Archived Story

Parents must set example

Published 5:10am Monday, March 11, 2013 Updated 7:14am Monday, March 11, 2013

There were two stories this week regionally that made me think about parenthood.

The first was the one where the 47-year-old Fargo man was arrested for allegely driving 100 mph down Highway 10 in Dilworth with a .24 blood alcohol content — three times the legal limit — while drinking beer his two 12-year-old daughters fetched for him from the back seat.

The second was of two girls, 6 and 1, wandering around a Bloomington hotel, left there by their 18-year-old aunt who, with a 39-year-old male companion, went to a strip joint and casino, returning at 7 a.m. to a room filled with dirty diapers and open bottles of alcohol (and of course, the police).

Coincidentally (or maybe not), I was surfing channels when I found a documentary called “The Other F Word.” The movie follows several members of some of the raunchiest, rebellious punk rock bands in music history — Blag Flag, Pennywise and Rancid, to name a few — as they deal with parenting.

Understand that these guys, as young, single rockers, have stories that would put the two above stories to shame. The term “sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” had to have come from somewhere, after all.

But these days, the punk rockers interviewed in the film are good, loving parents. They take their children to the playground, attend school events, lecture them on watching their language, and make toast for their children in the morning.

Other than the times when they go on the road to perform, which they have to do in order to feed their children, their day-to-day lives are like that of myself and most other parents.

Except, of course, those highlighted above. I realize the one was an aunt, but I’m fairly certain the mother who believed her sister would be an acceptable babysitter can’t be a winning parent, either.

So why is it that these rebellious souls are now like all the rest of us? Simple: When you have a child, and you love the child, you quickly realize that doing anything other than behaving normally the large percentage of the time is the only way your children will believe you love them.

As one of the punk rockers put it: “We tried doing the deal where we went out partying late at night and tried to be parents in the morning, and we found that it just didn’t work.”

Believe me, in my younger days, I had my share of wild nights. There aren’t many of us who haven’t.

There’s also nothing wrong with having a wild night every once in a while — provided you have found a responsible adult to care for your children for the night or weekend, and you have a designated driver.

As I sit waiting in the hallway waiting for my daughter, who is the last one to get out of the dressing room at her dance class, there are certainly moments when I wish I could blissfully fly off to New York or Los Angeles, and party with the wildest rock stars that ever lived.

But I just don’t.

It’s why when I read stories like the two above and the many others out there, I feel sick to my stomach, and when I watch a movie like “The Other F Word,” I breathe a sigh of relief.


• • •


When I was a kid, the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament was must-see TV. It was only one class, and it almost always included prime match-ups between northern teams such as Roseau and Grand Rapids and rich suburban schools such as Edina.

I have to say, the switch to two classes, the rise of open enrollment, and the fact that private schools magically acquire so much hockey talent has turned me off to the tournament.

For example, St. Cloud Apollo — the team that defeated our Otters in the playoffs, 7-3 — was drubbed 12-0 by St. Thomas Academy, a school that clearly has the same caliber of talent that the other Twin Cities hockey programs has.

It might be good hockey. It’s just not fair hockey. And it’s certainly not something I’m interested in watching anymore.


Joel Myhre is The Journal’s Publisher. Email him at



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