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We just came home from seeing the movie " The Dinner". The story was about two families going out for dinner where the main theme was about their dysfunctional families. Restaurants came be great venues when you want to have an in- depth controversial conversation with a family member. Hard to raise your voice in anger and smash the dishes when you are confronted with the truth while you are in a restaurant.

The two brothers and sisters-in-laws who for the most part are well off have two teenage boys who are spoiled and out of control. The mothers try and hide the truth of their sonís behaviour from their husbands. The mothers deny that their boys who are at fault. Hard to admit/to face the reality that their sonís actions were wrong and in need of corrections.

Skipping school, drinking, smoking pot with like minded friends can become the norm for many well off kids who when confronted with the truth have asked me: "do you know who my father is?"

The folks try and hide the hard facts hoping that to-morrow Junior will change. If things donít change they will probably stay the same but for the most part they often they get worse.

No, negative behaviour doesnít suddenly appear. Parents over the years have not asked that respect, responsibility and positive change are the rules to be followed in their home.

Parents have told me that their sons: "were incapacitated, incarcerated for misappropriating funds". Simply translation: their boys were in jail because they got caught stealing money but the folks try and made it politically correct

When I was a young boy when I fell down my father told me: "to come on over to him and he would pick me up." I was never allowed to play the victim game..

I sure learned at a young age that there was consequences for my actions. I stole a 10 cent chocolate bar from a variety store next to my dadís store. I was caught eating the bar and was taken back to the manager of the store by my father where the two of them debated if they should call the police and have me taken to jail. My cries and protestations of repentance that; "I would never ever do it again" did not solve my problem". In lieu of police intervention I gladly agreed to clean the floors and basement of the store, The lesson was well learned and I have never ever stole again.

I remember a pair of doctors who had inherited two teen aged boys from a prior marriage who nearly destroyed their marriage along with their sanity. They trusted their boys to take care of their home in Maisonville when they went away for a short vacation to Grand Bend. When the parents came home they found that their sons had a party and invited in a couple of their friends that soon became a mob . They urinated in the beds and basically trashed the house. Too late for family intervention. The boys were packed off to an expensive residential boarding school far from home that was paid for from their inheritance from their grandfather.

In the movie the teens actions resulted in the death of a homeless women who had found shelter in a bank ATM enclosure.

They actually filmed their actions and sent it along to family members to brag about their exploits.

In raising children parents should try and abide by the mantra :"you can pay me now or you can pay me later but later is always more expensive." The recipe for successful parenting are: lots of tough love along with similar amounts of acceptable age related expectations. Parents should not play the role of enablers but rather positive role models for their children.

Too soon you get old and too late you get smart. Often times you procrastinate at your peril. Not setting out acceptable parameters for your children; you can repent in what seems like hell for many years.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com