CMT has a new show that has been coming on called "Strictest Parents". When I get home from work in the afternoons, this is usually what my kids are watching so I will sometimes sit down and watch it with them. If you haven't seen the show it's kind of like The Nanny, for teenagers. They take two kids, a boy and a girl, and send them to a house that has really strict parents.
After watching this show a few times, I realized the strict parents weren't really all that strict, they just expected to be treated with respect. Oooooohhhh, what a concept, treating adults with respect. Who thought of that one?
The amazing part is the way the teenagers react to someone else who isn't their parent. At first they usually try the same thing that they did at home, like back talking, or cursing at them, yelling, you know stuff like that. The difference comes when they realize the strict parents just don't put up with the crap. They usually conform to the rules and actually enjoy themselves. There are a few rebels who will refuse and they leave the "strict" house. They learned nothing. But the ones who stay have all gone away better for the experience.
You know they aren't that different, the strict parents all have kids, and the only difference in their family and the troubled teens family is usually just rules. The teens coming in have not been subject to consequences for their actions, so they continue with the bad behavior that the parents can no longer handle. One girl who kept cursing in the house had to clean the toilet with a toothbrush as one of the consequences. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be cursing if I kept getting chores given to me for doing it.
I have to say the families that I have seen that take those kids in all love Jesus. They try to impress on the kids that they are worthy of love, because you can see that some of them just don't feel like it. That is part of the reason for their rebellion. But when they are shown a little attention, and respect themselves they are new people. Their whole appearance changes, they are happier kids.
My kids don't really like me to watch shows like that with them because I usually cry because I think it is so sweet, then when they start arguing, I try to be like the strict parents, telling them that we don't yell in our house, or talk disrespectful. They will get mad, then head off to their rooms. I go into the kitchen and have a nice relaxing glass of wine. TV is great!
All joking aside, it really is a good show. It's amazing to see how someones attitude will change, when you treat them like you would like to be treated.