When it comes to our judicial system in the United States, I am as cynical as they come. After all, someone once sued McDonald’s and won because McDonald’s had the audacity not to warn people that hot coffee would burn if you spill it on yourself.
Now, one of this week’s top headlines is an 18-year-old student in New Jersey who has sued her parents because they will not pay her college tuition (among other things).
I usually don’t praise judges but I am extremely thankful for Judge Peter Bogaard of Morris County (N.J.) Superior Court’s Family Division who wisely ruled against teenager Rachel Canning’s initial requests. He did, however, grant another hearing next month to consider some of her other charges.
While it appears to be a “her word versus their word” case, in essence the 18-year-old did not want to live in her parents’ house by their rules. She says they threw her out. They say she left.
The bottom line is this. Parents have every right to make rules for their house. Once a child reaches the legal adult age of 18 and does not want to abide by their parents’ rules, then he or she should leave.
Also, where does it say that parents “owe” their children a college education. Hopefully, most parents will want to help their children as much as possible, but sometimes they simply do not have the financial means to pay for college. I lived with my mother and grandparents when I graduated from high school. They could not afford to send me to college, but they allowed me to live in their house while I worked, saved my money, and attended college. By the same token, I was expected to adhere to certain rules while I lived in their house. And you know what, I didn’t think it should have been any other way. In the 1970s, that was to be expected.
We have raised a generation of young people who think they are entitled to the best that life has to offer. Many young people today (not all) expect things to be given to them on a silver platter. They need to awaken to reality or they will be disappointed the rest of their lives.
Often times we, as parents, bring trouble on ourselves when we don’t discipline our children or we give in to their “demands.” If children learn the meaning of the word “no” early in life, they will remember what it means the rest of their lives.
C.H. Spurgeon once said, “If we never have headaches through rebuking our children, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up.”
Wise words, as is this admonition from Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”