Posted by Julia Bendis
Lately I’ve been thinking about the many jobs I have had, all through my teenage years and adulthood. The reason I started thinking about them is simple: every time my children talk about what they want to do when they grow up, and it changes daily, I usually have a funny anecdote about the many jobs I’ve done and why I’ve had so many.
Here is a list of all of them:
- Nanny - actually did this for a couple years, only God knows why… I hate kids, but the money was good and for some reason the kids loved me… Go figure.
- Assistant/File Clerk - did this for about a year, was fun until one of the Managers started hitting on me. Sexual harassment was an unknown behavior then, it was just something you put up with, kind of like a creepy old Uncle who your family insists you “have” to give a hug to, even though you know it’s lasting way too long and way too tight. After professing his undying love for me, in the form of a three-page letter to a then-sixteen-year-old me, I quickly realized that this Manager wasn’t going to stop trying. Having an on and off boyfriend didn’t help either, so I hired a senior football jock from my high school to pose as my boyfriend, which worked for a while. After a couple months the jock kept showing up to my work, even though I had already let him go as my pretend boyfriend. To make a long story short, I lost one 30-year-old stalker but gained a new one. At least the jock was of decent age. I had no choice but to quit this job for two reasons now…
- Dental Assistant - did that for one day, once I had to place my hand into a patient’s mouth, it was all over for me. Does not require much explanation.
- Sales Associate at Lechter’s Housewares in the mall - remember that store? I left due to heavy recruiting from my next job, see below. And a promise of a fifty cent raise!
- Sales Associate at Robinsons-May - was a fun job, loved talking to all the customers, not sure why I left… Oh yes, I did more talking than selling. I had the lowest sales of pots and pans in the whole department, but I gained many friends and various kitchen appliances.
- Front Desk Receptionist at YMCA - loved having this job, and letting people in that haven’t paid for a membership in years, great feeling until I realized that YMCA is a non-profit Christian organization… But what non-profit Christian organization charges people $50 per month to work out in an old, mold infested basement without air conditioning? I credit myself with the new electronic system that YMCA geeks installed after an old guy got hurt on my shift. Turned out he lied about being a member of the YMCA, and didn’t really forget his card at home. Really, I had no idea!
- Assistant Chef for a Catering company - worked there for three months, just because I love cooking and thought I can have a career in it. The company went under due to Health Department finding out they consistently cross-contaminated work stations, left raw meat soaking in sinks overnight, used the same cutting boards for chicken, meat and vegetarian meals!!! How do you think they found out?
- Various stints as a receptionist which I sucked at. Who the hell can remember a name like: Kramer, Smetzel, Spaulding and Steinberg? Not only remember it but be able to recite it every single time the phone rings? So what if I a few times throughout the day instead I answered the phone like this: “Good Morning, thank you for calling Seinfeld, Sandler, Stiller and Kaufman. How can I help you?” When the President of the company came by to find out why he hasn’t had any calls, I was just as shocked as he was since all I kept getting were hang ups. It probably didn’t help my case when I chatted up every person that called. I just wanted to understand better why they were suing McDonald’s… It must be frustrating to have an idiot for a child that drinks an accidentally left bottle of liquid bleach on the table. Even more frustrating is to be that Mother who raised the idiot that doesn’t stop after one gulp and realize that it tastes like crap…
My point of listing all the mindless jobs that I’ve done over the years is this; do we ever truly know what we want to do for the rest of our lives? I realize that there are some of us who, from the time they are five years old know what they want to do when they grow up, and sure enough end up doing it. There are also those of us that have some kind of an inkling about what interests us, and in what direction we might go. But what about those like myself who even at thirty-five-years-old still don’t have that “one thing” that we want to do? Are we supposed to stick to just one thing and continue doing it, even if we are not that interested in it, however society telling us that we can’t jump from one thing to another, and need to pick just one job or field and concentrate on it…
What if I am interested in everything?
The one constant has always been writing for me. I have always loved to write, and imagine will continue to do so until I am no longer able. Then, I will recruit and pay some kid to do it for me. Besides writing, I have tried so many different things and professions and feel better knowing that they are not for me after having done them. I don’t understand how kids in their freshman year of college are supposed to pick their Major and stick to it having known absolutely nothing about it! How can you know for sure that you want to be a Dentist when you’ve never stuck your hand into another person’s mouth and fixed a tooth? How can anyone know for a fact what they want to do for the rest of their lives having never tried it? Its only my opinion that parents throw away thousands of dollars on children’s college education before letting them “test-drive” their chosen profession.
