Monday, January 4, 2016

The-opposite-of-affluenza parents

Doubtless most of you have heard of Ethan Couch, the rich teenage "affluenza boy" who killed four innocent people while driving in a drunken stupor. Nine more were injured, one of whom suffered a horrific (and presumably permanent) brain injury.

The brat's scuzzy defense is best summed up on the Wikipedia page: "G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of 'affluenza' and was unable to link his bad behavior with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege."

This was the defense, you understand, after murdering four people and injuring nine more. Affluenza. Puh-lease. I don't know how that psychologist sleeps at night.

To make things worse, a few weeks ago Ethan was seen on video violating his probation by drinking, so his mother let him miss a court-mandated meeting with his probation officer. Then mother and son skipped the country and went to Mexico. They were apprehended and returned to the U.S. Both are now in custody, and both are now in deep, deep doo-doo.

It's a sordid tale. Touching on the issue of young people in general and Couch in particular, the New York Post had a superb and blistering commentary regarding how kids are being raised these days, particularly the hothouse flowers who get attacks of the vapors whenever they witness something that offends their delicate sensibilities. Parts of the article are worth highlighting:
We can lament the poor decision of the judge who let Ethan off scot-free, but this is less a story about our judicial system than it is about modern parenting. Ethan is a symbol of an era when parents lost their backbone.

If it were ever going to be clear what spineless helicopter parenting has wrought, this year should do it. The college-campus protests have comprised people who are supposed to be young adults — people old enough to serve in the military — withering over Halloween costumes, running to safe rooms when a dissident speaker appears on campus, demanding the purging of professors, books and even dining-hall food that irritates their sensibilities.

What’s particularly galling, though, is that their parents, those wild-and crazy Gen-Xers, are so intent on protecting their children’s delicate sensibilities that they are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars while their children protest the free exchange of ideas. That these kids are ill-prepared for the real world is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.

I started interviewing homeschooled kids about 15 years ago. Back then the assumption was that these boys and girls would be socially stunted because of their lack of exposure to their peers. It turned out to be the opposite. They were better able to interact with adults and quickly found themselves leaders among their peers.

What these kids have in common, along with others I have met in religious communities, are parents who don’t care what the rest of the world thinks. They are completely unconcerned with the broader messages of the culture. They aren’t interested in whether other kids have iPhones or boyfriends or watch some television show.
Parents who don't care what the rest of the world thinks...

To an extent, this statement is both right and wrong when it comes to how we (and I hope, you) have raised kids. I never cared what the rest of the world thought about the clothes we wore, the vehicles we drove, or the (lack of) personal electronics we (didn't) possess.

But we DO care about how our children, now young adults, handle themselves in the world. We care that they present themselves as clean-living and wholesome. We care that they look others directly in the eye and speak clearly and intelligently. We care that they're honest and hard-working. We care that they have the self-control to make smart decisions as they enter adulthood.

I'm guessing these qualities are harder to acquire with (cough) "parents" like Mr. and Mrs. Couch.


  1. Exactly.
    And I think that Ethan Couch will continue to have problems for quite a few years, even if he doesn't go to jail. Very simply, he has not been prepared for life in the real world. His parents are 98% to blame for this. I say 98 because Ethan has to realize that nobody else he knows gets to live like this.

  2. The parents should be ashamed, and that man should be in prison. It makes me sick.

  3. a sad tale of a broken culture.

    1. Amen karl o'melay.

      A broken culture is far more devastating than a broken nation. Spiritually speaking, America has become Europe. The 'shining city upon a hill' is now dark.

      Is there hope both here on Earth and beyond? Patrice answered that last week:

      Montana Guy

  4. Thank you for the article, it brings back a memory when my boys were little and wanted to have a video game system because their friends had them. My only comment to them: "When you have your own home, you will be able to acquire the things you want. In this house you will follow the rules." It's amazing how over time the wants have changed. It's sad when parents do not allow their children to fail or be disappointed in life. They will never learn to work for or appreciate anything that way.

  5. Well--I don't blame the defense team for coming up with the best excuse they could. The fault is in the jury and judge for swallowing that nonsense, not the parents.

