• Last modified 1188 days ago (March 24, 2016)


Ornery boys' mother flexed great parenting skills

An incident in a McPherson parking lot of brought me both amusement and faith that two teenage boys will never get in serious trouble.

Although coming to Marion has been fairly positive for my roommate, Wanda, who is blind, people aren’t always kind to those with disabilities. My roommate remembers two Oklahoma teens who terrorized her on their bicycles on a sidewalk in front of a food store, but we’ll come back to that later.

The two boys in the McPherson parking lot made a cell phone ring numerous times because they noticed the sound made my roommate, resting in the car, look all around for a phone she thought I must have dropped or left behind.

The boys thought their antics were hilarious — but the fun was over when their mother walked back to her car, sized up the situation, and realized the cruel game her boys were playing. Not only did the boys get a loud and public dressing-down; they were ordered to apologize to Wanda and admit that they did this because they knew it caused her confusion and trouble because she was blind.

She also reminded them that their paternal grandfather went blind before he died and told them how unhappy their father would be when he found out what they had done. This upset the boys immensely.

The mother herself apologized to my roommate.

Under other circumstances, I would have said the boys were lucky it wasn’t I who caught them. I’m quite protective of my roommate and would have used a different tactic, but the tactic their mother used was undoubtedly more effective.

I give the mother kudos for her reaction and I’m sure her boys will never again play cruel tricks on someone with a disability. After all, mama might catch them in the act and give them another helping of public humiliation.

Most of all, I give her kudos for good parenting and making sure her boys knew there are consequences for bad choices. She is doing an excellent job of raising upright and worthwhile members of society.

I spent many years sitting in courtrooms, watching the legal process play out and writing about court rulings.

The connection between protecting children from the consequences of their behavior and adults with long rap sheets and parents still trying to “save” them is clear to me. Some of those children were in their 40s.

I’m not saying all “bad adults” had overprotective parents. I’ve seen exceptions to the rule, when the best parenting could not overcome a child’s predisposition to do bad things, and when people with horrible childhoods became adults who rose above it and became lights to guide all of our footsteps.

Most generally, kids who learn that doing wrong means getting in trouble will learn to do right.

As for the pair of boys in Oklahoma, one’s father forced him to apologize and mow my roommate’s lawn for an entire summer. He turned out fine. The other boy’s mom got mad at my roommate for “picking on her son” by calling police. That boy ended up in reform school.

The mom at McPherson exhibited parenting at its best. I feel certain her kids will turn out just fine. Mama will see to it, and I applaud her.

— phyllis zorn

Last modified March 24, 2016