What happened with respecting your community?

A 16-year-old in Winnipeg was charged for four arsons, robbing a liquor store and failing to comply with a sentence.

When I was 16, I was sitting on my bed playing with Lego. Seriously.

In October, Winnipeg police announced they made an arrest and noted that the teen was in custody. They processed an outstanding warrant for nine counts of failing to comply with a sentence.

I was playing with Lego. Have I mentioned that?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I led the most exciting childhood but at least I found things to do at home to keep myself busy. Many evenings it was me playing by myself in my bedroom. Running wild through my neighbourhood wasn’t even a consideration — nor was it for my brothers or our friends.

We were all concerned about pissing off our parents. We grew up on a block where if the street-hockey ball went onto the neighbour’s grass, you hoped to hell they weren’t looking through the window to see you tip-toeing onto their lawn. And your heart raced if suddenly they appeared in the doorway to give you shit.

I won’t say that we feared our elders but… we feared our elders. We cared if they were upset with us. We didn’t want to be viewed as bad kids. And if we were, we very quickly went into suck-up mode to try get in their good books again.

It was no different with our parents. I remember freaking out that my mom would be disappointed that I got a C+ in science class when the rest of my school report card was A’s. Really. That had me fearful to go home. I didn’t fail any courses, I wasn’t skipping school, I wasn’t burning down garages. I was terrified my mom would be disappointed that I was performing poorly in one of seven classes.

I’m not sure why we see an increase in hooliganism nowadays. I want to say it’s because parents aren’t putting their foot down and setting the rules of the house. I also want to say it’s social media that is impacting how youngsters respect people. But I also want to say it’s that we live in a society where the slightest bit of discipline can be reported as abuse so kids seemingly have the upper hand when it comes being punished.

I worry that the next two generations of kids will be so out of control that old people like me will hide in our houses out of fear of being victimized. I better buy some Lego to keep myself occupied if it gets much worse.

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