I am amazed at today’s teens’ sense of entitlement. It’s like kids get out of bed, feeling like the world owes them something. Where do they get this from? Where does this feeling begin? How do you become a person who says, “You know what, everything is about me. You all owe me!”
I just read an article on CNN about an 18 year old girl named Rachel Canning. Ms. Canning is suing, yes, suing, her parents for the remainder of the tuition at her exclusive private high school, living and transportation expenses, legal fees and her college tuition. Ms. Canning no longer lives at home. According to her, she was forced to leave the home due to “abuse.” The parents say she refused to live by their rules so she ran away. Ms. Canning and her boyfriend were suspended from school because they were skipping classes. When the parents learned of this, they punished her by taking away her car keys and her cell phone. Ms. Canning got pissed, skipped more school and then ran away from home–according to the parents.
Ms. Canning claims she was abused. Allegedly, her mother frequently called her porky or fat. She said that her father threatened to beat her. Threatened, Ms. Canning said. She does not say if he actually beat her. She said she had to leave in order to end the abuse.
This is just what I read from the article. I don’t know these people, but let’s say that Ms. Canning is telling the truth about all that is going on in the house. Her daddy threatened to beat her because she skipped school with some dude. Girl, you’re lucky he only threatened your ass. Your parents can afford to send you to some fancy ass private school, but you ditch class with some boy. Let me repeat that: you go to an exclusive private school and you cut class with some hormone-raging boy and your daddy only threatened you. Most teenage girls I know would have got uppercut already, not merely threatened. I don’t know any family that’s like, “Oh, just ditch out of this expensive ass school we can barely afford to pay. It’s cool. Yes, run off with some boy. Please, give him a reach-around by the dumpster on 7th Street. That’s cool. We’re okay with that. Just be home for dinner.”
All they did was, according to the parents, was take away her phone and car. Not enough punishment for me, but how is that even abuse? Really? So, let’s move on to the next allegation. The mother called her porky and fat. Ms. Canning is on a cheerleading team, so it is more likely she isn’t porky or fat. No, I don’t really condone putting someone down like this, especially white teenage girls. They’re real sensitive about their body image. I’m sure Ms. Canning already has her own self-built complex and it wouldn’t make things better if her own mother calls her a porky. I don’t think that’s a reason to run away though. Running into one’s room, slamming the door and binging on Ben & Jerry’s is sufficient response.
Even if all these things are true, how does Ms. Canning come to the conclusion that her parents owe her anything? She’s not out of high school yet, so they should at least help her finish school. That doesn’t mean she’s entitled to go to some fancy private school either. Send that ass to public school. There’s a real punishment. Find the worst inner city public school and make sure her ass is there every single day. But beyond that, the parents don’t owe her anything. There’s no law that says parents have to pay for their kids colleges. I don’t know why parents started doing this in the first place. I guess a lot of parents feel like they want to give their kids all the things they never had. This is great. Buy them an XBOX; don’t pay for their college.
My parents paid for my college and look what I did. I dropped out. Clearly, at that age I did not appreciate anything they did for me, and neither will Ms. Canning. Do not pay for her college. Make her pay her own way. If she wants to be grown and play the game, show her just how fucked up the rules are. Take the car away. Sell the bitch, then give her a bus pass. Stop paying her cell phone bill. According to the article, Ms. Canning has an after school job. Good. She can pay her own cell phone. Better get her ass to Metro PCS and get one of those pre-paid things.
No one really owes anybody anything. I’m sorry your mother called you fat, Ms. Canning but she’s probably not the first person to put you down and she won’t be the last. That doesn’t mean you get a free ride through life.
I’m going to follow this case. So far, it looks like the judge has some sense, but the law is the law. According to New Jersey law, you’re not automatically emancipated at 18 years of age (Ms. Canning is 18). You’re only emancipated if a person has “left the scope of the parents’ authority.” She ran away from home, so it seems to me that she’s not in their scope, but the judge must also consider exactly why she left the home. Is there abuse for real, or is she just being a skank brat? It will be interesting to see what happens. If the judge rules in Ms. Canning’s favour this open the door for a lot of ill-mannered teenagers to truly abuse their parents and make them pay for it. Ms. Canning sounds like she has wealthy parents so they can afford all the bullshit their child is putting them through, but what about regular middle class folks with shitty, whining kids who don’t want to pull their own weight?
Mr and Mrs Canning, if the judge rules in your daughter’s favour, remember that you don’t have to send her back to private school. If you end up having to pay for her college, may I suggest some low-budget community college? Or worse, University of Phoenix. I’m sure the judge won’t stipulate you have to pay for some Ivy League shit.