Selfies Attack! How a Student Broke a 19th Century Statue in Italy

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Chris

I don’t know why this story affects me the way it does. Perhaps it’s the disrespect and utter lack of common decency. Maybe the damage caused by such a narcissistic, selfish act is rubbing me wrong. More importantly, it got me thinking about my parenting choices and its effect on my 5 year-old son’s “decent-human-being” trajectory.

On March 18th 2014, TIME reported a story out of Milan, Italy about a student who felt the need to capture a “selfie” aboard the leg of an 19th century statue.

The “Drunken Satyr,” a Greco-Roman sculpture located at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, suffered a broken leg from the stunt. The statue is a replica of the much-older original; but it is no doubt valuable, considerably antique, and now, permanently ruined. The entire event was captured on surveillance cameras and discovered the following day, thankfully no other artworks were damaged. But it still begs the question… why!?

This story scratched the roof of my mouth. It got me thinking about my son’s behavior. His inability to follow direction, my inability to stop saying “no” and giving timeouts. I’ve grown considerably frustrated. He’s growing frustrated with me. Recently, in pursuit of amusement, he too broke something that didn’t belong to him. He broke a precious token belonging to his best kindergarten pal. That evening, he wrote an apology letter.

I want my son to have the freedom of making his own choices, to understand the consequences and the rewards. I also want him to be a decent and respectful young man, like most parents I suppose. 5 years old might seem too young to feel this way, but he’s growing up fast. He’s a role model to his younger brother. Where do I strike a balance in my parenting goals when the time comes to allow him more freedom?

I know one thing for sure. If my son had broken the leg from an antique statue, he wouldn’t be writing an apology letter. I hope this student pays a hefty fine and has learned a valuable lesson.