Bad news….

September 11, 2007

As a parent of teenage kids, it has become part of life to sleep with one eye open and an ear waiting for the dreaded phone to ring with bad news.   During the past few months we have had a few of these phone calls, but so far, it wasn’t one of our children that got hurt.  You fall back into bed thanking God that your children are safe.  You say a prayer for the parents sitting next to a hospital bed or worse yet, planning a funeral.

Well, during the early ours of Sunday morning, it was in fact our turn.  Mr B’s son, the infamous sixteen year old(now seventeen) that I have often written about in the past, was involved in a horrific motorbike accident.  We are still trying to determine exactly what happened and why he was on a motorbike at 4h00 in the morning??? What we have been able to piece together is that he received a phone call from a distraught female friend asking for help.  He was spending the night with a lifelong mate and this mate gave him his motorbike keys and watched him ride off.  We also know that it was a hit and run because the driver of the vehicle that knocked him off the road failed to stop at the scene and is now the most wanted person in Port Elizabeth.  Fortunately, there was an eye witness who stopped and called an ambulance.

Needless to say, some damage was done and the seventeen year old is now the proud bearer of a broken collar bone, severely bruised and cut body and missing 3 fingers on his left hand.  His feet and legs are a disaster because he was wearing a pair of shorts and trainers at the time of the accident.

As a parent you sit and think what went wrong.  What was he doing on the motorbike after being told time and again that he is not allowed to ride.  Two weeks ago, the kids all stood at the grave of one of their friends who was killed by a drunk driver.  This old man didn’t even know that he caused an accident.  He couldn’t understand why his car wouldn’t move forward and didn’t realise that he was parked on top of a motorbike. The boy(also 17) died on impact and his parents saw his lifeless body lying uncovered in the road.   

This is becoming a weekly occurance.  The kids spend more time at hospital visiting accident victim friends than they are spending time on things that kids should be doing. 

I think it is high time that something has to be done.  Most of these kids ride without licenses or the permission of their parents.  Even though they are surrounded by proof of everything that can go wrong, they still do it.  They jokingly say that they are going to form a band called The Disabled because the one friend is blind in his one eye, the other is covered in burn marks and now the seventeen year old only has 7 fingers. 

When I was growing up, I would never even consider doing something my parents wouldn’t approve of.  We had discipline at school and at home.  We had respect and treated our elders with respect.  Sadly, this is all missing for today’s children.  Schools are limited in what discipline may be applied and it is very difficult to discipline your children at home.  If you try to discipline your kids at home they simply tell you that they have rights and that you must not dare take their rights away from them.  They threaten you with cops and welfare and all those other organizations looking after childrens rights.

What is the sollution?? Who is responsible for cleaning up the mess?? The schools blame the parents, the parents blame the school and the government is blameless because they took the rights of the schools and the parents away???

Where do we go from here?? Maybe reinstating curfews isn’t such a bad idea.  But then again, when will our cops be able to concentrate on serious crime if they have to look out for juvenile delinquents??? As parents, we have the responsibility of raising our children to become responsible, fully functional members of society.  We are in fact busy raising the future leaders, bank managers, policemen, teachers, doctors etc etc.  I just seem to think that the generation that they form part of are going to fail miserably.  They are not equiped to handle what will be thrown at them.  They can’t even pass high school anymore. Why is nobody doing anything to help them.  Why is there not one person in our government that is trying to solve this very very big issue?

We need an Errin Brokovitch desperately.