2/14/08

"Open Letter to a Teen-Ager"

Longtime readers may recall that I have all this crap in my garage (link, link, link, link). I've been trying to reduce, but it's hard.

Today I found a yellowed newspaper clipping my grandfather tucked into the pages of a sex education book for parents who need to talk to their kids about the birds and the bees.

This is a letter-to-the-editor signed by The Juvenile Court of Boulder, Colorado. No date or source information is provided. It's just a newspaper clipping.
Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teenagers: WHAT CAN WE DO? WHERE CAN WE GO? The answer is...GO HOME! Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves. Mow the lawn. Shovel the walk, wash the car. Learn to cook. Scrub some floors. Repair the sink. Build a boat. Get a job. Help the Church. Visit the sick. Assist the poor. Study your lessons. And then when you are through--and not too tired--read a book. Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your town does not owe you recreation facilities. The world does NOT owe you a living. You owe the world something. You owe it your time and energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty, or sick, or lonely again. In plain simple words: GROW UP; quit being a cry-baby; get out of your dream world; develop a backbone not a wishbone; and start acting like a man or a lady. I'm a parent. I'm tired of nursing, protecting, helping, appealing, begging, excusing, tolerating, denying myself needed comforts for every whim and fancy, just because your selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, and thinking, and requests.
Not least among the reasons for which I enjoyed this letter: do teenagers read the letters column? (Well, I did.)

3 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Mine will.
Thank you

Frances said...

Is that clipping the reason you are the wonderful well adjusted grown up you are today? It is a good article, required reading for all parents today of spoiled weenie brats that give their kids every little thing they desire and more! Not us, of course. ;->
Frances at Faire Garden

lisa said...

I absolutely copied, pasted, and printed that for my 24 yr. old son to read! I can already see the face he'll make... :)