Every high school graduate should take a couple months to go work in the field that they are interested in, before starting college in the fall. I guarantee that half of those kids are going to change their minds, but better right then instead of four years down the road. Maybe I got it all wrong, but somehow it makes a lot of sense to me… Again, just my opinion…
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May 27, 2011 | 1:44 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
The other day I had a very educational conversation with my son. It involved those small letters and numbers that most normal people know as “Expiration Date” printed on many food items that we purchase… To my Russian family they were known as nonsense writing that meant absolutely nothing. The conversation went something like this:
- “Mom, we don’t have any bread to make a sandwich with!”, as my 11-year-old pulls out a loaf of bread.
- “Son, what do you think that thing you are holding in your hands is? Looks like bread to me.”
- “Mom, THIS bread expired a week ago!”
- “So? Is there mold on it?”
- “Then eat it!”
- “But Mom! The date on here specifically says May 21st on it! You can’t eat something that’s expired!”
- “Son, I have never gotten sick from eating things that were expired, especially if there was no mold on it! And even if there was mold on it, you pick it out, throw it away and eat the bread!”
- “Mom, this isn’t RUSSIA!”
End of conversation.
As you can see, my children do not understand the way it works. My husband on the other hand has long accepted the fact that if we haven’t finished something, it will remain in the house until it is completely finished or has mold growing all over it. He has succumbed to receiving food that may have been expired a few days prior or a week, and learned to check the bread before putting it in his mouth. The other day, I swear I saw him pick out a mold spore, throw it away and continue to eat the sandwich. That was the proudest day of my life! I was grinning from ear to ear knowing that I taught him well.
I realize that my children will not be following in the same footsteps. For my husband, who doesn’t cook its as simple as this: he either accepts the food I make or he doesn’t eat. The choice is simple, especially since he’s never actually gotten sick from expired products, or knows how to cook. For my kids its not that simple. They have been born, raised and educated here in America, the land of plenty and plenty of wastefulness. They know that if its something they dislike or expired in this case, they can throw it away and Mom will make them something new. I don’t know if I like this “educate the kids”, and “give them what they want” world. My brother and I never had a choice about what food we got to eat, we accepted what came our way and were grateful. So what if the opened bottle of apple juice had fermented sitting on the kitchen counter instead of the refrigerator? So what if we bit into a worm while eating an apple picked from a tree on our way to Grandma’s? We spit the worm out and kept eating the apple.
Seems like common sense to me… Maybe if we stopped worrying about an end date for everything in our lives, we would live much happier and waste-less lives. I urge you to count the number of foods you throw away on a regular basis just because its “expired”! Then count the amount of money you had spent on all that food. You’ll be amazed, especially since a little mold and bacteria never hurt anyone… Hell, I’m still here alive and kicking!
May 23, 2011 | 3:17 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
As much as I love to participate in any and all civic duties, being chosen for Jury Duty just wasn’t going to happen. Believe it or not, this was the first time I had ever received a notification requiring me to fulfill my civil duty. As I opened the letter, immediately I started to search for that little box to check that says “No Thanks”. Realizing they forgot to include that box on the form, I decided to give it the good old human-to-human conversation via the telephone. I was convinced that once Central Justice Center heard about my dilemma, they would undoubtedly dismiss me from having to serve on a jury. After all, it would be a hell of a long day for two kids to sit through, what with all the proceedings, hearings and depositions. I assumed that the Courthouse was equipped with a side-room for children to hang out in while the Mothers participated in Jury Duty, however having one child that routinely lectures others about proper hand-washing techniques after using the restroom, and the other routinely pounding various children’s heads into walls, I thought it might not be wise to put them in there.
As I sat on hold for what seemed like an eternity, I saw that there was a tiny box you could check off that read “Excuse with a Reason”. I quickly hung up, checked off the box, made a small note on the bottom of the form saying: “I have two underage children that I have to watch every day”, and put it in the mail. Feeling good having dodged that bullet, I quickly forgot all about it. Fast forward a couple weeks later, Central Justice Center had the audacity to send me another letter, this one asking whose children it is I am watching and why I can’t participate in Jury Duty… It took me a few minutes to figure out how to respond.
