Growing up I often scoffed, mentally that it is, over the way my Mother and Grandmother did things. To do so verbally would have gotten me a nice smack on the mouth. 🙂
I never understood:
Why I had to make my bed EVERY morning.
Why I had to do chores.
Why I could only watch TV with them present.
Why I always had to write Thank You cards after my birthday and Christmas.
Why, if I wanted something, I had to work for it.
Why could they not appreciate that I was not of their Generation. This was the ’80’s. Be Cool man.
After my first year of teaching, I quickly called both my Mother and my Grandmother and I thanked them for doing all the things I thought were ridiculous when I was younger. I realize now, they weren’t trying to confine or restrict me, but to guide and prepare me.
My first day in the classroom I was ready to smack a 5 year old in the mouth when she informed me that she didn’t really want to wear her coat outside on the playground. I quickly informed her she had no choice, and the tantrum that ensued was reminiscent of a “Girl’s Gone Wild” video.
I thought speaking to the girls parents would help….surely once they got involved they would have my back and set this wildcat straight. Boy was I wrong.
Upon meeting Mom and Dad, it became quiet clear where the problem lied.
They informed me that they tended to let their 5 year old daughter make her own decisions. They didn’t want her to feel restricted. They felt they had been confined by too many rules as children and didn’t want their child to feel that way.
This was another one of those moments I was sure I was on a hidden camera show. Could these jokers be for real? Confined? Restricted? What this child needed was not more freedom, she needed a come to Jesus Meeting, and if I would not have landed in jail, I would have loved to handled said meeting.
Sometimes I look at the children of this Generation and I panic. Sure, they have better technology, more opportunities, and far more resources then I did, but they are also lazy, disrespectful, and demanding. Not all mind you, but the vast majority.
-We have cashiers at McDonalds wanting $15 an hour, who can’t comb their hair or make change for a $5 bill.
-iPhones, tablets, and social media keep us from having to talk to people and dealing with issues face to face.
-No longer do you have to work for something. In my state of Tennessee, your first two years of college are paid for (Community college that is). Nice concept, but what happened to working for it, earning it?
-Living off the Government is no longer taboo, but something to take pride in.
-Teachers are no longer respected, but ridiculed for trying to teach.
This is who is going to be running our Country soon. Scary stuff.
What has happened to us? Why is telling your kid NO suddenly a violation of human rights? Why is it now ok to disrespect those in authority? When did it become taboo to work hard?
Maybe I am just old fashioned. Maybe I am just stuck in the past. But I believe in teaching children to respect authority, and YES we have to have rules and there are consequences for not following them. I believe you work hard to get what you want, it’s not handed you. Life is not fair. It doesn’t owe you ANYTHING.
Special shout out to my mama and Grandmother, who smacked me when I got sassy, made me work for those little extras I wanted, and taught me that life isn’t all about me. While I thought your ways were unfair and restrictive when I was growing up, I now know you were preparing me for adulthood.
For that… I am eternally grateful.