I guess you can call me old, old timer, ancient, or all of it rolled into one. By this I mean, the way I think about children and the way they act (act out). There is not one shred of discipline to be found. I seem to be comparing children of today versus children of my growing days and before. Children of my day would never dream about acting out at any time. We were always on our best behavior, even at a very tender age, whether at home, in the neighborhood or out and about with our parents.
Everywhere I go I hear and see children acting out, having their way and not being mindful to adults (especially their parents). They get away with all sorts of things. Things I would never dream of doing in my childhood days. I would get that stare, or grunt, or a swift backhand. As a very young child, I learned all the signs that told me to settle down or suffer the consequences. I also learned that there were different levels of consequences. I did my best to avoid the worst of these. It would be painful, and I would always remember what I did and the punishment.
I was told that children should be seen and not heard. That was a rule that was enforced without my parents or another adult telling me twice. Another cardinal rule was that children should stay out of grown folks’ business. When adults were having a discussion, it was taboo to jump in and say what was on my mind (unless pacifically asked). If I was told to do something, it was paramount to do it without any hesitation or back-talk.
Corporal punishment was used, mostly, for extreme punishment, even in school. I am not talking about a swat or simple tap. I am talking about a slap, a beating that, most of the time, was well deserved for breaking one or more of the rules. These beating were well intentioned and today I remember some of them and I am a better person because of them. The beatings hurt, at the time, but all of them were good for me. I learned, respected the adults, showed respect, and gathered good manners.
Today’s children (and their parents) never learned these things. The children act out, scream and holler and will tell you ‘no’ at the drop of a hat. Call them, they will come if they want to or when they get around to it. They will run around a place, wild and unruly. I have talked to parents that will say their child don’t want this or that, or they must do this or that for the child because the child wants it. I have heard people say they can not or will not spank a child because it is not right (it’s now legally called child abuse).
I just wonder, who is rearing whom, the parents or the child? From what I see, the child is rearing itself, the parents just begot the child. This is one reason the child, as well as an adult, will become entangled with the justice system. They will become the adults that commit horrific crimes. These are the children that bully or commit horrific crimes as children and adults. These are the children that don’t display good manners, say whatever to whomever, don’t have any discipline, every other word they say is a cuss word, and is forever interacting with the justice system.
I could go on and on, but you can see what I am thinking about. Just hear around you (you don’t have to see them to know they are there) and know that your dinning out or shopping could be better with a little old school rearing of that child. The old days of child rearing are gone forever.