This is what I wrote back, with some of the information left out only for this post:
Dear Central Justice Center:
This letter is to inform you that I gave birth to a son named Tyler eleven years ago, this is his birth date, social security number, height and weight at birth, born at this hospital, weighing in today at 85 lbs. Also, almost six years ago, I gave birth to a second son named Nikolas, this is his birth date, social security number, height and weight at birth, born at this hospital, weighing in today at 45 lbs. Attached, please find copies of their birth certificates along with an official Doctor’s note acknowledging the fact that they have ruined my body forever. If you’d like to see my c-section scars along with photos of me on the operating tables, feel free to contact me.
Thank you for your time. Please, stop wasting paper. Go Green!
Now at this point you would think all the information provided would be more than sufficient, especially the graphic and un-touched photos of my children’s Bris a.k.a circumcision. Apparently not, since a week later I had received yet another letter asking for specific hours during which I actually do some work. Obviously, its not enough for a woman to JUST be a full-time stay at home Mom, she has to have an actual job in order to be excused from her civil duty. At that point I knew I had to elevate this to the next level. Below is my final letter to the Court House. Stay tuned for their response!
Dear Central Justice Center, Again:
Upon receiving your second letter questioning my ability as a working Mother, below please find my full daily schedule starting at 6:30 a.m. Bear in mind that there are days when the schedule varies slightly, in which case you can insert one to two hours of chauffeuring my kids to guitar, tennis, gymnastics and as of last month Hebrew lessons. I know I wasn’t too thrilled about the last one either, but having grown up in Communist Soviet Union, I vowed to give my kids the kind of religious upbringing I never got.
6:30 am - Jump out of bed to the sound on Mexican radio, simply because I am too lazy to change the station and having grown pretty fond of the music.
6:45 am - Shower, get dressed and ready.
7:00 am - Run half-dressed into my kids’ rooms to make sure they are getting dressed in the hopes that today is the day they have already brushed their teeth and washed their faces on their own; all the while they lecture me how inappropriate it is for me to be pulling up my pants while standing in their room.
7:10 am - Start breakfast, while giving out orders to my half-dressed children.
7:45 am - Finish breakfast, last minute lunches, get the kids ready for school.
8:00 - Load up the car for the drive to school.
8:30 am - Come back from drop-offs, to a house completely disheveled, and spend the next hour making beds, picking up toys and laundry. Oh and on occasion, I am lucky enough to find a half eaten pear in the toilet which takes another half hour off my schedule.
9:30 to 10 am - As I finally sit down to start writing, I will typically notice yet another uneaten piece of food stuffed into the couch cushion, or a half-dead lizard out of the corner of my eye that has been living under the couch for the last week. The process of trying to capture a slimy, squirmy rodent while screaming and jumping on kitchen counters usually takes another half hour.
10 to noon - I write non-stop.
12 noon - The phone rings. It’s my husband reminding me to eat lunch. I eat lunch.
12:30 pm - I go back to writing.
2:30 pm - Freedom is over, driving to school to pick up my kids.
3:30 pm - Make snacks for kids, start homework, ask the kids to take the dog for a walk, for the third time.
4:00 pm - Take the dog for a walk.
4:30 pm - Finish up homework, answer calls and e-mails.
5:00 pm - Start making dinner while bribing my kids to stop playing the Wii and go play outside.
5:30 pm - My kids call me bluff on the money I keep promising, I start passing out dollar bills.
6:00 pm- Sit down for dinner.
As you can see from my daily schedule Jury Duty doesn’t quite fit in, however I would be more than happy to bring my children along with me. Unfortunately, after June 16th my kids will be on summer break meaning I have no choice but to bring them with me. This is where it gets a bit tricky since I can not guarantee that they will leave the Court House the same way they found it… My six-year-old has a terrible habit of destroying public property, he simply sees it as one of his rights as a minor. I have tried to reason with him, but you know how difficult minors can be. He just tells me to take it out of his piggy bank.
Well, I don’t want to take much more of your time, I know how valuable government workers’ time is, especially when you’ve only taken an hour for lunch instead of your usual two. I assume this will be more than sufficient information, so we can close my file.
