By Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES
With a new year upon us, and the ‘2015 Lists’ flooding the internet, I think it is only appropriate to throw a jab in the direction of responsibility, especially for our children. And, as a parent of 4, I feel these rules are great for keeping kids moving in the right direction, and on a path towards accepting responsibility and learning to appreciate all that they have.
The following Rules were taken as an excerpt from “Leadership and Training for The Fight,” by Paul R. Howe:
Accepting Responsibility for Your Life
Points from “Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write or Add,” by Charles J. Sykes. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teaching created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1: Life is not fair. The average teenager uses the phrase “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No.1.
Rule 2: The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it’s not fair.
Rule 3: Sorry, you won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a Gap label.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ‘til you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you feel about it.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren’t embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.
Rule 6: It’s not your parents’ fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of “It’s my life,” and “You’re not the boss of me,” and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it’s on your dime. Don’t whine about it, or you’ll sound like a baby boomer.
Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way by paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t. In some schools, they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don’t get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For at least 8 hours. And you don’t get a new life every ten weeks. It just goes on and on. While we’re at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization.
Rule 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in thirty minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.
Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you’re out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for “expressing yourself” with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule 13: You are not immortal. If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.
Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure, parents are a pain, school’s a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.
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