    1. Surely, it must start with the parents. Don't you think? Presumably they are not snakes/reptiles that simply give birth and let the young go there own way. Children cannot raise themselves. There are consequences to everything we do and everything we don't do as responsible adults, and there are plenty of laws that back this up.

      It would have been better if Ethan had been 'raised by wolves'. At least he would have a complete understanding of his true position in life and his status in the world.

      God Bless,
      Janet in MA

  6. Homeschooling ParentsJanuary 5, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    Well said, Patrice, and an encouragement as we enter this new year and a new semester of homeschooling our two high school children.

  7. The whole thing with the alleged parents and this out of control child is emblematic of the progressive view of the world. Its never the childs fault and certainly never the parents. This punk needs to be retried as an adult and sent to the darkest deepest hole in the earth prison that can be found for the rest of his natural life.

    Carl in the UP

  8. A sad reflection of our times and where we seem to be going as a nation and a world . Unfortunately for far too many years most parents were spocking instead of spanking . We are now seeing some disastrous results .
    I strongly encourage " home schooling " so parents don't have to deal with the trash that is being doled out in public schools . People must be held responsible for their own actions , and they will on judgement day !

    1. I wholeheartedly agree on the spanking. The parents of this Peter Pan should be spanked for what they have foisted upon society.
      I'm going out on a limb, but it seems mommy can't wean this kid and it occurs to me he must have a dad that has been emasculated by the mom.
      It doesn' work. I see these rabid moms, afraid to let dad have any say in child rearing. They are aggressive toward dad and insanely over protective to the beat they birthed.
      My ex SIL was this way. Her husband was brow beat into submission and finally left after she finished with him and threw him away. It was not a surprise the son was caught selling drugs despite mommy supporting him lavishly.
      It's not an isolated incident and we will see it again.

  9. Apparently he has never shown any remorse for his actions- before, during or after the trial.
    It's only "natural" to feel sorrow if you've killed 4 people--unless you are a Sociopath. Like the Preppie killer of the 80s I thing Ethan will spend more time in prison than out of it.--SuccotashRose

  10. Today I got a flu shot, I tried to pay before I got it, but was told to wait. There were two types of flu shots, and the young lady didn't know what type was left; there was a 10 dollar difference. Well I got the shot, wasn't given anything to hand to the young lady, and wasn't reminded to stop by her to pay for the shot. I had other things on my mind, walked right by the lady, who was helping others, and went on my merry way. Two miles from home I stopped for something else, and UH-OH, there sat that 40 dollars. I turned around and went back to pay what was due. That young lady was so grateful, because her till would have been off, and I was happy because I didn't want to see a very nice lady possibly lose her job, for my poor memory. How many of todays youngsters have given it a thought, other than WOW, I have an EXTRA 40, lets go to the movies!
    This old lady couldn't sleep tonight, if she hadn't done the RIGHT thing!

  11. Rocks - you just need rocks! We live in an area with lots of limestone, granite and clay. The rocks "grow" every spring. Our kids picked rocks - in the arena, in the fields and even in the dirt floored out buildings. If someone was bad they had to fill the loader bucket on a 120 hp tractor....before they got to go to bed or eat again. Always worked. We could always outlast them - sitting in the lawn chair watching, if necessary. Of course there will never be any geologists in this family. Natokadn

  12. Good examples of bad parenting, I agree with you regarding how homeschool kids are better prepared to interact with others because they have been taught manners by parents who have invested themselves personally in there childs education. I am skeptical of those who say Homeschooled kids aren't properly socialized. I ask them, When in your adult life did you ever find yourself in a work situation with a group of people who were the same age as in a public or private school setting? Doesn't happen. A homeschooled child is far more likely to succeed then kids who have expectations of things being given to them as a human right because of Public education and the left leaning teachers who espouse that philosophy .

  13. I watched a documentary on this and the psychologist has since regretted he ever came up with the "affluenza" defense. I thought that was very interesting.

    I sure hope Mr. Couch isn't hoping Ethan will be taking over the family business. He lost a great opportunity to teach his son business and life skills.