Time to disengage

We received the below “Memos from your adolescent” when Z went to his middle school orientation.

Time to disengage!

(Click on the image for the full size.)

I have to assume that the person writing this thought they were being funny, as the alternative is even more appalling. I can’t quite imagine that a middle school counseling office thought that this was legitimately good advice to give to parents. It’s irresponsible and harmful.

I’m sure that someone reading this thinks that I am lacking in a sense of humor, but think for a moment about the audience. These are parents many of whom are experiencing middle school for the first time. Most of them, I assume. They’re nervous, unsure of how this is going to go. They receive this as advice from, presumably, and authority on how kids think. And here’s the license to just accept disobedience and disrespect as perfectly normal.

Every paragraph of this says that this is the time to disengage from your kid’s life. Let them be independent. Treat them like a buddy, not a son or daughter. Accept their disrespect as “just the way kids are.”

If this was intended to be funny, it failed. If it was intended to be good advice, it failed at that, too. If this is honestly their opinion on how we should be parenting, they’ve ensured that we will never, ever, agree to have him go to the counseling office for advice. Mostly, I’m glad that Z didn’t see it, and take it as license to behave in the ways described.