My nephew just got out of jail

michigan-clarecsoHe is saying all the right things, I’m going to change, I’ve learned my lesson, yada yada yada.  He is a living example of why every parent or parent to be should read this article by Cassy Fiano.  My nephew was raised by a mother who loved him too much to say no.  She wasn’t lazy, she was just a poor misguided hippie. Don’t worry, if she ever read this–she won’t–but if she did, she has come to agree with me. 

Jamie was a good kid at first, but he always got his way. First born grand child and great-grand child, he was spoiled mercilessly as a child.  Trouble at school? It must be the teacher’s fault. Pulled Uncle John’s hair? Don’t you DARE pull his hair back to show him how it feels! I tried to warn my sister that she was spoiling  him, but she didn’t listen. It was not out of laziness–that is the only thing that I would take issue with Ms. Fiano’s article–but because she loved him and thought she was doing the right thing. But “love” isn’t all a kid needs. He grew up and began smoking pot and drinking (OK, I helped with the drinking part) and doing drugs. He began to fight and to party and to womanize. I tried to be a good example, but I was only around on vacations or special occasions. In short, Jamie got in trouble, got into car wrecks, received permanent injuries, and became hooked on painkillers.  While drugged up on painkillers, he fell asleep, crossed into the oncoming lane and almost killed himself and two people in another car in a head on collision. FINALLY, on his third DUI/driving under the influence of drugs charge, he was put in jail. (He is 33 years old.)   And the jailers made him quit his several year dependency on pain killers cold turkey.  He had tried with varying degrees of seriousness off and on for years but to no avail.  I hope he has learned his lesson. But I doubt it.

I went to the opposite extreme with my kids. I waited until I was thirty to have kids. And I was very strict with my kids. Spanking? Check. Monitor TV and internet? Like a hawk. Send them to public school? Hell no. Ok, let me back up, it was my wife who deserves all the credit for raising our children right–but you get my drift.  They both turned out nearly perfect.  And it isn’t like I am special, or like I my wife did something that you can’t do.  But you have to do it. It is hard. It is much easier to let the kid have his or her own way. Oh, why make them eat broccoli if they don’t like it? blah blah blah. BECAUSE mommy or daddy said so, that’s why! 

I’ll admit it–I was brought up all wrong, too. I was allowed to do almost anything that I wanted, when I wanted it. Stay out all night long? Yup. Lie about where I was going and who I was doing it with? And not have anybody check up on me or care? You betcha.  So those of you offended my my language or my spoiled little brat behavior, now you know a little bit about why I am the way I am… Hey, at least I was smart enough to realize it and to change the way my kids were raised. That is about all the credit I can take for two great kids. That, and marrying a wonderful mother for them.

8 responses to “My nephew just got out of jail

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. Good post John. Too many people think they’re doing right by their children by giving them everything and expecting little.

    I read a quote once that I’ll try not to butcher too much:

    If you discipline your children, when they grow up they will forgive you.
    If you don’t discipline them, they never will…

    Still looking for that email John.

  3. Good story John. But on another note….I booked a wedding yesterday at SML on Labor Day weekend. I have a few questions for you, but hate to do all that on here. Do you have a gmail acct or something that I can ask a few questions?

  4. I would just like to say that I have 4 grown adult children that still let me know what’s taking places in their life; and asking for my opinion before they make a mistake they have to live with! This is all because, I personally told them that I don’t care how old they get; I will always be the boss! God made me the mom and them my child for a reason.’ They love and respect me for that. I know an 18 year old pastors child that is on his way to failure due to being brought up in a too loving home, his mother loves him in the same manner that Jamie’s mom loved him; however daddy loves him more. You can tell because his dad want’s him to stop his drugs, sex, alcohol and lying; staying out all hours of the night and not having to give answers to where or why? The son, white-washes everything and his mom helps him by saying well may be this and may be that??? WHATEVER!!! May be they need to learn the hard way such as some do.’ Dad has kicked him up and out! However, their are some that think dad hates his son’ what? The word of God says that the parent that spoils their child is the one that hates his child! Proverbs: I am an online college student doing research on Child Developmental Psychology and this is a great post for that.

    Thanks John

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Meg. I too took a class called “Educational Psych” many years ago, taught by a fine Christian gentlemant, Dave Skaer (unsure of spelling). It was great help in raising my children. Negative and positive reinforcement. Use praise instead of criticizm. Only thing I can recall disagreeing with him about was I don’t believe he agreed with spanking. Sometimes, spanking is the only thing that will work…

  6. Hi John,

    Boy are you so ever right about spanking! My pastor does believe in not sparing the rod; after all God himself says’ to correct the child and save his soul from hell.’ Proverbs:

    However; the mom don’t believe in putting hands on the child unless it’s to pray for him.

    I have been doing my best to help them all out, dad asked me to take them 18 year old in and try to work with him; however that made mom go against me as well! I have sent the boy back and now he is worse. Dad still won’t let him in his doors at home or church due to his evil ways.

    What if any would you suggest for my pastor to do?

    Thanks, Meg

  7. I think by the time a child is 18 it is no use to try to impose discipline on them. I’m speaking from experience, I was 18 and a hellion and nobody could discipline me, either. I would let him do whatever he wants, and if God wants to get ahold of him, he will. I certainly wouldn’t enable him by allowing him to do whatever he wants while I paid his rent and expenses. I have a wonderful 18 year old who is not our child living with us. Occasionally, (maybe only 1x, since she isn’t too rebellious) when she feels rebellious, we just remind her, “Fine, but as long as you live in our house, you live by our rules. If you don’t like our rules, leave.” She has not left, and she abides by our rules. If the mother and father won’t enforce rules, then there is not much you can do but pray.

    p.s. I was one of the last persons in the world that you would think God would get ahold of and change his life, but he did. It might not be on your expected time table, but it might happen.

  8. I guess I did not state this explicitly, but I would kick him out the first time I caught him breaking my rules. At least I hope I would. I love my kids to death, and I never had to be so stern, because we got them young and trained them right. They are not perfect, but if you don’t get children young, they are almost like dogs. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. ALMOST I said.

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