If Michael Phelps were a teenager and your son, what would you do if you caught him smoking pot? New York Times sports columnist George Vecsey says USA Swimming made the wrong call.
They got it backward with Michael Phelps. They suspended him from competition for three months, which means he now has more time to wander into parties and hold interesting-looking objects up to his face and say, “Hey, dude, what’s this?”
What USA Swimming, the national federation, should have done was make him perform community service by competing in swim meets every day of the week and give him obligatory practices, since this is a lad who obviously functions better in chlorinated water than on terra firma.
… What’s the penalty for being dopey? Not suspension, that’s for sure. The penalty should have been: go out there and swim, ya big lug ya. The chlorine is good for you.
So, do you treat the activity as a privilege and take it away or keep the kid involved in the activity and respond to the behavior with something along the lines of what Vecsey suggests?