Thank you for your time.
May 17, 2011 | 11:55 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
Ever since Tiger Woods slipped and unleashed a fury onto himself, every woman out there has been asking the same question: “How could he? Why would he?” Then, Jesse James, a.k.a. Mr. Sandra Bullock followed in suit, not to mention countless government officials; gay or straight. And as of this week, our ex-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to having an affair with his household staffer, and this is where it gets even better, even fathering a child with her! Not only was he dumb enough to have the affair, but obviously even dumber for getting her pregnant…
So, how could they all do that? I’ll tell you how they could:
1. They are all men.
2. They all men who have power and money.
3. They are human.
No I am not condoning cheating, however what I am saying is that unless you are in that relationship, you don’t know all the details, arrangements, etc. Therefore, you can’t judge. How do you know that Maria Shriver isn’t an annoying, complaining bitch who never puts out? How do you know that they didn’t have some kind of an agreement, only to be ruined when Arnold slipped up and got the woman pregnant… Who knows what went on with Tiger and his wife, or the reasons for his affairs. Maybe there were none, he traveled a lot, needed a release, wife was not around, had money, and cheated… Who cares! None of these men are role models, nor should they have ever been. You as parents should be your own childrens’ role models, not athletes or in James’ case a husband of famous but so-so actress. Just because you are a lazy parent that does more for yourself than your child, it doesn’t mean that Tiger Woods should have been a role model for your child. Besides, he is still the same great golfer that he was before we all found out about the cheating. If anything, his game was a hell of a lot better when he had the mistresses and a very regular sex life. Look at him now: no women, no game! He needed them to stay great.
I could not believe the social media frenzy over Woods and James’ affairs. Women in shock and disbelief posting questions all over Facebook, Twitter and other sites, asking why they would hurt their wives like that. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten into some heated debates on Facebook with women over it, only to result with me being terminated as their friend. I guess all women should think alike, otherwise this world will collapse as we know it.
I have also received emails from women that believe if Tiger Woods or Jesse James were Jewish, they would have never cheated! Are you kidding me? Are you really that naive or just plain stupid? It doesn’t matter what faith, religion, culture or background you come from, there are some men that will have affairs no matter what. I know plenty of Jewish men that have and will cheat again. And you know the reason why? Partially because they are married to annoying, bitchy, never putting out Jewish wives! Yea, yea I am sure all you JAP’s are getting your Ipads ready to send me hate mail. Don’t waste my time. We all know that women are joining mens’ ranks as well, especially in the past decade.
Take a look at these so-called “Real Housewives” on Bravo. Don’t you think that when a 25-year-old woman marries a man her Father’s age, even if he is a Millionaire, that at some point all that money and diamonds won’t be able to fulfill her in the bedroom? Let’s move away from sex for a bit, what about just companionship in general; what could you possibly talk about with someone twice your age? Music of the 50’s, whether Reagan was a better actor than a President, or about Eisenhower’s embarrassing U-2 incident? How long does a bimbo in her early-twenties stay happy playing Monopoly every night, instead of out partying with men her age? Not long by some calculations, roughly six months.
I also have to talk about Ashley Madison site for a minute. If you haven’t heard of it, feel free to check it out: www.ashleymadison.com When I talk to random people about it, I get the same reaction every time: Its disgusting! Really, why? Because people are going to cheat no matter what, so a business genius by the name of Noel Biderman decided to cash in on what’s already there, and that is disgusting to you? I, on the other hand think he is an extremely smart individual, who saw a huge business opportunity in the idiots that are already cheating and/or going to cheat , and created a multi-million dollar company from it. This is America people; where you can start any company you want. Just because Ashley Madison makes it easier for people to find other like-minded individuals, it doesn’t necessarily mean Evil. What about Craigslist and Myspace, or haven’t you known what married men have used that site for, well before Ashley Madison came around?
Mr. Biderman you are smarter than all of us combined, and thanks to all the Tiger Woods’ out there, now a lot richer too! Mazel Tov!
