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Over the weekend, a buddy and I were playing around on youtube and other such time-wasting sites. We came across a recorded conversation via phone between Hulk Hogan and his son, Nick Hogan.

Nick Hogan, as you may well know, is serving eight months in a FL county jail after pleading no contest to reckless driving. The charges stemmed from a wreck in the summer of 2007 in which his passenger, John, was severely injured and entered a coma from which he’s not ever expected to return.

Hulk and Nick’s conversation was, in a word: sickening. Hulk is basically telling his son that John, the passenger, was an agressive, arrogant young man who, due to his actions, was placed in this coma by God. In Hulk’s own words, “God laid some heavy shit on that kid…” Nick took this as prompting and said, “Well, John was a negative person…”

Never mind Nick was driving the car. Never mind Nick may have very well been intoxicated. Never mind the passenger, John, will probably be a vegetable for the rest of his life…it’s John’s fault and God’s will. Or, so says the Hulk.

No personal accountability, no personal responsibility, nothing but arrogant disregard. Yep, that’s Hulk’s parenting style. Needless to say, Hogan does NOT know best.

Now, let’s contrast this with a note from my friend, Debe Hoffman. Last week, Debe was watching Dr. Phil with her 19 year old, Caleb. The episode showed brats and how awful they are to their parents, how mean they are at school, the typical showcasing of brats.

As the episode went on, Caleb started commenting about how the brats’ parents are to blame. Debe engaged her son, agreed for the most part, but said that at some age, personal accountability kicks in and then, no matter what the parent does, it’s the brat’s choice to be bratty. Caleb agreed, but really, really put the lion’s share of the blame on the parents.

He continued to get more and more adament about the parents’ responsibility. Debe finally laughed and said, “I wish I’d have recorded this to play back to you when you’re a parent…that everything is the fault of the parents and nothing is the kids fault!”

Caleb stopped, looked her in the eye and softly said, “Mom, you don’t get it. I’m saying that the reason I’m not a brat is because of you. You showed me personal responsibility when I was a kid. The mothers on this show can’t hold a candle to the terriffic job you did of raising me.”

Parents, wouldn’t you like to be Debe? If, in a dozen years or so, my stepkids are happy, healthy, mature adults and return to say thank you for what little influence I had in their late adolescent years, well, I’ll be happy. Still, every parent knows the greatest reward is to see the kid develop and grow into that well-rounded adult. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed I can help mine along the way-if just a little.

Maybe we need to submit this for a reality series: Hoffman Knows Best! I’ll darned sure watch that over Tia Tequila!

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