A few days ago I posted about the shooting in Santa Barbara and how shocked I was at the sense of entitlement the perpetrator had. Then today I realised how we are bringing up a generation of kids in the exact same manner and that adults with these beliefs are just going to grow in number.
Today I was in a car park and there were a couple of lad crossing the car park, about 10 or 12 years old. They walked across the car park oblivious of me driving towards them. I tried to steer round them but they just walked straight into my path. Fortunately (?) I missed them but as I grazed their toes (I’m kidding!) they yelled at me “just run us over then”. I was actually nowhere near running them over and replied to the effect that they should watch where they were going. They replied with three and four letter answers in the region of “f*** off” and “d*** w*d”. I replied with a couple of choice similar length words: “car park”.
What shocked me more than anything was not at being sworn at by a couple of kids, but the fact that I was unsurprised and in fact expecting to be sworn at by a couple of kids. These two boys believed it was their right to walk across a car park without checking for cars. That it was the drivers’ responsibility to stop and let them go. And this is by no means an unusual occurrence. I live on an estate where the kids think it is their right to wander down the middle of the road on their bikes, and if they dash across the back of your car when reversing, if you were to run them over then it is your fault, despite the fact that you couldn’t even see them. These same kids think that if there’s something in my garden or car that they want, then it’s their right to take it.
Where do these kids get this belief from? That they are entitled to their right of way and even to swear at complete strangers? It can only be from their parents? As a child I was taught responsibility – as a pedestrian, check for cars. And if I had ever had a go at an adult, let alone sworn at one, I think I would have been on bread and water for a week! But that is not what we are teaching our kids anymore.
So what will be the result of us teaching our kids that they are ‘entitled’? More deaths and manifestos like the one in Santa Barbara. So which way are you going to teach your children to be? Entitled or respectful?