Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bring Back the Woodshed

It goes without saying, with restraint. If we can’t do that much to discipline bad kids, at least give them time out when they are young enough to have it embed into their psyches. Do something to rein in bad kids. Some people and pundits seem to think "they’re just teenagers" when three boys beat a thirteen-year-old half to death. No. That was an adult act, not one of some kids playing a childish prank. They were also pushing him to buy drugs. They were drug dealers, not sweet kids.

If this country continues as it is, Idiocracy, the movie will be reality and right around the corner, not centuries off.

When did it become politically incorrect to correct bad and misguided children? I think my generation is to blame. Not me of course. I never had any. But, being a single pet parent, I know that I’d probably have disciplined children too. I always said that I won’t have a spoiled pet. And, since I’m the one who spoils them, I have to be the one who disciplines them from all the spoiling. It works. They know I love them when I shake the squirt bottle or point to the floor for them to get off the counter top. They don’t seem to resent me. We still cuddle. I’m constantly telling them that I love them and following up with action, but not indulging what they should not do.

As an overly-disciplined child, I never minded what I deserved. I minded being disciplined for what a sibling did or what I didn’t do, but was never asked about. It was swing first then send me to my room. It was never about talking to me. I don’t think other children are much different. Children aren’t stupid. But, we can be made stupid. How did I turn out so good? It wasn't therapy alone. I guess, whatever planet I came from, we did it right. If you want to know how I think, see my Token Rock blog under Contributors.

When some kid got the bright idea to sue parents for grounding him, was this the beginning? Funny movies were even made about the subject and kids must have watched. Television writers made it worse. They put words in the mouths of children that they probably would never say when they have children telling off adults. My generation would have had their mouths washed with soap. Making adults the stupid ones in movies over the brilliant child-super heros is a running theme. It sells to the XX generation and their offspring. What’s wrong with simply being good people instead of super heros? It’s time to bring back shows like, Leave It to Beaver.

Were parents bullied and intimidated from doing their jobs as parents when Child Protective Services decided to ensure their jobs by taking children from parents and doing their jobs for them? Or, were parenting procedures curtailed by adults, once children of over zealous parents who didn’t wait for the woodshed, but took out the strap right then and there? They didn’t want to do what was done to them. I know I didn’t ever want to have kids lest I become tempted to abuse my authority.

I do know some in my generation who did have children. They consciously did a 180 to the way they were raised. The results were not good. One friend took her son from the day he was born with her everywhere in a wrap around kind of thing. She took him to concerts while still in the womb to bring him culture early. Everything she did for him was from love. After he was born, I hadn’t seen him until he was a teenager, where I heard him over the phone. I’d called his mother. I heard in the background, "Mother!" She told him, "I’m on the phone." His reply, "I don’t care! I want you now!" OMG! She’d created a little monster. That monster grew up to be an irresponsible adult. My friend and I’d lost touch over decades. I had a dream about her, and some think that means she died. I realized I hadn’t thought about my best friend for decades. How could I do that? Life. Period. I was back on the Internet, so looked her up. It still had her listed in the same city where I last saw her, but without a phone number. I knew that she’d changed her name to the father’s name, though never married him. She didn’t realize that his culture was too restrictive and dominating toward women. While still pregnant she fled back to this country and raised her boy alone.

Only two names came up for the son. One was in London and he was from there. One became an actor and lived in the city where I’d last seen my friend. That made sense, she had a try at it and encouraged him into the arts. He also had her eyes. He’d written on some blog that he was leaving the country and returning to the land of his father because warrants were issued for too many unpaid parking tickets. Over parking tickets? I’d figured that my friend had to have died for him to leave this country and return to his other heritage.

The behavior certainly isn’t as bad as the boys who beat the thirteen-year-old half to death, but it shows lack of responsibility. He was running from facing parking tickets rather than just paying them. His inability to accept responsibility was to that degree. My friend probably took it from him in a misguided attempt to protect him from the world.

I probably would have been that kind of parent too. I was always trying to protect my friends from facing the consequences of their actions that they got themselves into. My cats could only wish I’d spoil them into total rottenness. I’d give friends a tip about some job audition, but warn them of what I’d been through that was negative. It occurred to me that they may not experience what I did. Telling them, might deter them from going. So, either don’t tell them, or don’t warn them needlessly.

Some children of these thirty-something-year-olds are being given no discipline. They don’t have to clean up their messes. Mommy will do it, if she does it at all, having been raised by my generation and overly protected. So cleaning one’s house is too much of a chore, keeping them from doing what they really want to do or listening to their IPods. Some children’s television programs are teaching them that pouting and throwing tantrums on the floor is the way to get what they want. Some children mimic this behavior, and some parents think that this is just fine. Saying, they are just children and will outgrow it, so indulge them.

Oh really? They will only get worse until we are a society of spoiled mediocre idiots, who don’t bother to learn anything, but only mimic behaviors. And, mimic them poorly. But, don’t worry. There are shows like American Idol where unlearned, no-talents can be laughed at for viewers’ amusement.