A Sunday morning rant? (Yes.)
Are parents getting stupider, or is it just me? (No, it's not just me!)
As a school teacher I am amazed each year when I encounter parents who readily believe their child without even thinking to ask for the other side of the story.
Obviously they've never read Proverbs 18:17 -- "The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him."
Haven't these parents even heard the popular version of the proverb: "There are two sides to every story."?
This week I took an informal poll of 12 sixth graders. 10 of the 12 readily admit that they are "misleading" when dealing with their parents.
This "misleading" usually involves only telling part of the story. The other half of the story is missing! (Hello!)
My sixth graders seem to have more sense about themselves than some parents, especially than the parents who believe whatever their child tells them. That's not just naive, it's ridiculous!
Parents need to get all the facts. Then they may deny the facts, ignore the facts, or disbelieve the facts, but they're still the facts.
I like kids. I choose to work with them as an educator, but I have no delusions about their honesty and forth-rightness. Many of them will lie to save their skin. Many will readily throw truth under the bus if they think it will save their skin. Many will withhold incriminating information. Few are consistently and completely honest. (They mirror our society, unfortunately.)
So before you believe a kid, get the facts. Get both sides of the story. Do some cross-examination! (Don't be stupid!)
With each new school year I start off believing my students until certain ones teach me not to believe them. Some students are honest. Some are not. (Learn to tell the difference -- and check your facts. Get both sides of the story! Do your homework.)
As adults we need to be realistic about kids and help them learn honesty, responsibility, and character. It begins by modeling those behaviors for them. It continues as we take the time to get the whole story, especially the part that is not being told.
Kids want what is fair -- unless they are hiding something! They deserve fairness and justice, even if it means holding them accountable for their misdeeds and mis-truths.
If we consistently let kids lie to us, we teach them to become liars, and that's a bad idea.
End of rant.