May 15, 2011 | 6:07 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
As I looked at pictures of Angelina Jolie’s tattoos, I couldn’t help but want to get some more of my own. The longitude and latitude ink of her childrens’ bithplaces looks so neat on her arm. But not wanting to be a copy cat, I thought of putting actual names of cities where my kids were born. I started to write out Laguna Hills, California in a really neat font. Somehow Orange County just doesn’t have the same ring to, oh let’s say Namibia, Africa or Cambodia, Vietnam. Maybe if I make it ITALIC? Nope, still looks stupid. How about BOLD, ITALIC and in RUSSIAN? Nope, can’t really spell out Laguna Hills in Russian. And it still looks idiotic, almost as bad as a dolphin tattoo on a blond bimbo’s ankle.
Why oh why couldn’t I had my children in a foreign and dangerous place? Why couldn’t I orchestrated and calculated such cool far-away places with neat sounding names, for some awesome looking tats later? Darn it, I just wasn’t thinking. Would it have killed me to get on a plane to Ethiopia a week before I was due, and have my baby in a jungle? Sure it would, but think about how cool my tattoos would have been! I could’ve picked up a couple orphans while I was at it too. Sure I don’t have the millions that she does, but she swears she doesn’t have a Nanny or help of any kind for her fifteen children, just her and Brad! Not only would I have gained a baby daughter, but again think of all the cool longitude and latitude I could put on my back!
In conclusion, adopting kids from far away lands makes for some awesome body art!
May 12, 2011 | 9:37 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
Apparently, there is a new study out that specifically links breast-fed babies with a better behavior when they are four or five years old, than those that weren’t breast-fed. Are you kidding me? Of course breast-feeding your child is good for them, we all know that by now. Do you really have to push poor, sleep-deprived Mothers into nursing even more when all they want is to pass the screaming devil onto someone else so they can get a solid two hours of sleep? What about those that are not able to nurse for whatever reason? Not only do they already feel like crap for not being able to breast-feed, but now they have yet another reason to feel guilty about it. Their child will be a Monster compared to the Angel from down the street, who was breast-fed for a year…
Might as well tell Moms that don’t nurse their kids that they are terrible parents! Who the hell are these people conducting such studies, and haven’t we gotten enough already? Yes, we all know how great Mother’s breast milk is, enough already. Don’t these so-called scientist have better research to conduct, for example cure Cancer, Tuberculosis, or Tay-Sachs disease?
My children were both nursed for a very brief period of time, a month at most, yet they are both completely different. One is easy-going, laid back and relaxed. The other is full of excitement and energy. So what do you say to that, Mr. Scientist? I hope one of you researchers reads this, and explains to me why you waste government and private funds on something we already know. Don’t you think if we could all nurse our babies, we would? Stop giving us more things to feel guilty about!
May 9, 2011 | 1:56 pm
Posted by Julia Bendis
I am a huge advocate for standing up for what’s right, freedom of speech and people’s right to speak their mind; when it has direct impact on their lives, like a local issue. Most often than not, I am raising hell over various issues, opening my big mouth and trying to change things even when no one will listen. If there is a protest scheduled on a random street corner, I guarantee you will find me there. My husband will guarantee that it usually results with him dragging me out of there, with the fear of me getting arrested. However, here is where my big mouth and hutzpah stop.
Protesting and picketing over an international issue or problem makes no sense to me. What good does it do to the Libyan people when Americans are standing on the streets protesting Gaddafi’s dictatorship? I fully understand that it is support and solidarity for people throughout the world, but does it really matter? Its not like Muammar Gaddafi is sitting around watching American news: Oh crap they are rioting in Orange County, I better step down! Maybe I am missing something, but every time I read about citizens throughout the country protesting something that is happening around the world, I wonder if its a waste of their time. Wouldn’t there be a much better outcome if those same people wrote nasty and threatening letters to dictators around the world, instead of wasting their time standing on street corners?
Like I said, I could be missing something and if I am, please enlighten me.
Same goes for all the Israeli supporters here in the U.S. What good does it do for us to organize marches, speeches and protests to help Israel combat the war with Palestinians? All it does is make pro-Palestinians angry and attack the pro-Israelis here on our very own streets. We, Americans do a great job of stirring up trouble but rarely do we follow up with anything. If the same protesters were asked to continue their demonstrations and picketing in Libya, for instance I guarantee they all find an excuse to run home.
Unless you are prepared to speak out about the injustice of that specific country, why waste time doing it at home? Has anyone ever heard of anything being solved simply because the American people took to the streets with giant signs?
