They had been engaged in a lengthy chitchat for about an hour now. They talked mostly about work, home life, parenting advice, and their children. It was nothing new that time passed so quickly. They had been good friends for many years, they even wore the same size clothes.
But this chitchat was different. Kathy had started noticing signs of teen-age rebellion from her son. It troubled her because he was still a pre-teen, shy of one year. She trusted her friend for help and advice for the problems she assumed she’d face one day soon.
Kathy’s son was basically a good guy. He wasn’t a problem in school beyond just being a little boy and doing what little boys do. As he got older, he played sports and began noticing girls. And he didn’t like keeping his room tidied up. So he was pretty much like other boys his age. No big concerns, until he wanted to go to the neighbor’s house and hang out with them. Then he’d come home and test Kathy by seeing what he could get away with.
Because Kathy and her friend had been free to discuss lots of things with one another, Lynn offered her advice on how to handle the situation. She told Kathy of a recent Cosby Show she had watched when Theo was being testy with Dr. Huxtable. He wasn’t going to let Theo get away with anything, in fact, he reminded Theo that if it hadn’t been for the clothes, shoes, his bedroom furniture and everything else that was bought for him, he would have NOTHING! So if Theo felt like a man and wanted to leave he would have to leave with absolutely zero stuff. Theo quickly changed his tune.
Many years later, Kathy has thoughts of whether she did the right thing, or not, by “pulling a Mr. Huxtable” on her son. It was, after all, the most watched sitcom back in the day. And every family wanted to be like them. Today when she looks back she sees how her son discreetly made his exit out of her house, and the home he shared with her and his little sister.
One thing Kathy knows for sure. If given another chance she would choose her words more carefully. One thing she doesn’t know for sure is how much of an influence those words really had in making her son the successful and independent man that he is today. There is no better time to find out than now, Kathy thought to herself.
Did Kathy do the right thing in following Lynn’s advice? What do you think about the advice given to Kathy? Do you remember watching that episode of The Cosby Show? Did you get parenting advice from any of the Cosby Shows and used it on your children or passed along to other parents? Do you have any similar experiences you’d like to share?
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