Poor diddums. The sour faced Rachel Canning at her emancipation hearing.
I was shocked to read (although in this day and age I don’t know why) recently about the teenage girl, Rachel Canning, suing her parents.
I am not sure what I was really that shocked about, the fact that a teenager would disrespect her parents to that extent or that the authorities have allowed it to proceed to court at all. I appreciate that not all family dynamics fall into that expected cheesy, positive relationship that we happily portray to the general society.However, you have to admit, it does seem very extreme to sue your parents. Could you imagine it? I tried to think about suing my parents, or even a reason why I would want to sue them, but keep coming up blank. There was that time that I came home with my nose pierced (this was nearly 20 years ago now people – it was really cool then), my dad hit the roof and was going to “rip it out of my nose” and wouldn’t have a daughter “looking like that”. I also really wanted to go on a school trip to America, but we really couldn’t afford the $4,000.00 to go. I guess I could have sued them for that, although after the court fees, they would have had even less money than when we started!!
I guess it was also the cheek of the girl, I mean suing them for so much. $650 per week for child support (I thought she wanted to be more adult), plus the remainder of her school tuition at her current private school and her legal fees. So to break it down, she wants her parents to pay $650 a week to live, eat, pay board (I assume) and I don’t really know what else you do with the other $450 each week (my three kids and I live on half of that!). Rachel also wants her parents to continue paying her private catholic school fees, and no doubt pay for uniforms and excursions as well. And then, as icing on the cake, would like her mum and dad to pay for the legal fees that she has (and will continue to) accrue in a case against them. All they wanted her to do was to follow the house rules including not seeing her current boyfriend. Shit. How many of our parents forbade us form seeing one boy or another?? It’s almost a rite of passage as a female teenager.
Honestly, it doesn’t get more ballsy than that. “Who the f**k does she think she is?” is the first thing that springs to mind.
I hate to admit it but I can’t help thinking though, how much her parents are to blame for these actions. A child that has such little respect for her parents (and that truly is how I see it), you would have to assume, would also have little respect for any other authority figures in her life, where does this attitude come from? I know that this new generation is deemed as (well I deem them) lazy, over confident and – I know that this is the term of the hour but – have such a sense of entitlement! We all want to give our children a better life than what we had, but where do we draw the line? Giving them everything on a silver platter like clothes, cash and catering to their every whim is obviously not working, how do we find that happy medium? Disciplining our children with love and respect, educating them in life and its lessons, and hoping like hell that they have listened to all of your rants about drugs, drinking and “that” guy….
And let’s face it, Rachel’s parents were trying to enforce household chores and rules when her reaction was, naturally, to sue.
I was glad that the judge had some common sense and logic and was pleased to see that this case was unsuccessful. I did have a little giggle at their comments though. She felt it would be setting a “dangerous precedent” and the judge continued by saying “Are we going to open the gates for 12-year-olds to sue for an Xbox? For 13-year-olds to sue for an iPhone?” (if she were to find in Rachel’s favour). Now I am sure this is a fair point, but to someone who is still dismayed at the fact that a child can frivolously sue their parents, did find them amusing.
So now I am sure you can understand how pissed off I was this morning to learn that dear little Rachel has just received a scholarship to Western New England University, for four years including her accommodation on campus. Really? How the f**k does this happen? A cheeky teenager, causes soo much trouble for her parents, not to mention the money they have spent on her ludicrous emancipation case, plenty of media covering the whole thing, and her reward? (or constellation prize?) A fully paid for university degree and (most of) her expenses too for the next four years! I just can’t believe it. Under what circumstances did she “qualify” for this? Surely these scholarships are set up for people who desperately want that opportunity to learn, have clearly demonstrated their commitment and determination to their studies over years and who really cannot afford to do this without the scholarship? If I am honest, from what I know (little as it may be) about Rachel, I am surprised that she actually even took the scholarship considering that this school wasn’t her first choice (University of Vermont).
So, to wrap this up, I am mortified to say that the moral of the story seems to be;
Teenagers, if you don’t get your way the first time, try, try again, and then if that doesn’t work, involve the courts, the media and your friends until you get what you want – or a close equivalent.
Spoilt Brats – keep getting more spoilt as their needs and wants grow ever more extravagant. No lesson learnt, if anything we have reiterated that behaving badly (or disrespectfully) will be rewarded with what you want.
Thank you Western New England University.