a problem, there was always a Boogieman: allergies, ADD, auditory processing, a bad teacher. We stopped saying “no,” and started saying “no because…” We negotiated. We gave them options (Cinnamon Life and Frosted Mini Wheats? Big Time Rush or iCarly?). We told them they could be American Idols and astronauts, all while knowing they were tone deaf and terrible at chemistry.

Those kids went to college, and got useless degrees (full disclosure: film major with a psychology minor). They graduated, and then failed at being American Idols and astronauts. Without a decent set of coping skills, they’ve turned rejection into anger. They’ve lived a life where there were always options, where they never lost, where they thought the moon overhead followed them. They’ve been kicked out of the nest, having never been told their wings don’t run on batteries.

And now somebody owes them $150,000 for their education. No one said your major in horticulture was a coupon good for one free career.

This is the crop from the seeds planted in the mid-1960’s. We need to get back to disciplining our children in a way that gives them both structure and hope. We need to teach our children a work ethic that includes planning for the future and doing the work necessary to achieve that future. The author of this article hit the nail on the head.

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