Not enough for teens to do? Give me a break

Tue, 02/21/2006 - 4:54pm
By: Letters to the ...

Here we go again. Leave it to a tragic event like a teen suicide to bring out the whiners that want to blame everything on the lack of “things to do for PTC youth.”

By the way, these people are the same people that expect the government to provide everything for them instead of working for it themselves. They are also the people that blame the police when their kids get in trouble, the schools when their kids make poor grades, and the golf cart manufacturer when their kid flips over in a turn because they were going too fast.

To insinuate that a child’s suicide or a child’s problems are caused by a lack of things to do shows a complete lack of understanding and a detachment from reality.

I feel sorry for many of the youth of this town. Not because they don’t have enough to do, but because they are led to believe that it is not their responsibility to create opportunities for themselves or to take responsibility for their actions.

Do your kids complain about being bored? Give them some money and tell them to call you on their cell phone if they are running late. Give them a computer in their bedroom and let them chat with anyone, at anytime of the day, at any Web site they wish to visit.

How about maybe letting them drive dad’s 400 horsepower Corvette for the evening? Better yet, how about providing alcohol and hotel rooms after the prom for all of their friends? After all, there is nothing for them to do around Peachtree City, so why not let them party somewhere else?

I have a better idea. Start taking your kids to church and get them involved in a youth group. Encourage your child to join one or more of the dozens of clubs at their school. Encourage them to take an art class or other classes that could inspire them.

How about taking them to a museum, a park, or fishing? Encourage them to exercise and join a gym. Take them to a library and teach them that it is OK to read, not because they have to but because they will learn to love to.

Teach them to change the oil and a tire on the family car. Get them involved with their local police or fire department Explorer post. Teach them the importance of volunteering and to help others less fortunate. Encourage them to become involved with their school student government. Get them interested in politics, and let them become active in the community dealing with issues affecting teens.

I could go on and on and on. Sports and band are only a small sampling of what this town has for kids. Peachtree City has as many or more activities for kids than any town in the country. For parents to say otherwise is to try to place blame for their child’s problems.

The bottom line though is this: it is the parents’ and the child’s responsibility to occupy free time in an appropriate manner. It is not the government’s responsibility or anyone else’s.

Pretty soon we will start hearing the “we need a teen center, dance place, or skating rink” outcry. Well, guess what, folks, we have had some of those things and they didn’t work out too well.

Why, you ask? Because these places enforced the rules. That’s right; kids couldn’t do as they pleased. They couldn’t smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. They couldn’t dress like a tramp. They couldn’t use profanity and they couldn’t have sex.

So what happened? They quit going and started hanging out in places they could do those type of things. The businesses lost their customers and closed up shop.

Tyrone is currently in the process of considering a teen center. Good luck with that one. Be sure to have an alternate plan for the building when it closes.

Another perfect example is the school dance. School dances were activities that teens used to live for. What adult who grew up prior to the 1990s could ever forget the sweet memories of their high school dances: Holding hands with your girlfriend or boyfriend, dancing, and celebrating the big win by the football team?

Today schools don’t have dances anymore. Why, you ask? Because the schools enforced the rules. No grinding on your dance partner or imitating sexual acts. No profanity-laced music. No smoking or drinking. No dressing like a tramp.

So what happened? The majority of the kids quit going and started hanging out in places they could do those types of things. The schools couldn’t afford to pay a DJ and decorate the gym or cafeteria with only a few students buying tickets, so they quit having dances.

We will never know why two beautiful kids died in a short span of time. Maybe it was guilt over something that happened to them as a child. Maybe it was frustration or a romance gone amok. Maybe they were depressed and unwilling or unable to get professional help. Or perhaps it was some type of pressure or stress they faced that seemed overwhelming.

But one thing is for sure. It was not because there wasn’t enough for them to do. It was not because there wasn’t a teen center or because Mayor Logsdon or any other mayor doesn’t have an understanding of what teens want or need.

Parents please take a good look at the relationship you have with your kids. Quit working so much and letting materialistic pressures take time away from your child. Quit putting so much pressure on them to make straight A’s and to be the top student in their class. Quit being afraid to “violate your child’s rights” by knowing exactly what they are doing and who they are doing it with.

Teach them to be creative and resourceful. But most of all be a good role model. Set a positive example for them to follow. Teach them the difference between right and wrong and to take responsibility for their actions, both good and bad. Tell them you love them and hug them every day.

Rod Burnette
rhb1317 (at)

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by Dave on Thu, 03/02/2006 - 8:45am.

How can anyone add to this? If everyone would take this advice, just imagine how much better our lives would be. Unfortunately, the young people today are spoiled rotten by parents who are too busy to give the kids what they need most, TIME and a little bit of discipline! My only fear is that a lot of parents (and probably most of the teens) will see Rods comments as old fashion and ridiculous. What is truly ridiculous is that those same people will continue to wonder what is wrong with teens today.

Submitted by Gator on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 7:21am.

I don't know who you are Rod, but all I can say in response to your letter is "AMEN"!

Submitted by 1bighammer on Wed, 02/22/2006 - 9:50am.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.