Sarah Palin’s 16-year-old daughter, Willow, is in the news for an ill-advised Facebook tantrum, in which she let loose with a string of profanities and homophobic insults.
But, should this even be news?
On one hand, I’m told that this is just how teenagers these days talk, calling each other “faggot” and “retard” and whatever other insolent remark tumbles stupidly out of their mouths.
On the other hand, doesn’t Sarah Palin hold herself up to be a better mother than most? Or does the Mama Grizzly label just mean she’ll protect her kids but teaching manners isn’t in her job description?
Or is Todd Palin, the erstwhile stay-at-home dad, the real problem here, what with his kids swearing and drinking and getting knocked up? He was left in charge while Mama was off being mayor and half-governor. So, maybe he forgot to tell the nanny that profanity and demeaning verbal abuse was a no-no.
Actually, the real question is this:
Would you be disappointed to find out your children were using language like that?
I would. I’ve taught my kids better. It doesn’t matter what the other teenagers are doing or saying. There’s just no call for the rudeness, the stupidity, and the outright meanness I see in those Facebook comments.
But maybe I’m naive and out-of-touch. Anyone want to set me straight? Should I tell my children that it’s okay to tease and taunt and ridicule to get your point across, just because that’s what all the other teens are doing?
You’re going to have to deliver quite a convincing argument to get me to change the way I parent. I don’t buy the idea that kids are going to do and say whatever they want, regardless of the input from mom and dad.
I believe that if parents teach, and model, good manners, then their kids will have no problem understanding that rude language and nasty insults have no place in how we should communicate with each other.
But if parents are too busy giving speeches or hunting moose, then I suppose they can always look at the bright side and say, “Hey, with that kind of mouth on her, my daughter might grow up to be a politician!”