Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It seems to be a right of passage – to bemoan the future of society when one looks at the generation that follows.

Kids these days. No respect for authority. No standards, and on and on.

But I found it rather ironic that based on the behavior of adults lately, how can hold child to a higher standard?

For starters, teachers in Ontario are protesting Bill 115. It is a detailed Bill handed down from the Provincial Government. One of the points of this Bill is that it suspends the Right to Strike, something that has been exercised thoroughly in the past. The Province has stepped over regional school boards and handed down a contract that, amongst other things, freezes teachers wages and reduces the number of sick days they are entitled to. A number of other Public Sector employees have been put the same position, not to mention the Separate School Board Teachers, who signed their agreements, in spite of not being pleased with the situation they were in.

However, the public school teachers’ union decided to protest the legislation, and starting in November (prior to the government handing down the Bill), started one day walk-outs in protest. Parents were given two days notice to find alternate childcare as schools were closed. Just about every school district had participated in rotating strikes. Once the Bill was passed before the end of the year, one day rotating strikes would be in contravention of the Bill. Both elementary and secondary school teachers planned another day each, of walk outs.

Now, the position the union is taking is that their members cannot in good conscience teach children about democracy when their own Rights are being stomped upon.


How about a child’s Right to an Education?

How about not using children as hostages?

How about not punishing parents for something they have no direct control over?

Now, I’m not a fan of government legislating away Rights. But you know what I’m LESS of a fan of?? Teachers, who are in positions of authority and already complaining about lack of respect and support from students and parents, talking about taking action which was deemed ILLEGAL by the government. The Premier was elected by the people of Ontario, therefore, he acts on behalf of the taxpayers. If you don’t agree with the government, you get to vote them out at the next election.

In the meantime, you have children seeing teachers talking about breaking the law. Yup. Like it doesn’t apply to them. Fortunately, the government stood behind their legislation and indicated that any walk out would be deemed illegal (uh….YA?!?) and the Union backed down.

This week, teachers took the streets in front of their local MPPs’ offices, as well as Queens’ Park to protest Bill 115. Hmmm, taking your message directly to the politicians you are trying to communicate with. What an educated concept! You enact the democratic process as you exercise your Right to peaceful protest, while NOT breaking the law, and maintain your standing with parents and students (not alienate them). BRILLIANT!

Then there is the shining example that is Lance Armstrong.

From the first time that our sons told their first fib, we have been very clear on our position; no matter what it is that you have done, it will be twice as bad if you lie about it.

Didn’t complete a project? Bad.

Didn’t complete a project and then lie to Mom and Dad about it? BAD BAD.

We watched the build up to the Oprah Winfrey interview (first portion to air tonight) and viewed a montage of Armstrong denying, denying, denying, denying, denying that he took performance enhancing drugs. Not him. No way. NEVER! Now that he has lost his corporate sponsorship, endorsements, titles and respect, he has decided to fess up. Oprah has been guarded enough to say that he does not confess in the way that she expected, so I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that he will say that the entire sport is doping, so therefore it is an even field.

If we all cheat, does anyone do anything wrong?

I looked at my sons and said, “Do you see? Even adults have a hard time with this concept of why it’s bad to lie; and it’s made it worse for him, like it’s worse for you.”

While a small fortune has been raised in his name for research, the base of his foundation is built on a lie. Cancer survivor turn seven-time Tour de France champion turn celebrity. Dare I say, hero?

No. Liar.

How can we have a higher expectation of children, when society presents such questionable role models?

Parenting just got harder.