As a parent, from the moment you bring a child into the world, you feel an overwhelming urge to protect them at all times.
Nothing hurts more than watching your child suffer through hardships, which is why every action and decision you make is done with your offspring's best interest in mind.
This is exactly why when our child behaves out of character or lands themselves into trouble, we often take the responsibility for it.
Accepting blame for our children's actions have become so embedded in our society that it's created a trend where parents not only judge themselves, but they also become critical of other parents.
Rarely do we stop to think of how this type of behavior actually affects our children. Are we actually helping them become better or worse by not allowing them to fully own up to their own mistakes?
Thanks to one Houston-area judge's eye-opening video, many parents have been starting to carefully re-evaluate their parenting strategies.
Montgomery County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack recently shared a video to draw attention to an important issue concerning families of adolescents, after he spent several days presiding over multiple probable cause hearings involving suspects aged 17 to 19.
Mack noticed that many of the cases he has been dealing with have at least one thing in common: "inattentive parenting."
He explained that many parents call him to say that they had no idea their kid was capable of making serious offenses.
"I just thought, 'There is no way your mom or dad knew where you were,'" Mack said about the teens in his courtroom.
The judge grew tired of seeing parents repeatedly fail their children, so he recorded a video in which he explains the three things a parent can do if they want to see their child end up in jail.
Three key points
Hearing truth, especially when it makes you question your skills as a parent, is never easy.
No one, myself included, wants to be told that they're not raising their kids the right way, but even I have to admit that Judge Mack brings up some very important, noteworthy points in his video.
Filmed at the Montgomery county jail, Mack starts his video, which was posted to Facebook, by highlighting that "we as a society have gotten away from teaching the greatest ability we can teach anybody: responsibility."
He then reveals the three things that will guarantee your child goes to jail
1. "Don't hold your child accountable."
"Don't know where they're at, don't know who they're hanging out with," says Mack. "Don't know where they're going. Just let them go anywhere they want to [go] do anything they want to do."
2. "Don't teach them the greatest ability of responsibility."
"They don't have to be responsible for what they say. They don't have to be responsible for what they do," he continues."They don't have to go to school. They don't have to do chores around your house. If they whine and complain enough, you just do it yourself so you don't have to worry about it."
3. "Let them lie to you."
"Every time they tell you a lie, and you know they're telling you a lie, do the easiest thing, is just to ignore it and pretend it didn't happen."
For Mack, who has been working in the law field for decades, he understands that these don't necessarily apply to every family, but some children's inability to be held accountable, responsible, and speak the truth have contributed to the spike in juvenile criminal activity.
Mack reiterates that this does not mean that their parents aren't doing a good job, it's just a reminder for them to be tougher.
The topic may be controversial, but Mack has been receiving a lot of positive responses.
He told WTAE that he has already received phone calls from parents who wanted to thank him for sharing some of his wisdom. One father even approached him at a car wash to let him know that he appreciated the advice.
"I did not anticipate the response that we've had," Mack said. "I hope it encourages people to keep doing the right thing."
Judge Mack is just one of many speaking out about how a shift in parenting has been negatively affecting children these days.
Earlier in March, a frustrated teacher took to social media to point out an alarming change in the parent-student relationship after she had been assigning the same homework for 15 years.
A teacher's observation
For fifteen years, Georgia teacher Amie Diprima Brown has been asking the parents of her students to write a letter describing their child in a million words or less. This is a tactic she employed to help her better understand what every child and their family is like.
"I go on to explain that I want to learn the child's hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, etc, and jokingly ask parents to limit it to less than a million words since we all know we could talk forever about our children," she wrote in a Facebook post.
Unfortunately, over the years, response rate of the letters declined by a large margin.
In 2003, she received letters from 98% of parents, but this year, only 22% wrote back.
She empathizes with busy parents, but that is not an excuse to put a kid's education on the back burner. She's pleading with parents to actually "be a parent" and consistently keep track of their child's academic progress and behavioral changes before it's too late.
"Don't wait until your child is the school shooter to let us know your child is struggling mentally. Don't wait until your child is ineligible for sports or the day before report cards to check grades and question the teacher on why your child is failing," she continued.
Brown's message was met with some hostility, but for the most part, she received a lot of support.
"Very well said!! That's THE problem, parents do check out of being a parent for whatever reason and I think it is so, so very sad. When my kids were in school, I checked on EVERYTHING!!!! NOW, it seems parents just don't care UNLESS their child can't play a sport or might have to repeat a grade. Just sad, so sad," wrote one parent.
Brown and Mack's PSAs are reminders that parents need to take a minute to remember that their children are so much more important that everything else in their lives. Even the job you have is so you can earn enough money to provide for your family.
Some may view it as parent-shaming, but as a parent, I beg to differ. This is just a wake up call that many of us need so we can work even harder at making sure our children grow up into well educated, law-abiding citizens.