May 3, 2011 | 11:28 am
Posted by Julia Bendis
When I first heard about Amy Chua, the self-professed Chinese Tiger Mother, I didn’t understand what all the hype, the drama and the hatred was about. After reading more about her and her parenting memoir “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, I couldn’t help but like her even more!
Let me explain before some of you get your keyboards ready to type out a grammatically incorrect hate-mail. (If you are going to waste your time writing me a negative comment, the least you can do is learn how to spell first.)
Most adults these days insist on being a friend to their children, instead of being a parent. They want to be the “cool” parent, letting their children do anything they want as long as they are happy. How is that parenting? Why would I want to be friends with someone that I used to wipe and change diapers for not so long ago? If I’ve seen your naked ass, you are not my friend. Furthermore, if I had any kind of vomit on me because of you, you are definitely not my friend.
Children don’t need another set of friends, they need parents, they need guidelines and rules to follow. The way Amy Chua describes her parenting technique maybe a bit nontraditional for most Americans, and she may have gone a little too far with some of her rules, but throughout the rest of the world its pretty common practice for children to be practicing hours upon hours of piano or other musical instruments. Having little or no time for social activities such as “hanging out with friends” is not a bad thing for a child, they get plenty of that during school hours. And believe me when I say slumber parties or sleepovers are a big waste of time. I never had sleepovers when I was young, and I’d like to think I turned out alright. Sure there are still unsolved mental issues, but I blame that on my family, and their DNA. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve missed out somehow, because I didn’t do sleepovers. Although, I did get invited to many sleepovers many of which I left around 10 o’clock in the evening, simply because I didn’t see the point of sleeping on the floor when I had a perfectly good bed at home. One of the times I tried to stay the whole night was also the very last time I agreed to participate in a sleepover. It was the same night that my friend’s Mother decided to check in on us only wearing a very tight, short and see-through t-shirt. I will leave the rest to your imagination, putting the emphasize on the ‘very tight, short and see-through’ part of that sentence.
Nothing good ever comes out of a sleepover, only age-inappropriate questions for the morning after. My boys know that if they want to go to a sleepover, I am not going to stop them, in fact I will encourage them to see for themselves what a waste of time it is. Most of the time, I receive a phone call around 11 o’clock begging me to come pick them up. I am also not a big fan of having sleepovers at my house; maybe its because of my obsessive compulsive cleaning behavior. Apparently eleven-year-old boys don’t like it when you follow them around with a hand-held vacuum cleaner as they are eating a bag of chips (which, by the way they brought over from their house, since they know there won’t be any “good food” at my house, but there will be home-made matzo ball soup, or noodle kugel, and if they are really lucky maybe even some beef liver). It could also be the fact that I make them eat Oreo cookies in the backyard or over the kitchen sink. What? You like cleaning up cookie crumbs from the floor all night, or waking up to your dog barfing up cookies? They are not even the regular, chocolate Oreo cookies, I buy the vanilla ones so there are no black crumbs. I know, I need professional help. That’s my point, most of my childrens’ friends know that a sleepover at my house is not going to be much fun, what with all the cleaning afterward they have to do, taking their shoes off, and a lesson in proper hand washing, every time they come over.
In my opinion, the way Amy Chua is raising her kids is not all too wrong, especially since her own children don’t seem to have any bitterness or anger towards her. When Amy’s oldest daughter was asked if she wishes her childhood was filled with more camping, hanging out with friends, and overall more play time she said no. She appreciates the way her Mother raised her, and would probably do the same with her children. Again, I am not saying that Chua didn’t go a little too far by refusing bathroom breaks for her daughters until they recited the piano perfectly, however most parents could learn a hell of a lot from her. For years I have said that some parents should not be allowed to have kids, and after witnessing first hand how some children have to fend for themselves because the parents are gone for days partying it up, I am sticking with that statement. At least Amy Chua was always there and present for her daughters, which is a lot more than I can say for other parents.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Ms. Chua for speaking honestly and truthfully about the way parents SHOULD raise their children, with rules and guidelines, boundaries and discipline. Her way of parenting might be a little too rough, but the overall message is clear, especially with the lack of parental supervision that children are exposed to these days. Parents need to be parents, not friends to their kids. And most importantly parents need to be present.