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Kids got no respect for . . .

by David S. Smith
June 30, 2007

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Kids got no respect for . . .

I'm not sure when I first heard it. Thirty-something perhaps. Maybe later. Back then I'd just nod my head in agreement. As I got older I heard it more and nodded some more. After all, I was an adult too, and a parent, so I was entitled to my opinion even if I wasn't an authority on the subject.

Nowadays I hear it even more, but I don't nod my head anymore.

I remember the fears I went through then, raising two daughters with my wife. Wondering whether I was doing the right thing; setting a good example? God knows, she and I didn't always see eye to eye, and there were conflicts and confusions about how things should be handled.

And, my duaghters didn't always hang out with peers I thought they should. As my youngest one once told me, "Dad, I learn from them what not to do."

Nor did I minimize their fears, or their dreams. When they hurt, I hurt. When they talked, I listened.

As to "Spare the rod, and spoil the child", I never spanked my daughters. We don't beat criminals, why should we beat our children? Is their infraction greater than a murderer's?

Somehow we muddled through.

Now, when I hear someone complain about the kids today, I think of them and then. I don't know how we did it. I'm proud of the young adults they've become. And the only thing I really know is . . . . we shared with them what our parents had shared with us.

Where were you on Memorial Day? Did you take you children down to watch the parade on Main St.? Or did you go to work instead?

Where will you be on Independence Day? Watching the parade and fireworks with your children or cashing out customers at Walmart?

Veterans Day? Shopping at Sears? Labor Day? Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year's Eve? Easter?

Don't blame it on rap music or the lack of prayer in the schools. If you're not praying with them at home, reciting verse in school isn't going to teach them about God or right and wrong.

And, your parents didn't like your music either.

If it isn't important enough to you, why should it mean anything to them.

"Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by."

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young

Comments (2)

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Dawnmarie from Inside the Beltway (formerly Maine) writes:
July 1, 2007
I don’t entirely agree with you in regards to spanking; my mom did spank me and although it took a little while I eventually understood the lesson. Mom always spanked with an open hand on my clothed backside and although I certainly felt it, it did not leave a mark. I distinctly remember the last time I was spanked because it was the day of realization, the day I grew up. Though I don’t remember what I’d done, but I do remember going over my mother’s knee; I was getting ready to start crying when I realized that the blows didn’t hurt at all and the only overwhelming emotion was I was feeling was one of embarrassment. From that point I started thinking about my past behavior both the good and the bad and how it effected those around me...I began to understand.

Some parents have dropped the ball, but there’s more to it than that; not all children of broken and dysfunctional families turn into deviants and not all the children of nuclear families turn into Ozzie and Harriet. There is no single formula for creating a “normal” child; speaking for myself, growing up I had two primary spheres of influence the first was my family (including friends who I still consider family) and the second was school. Wherever my parents dropped the ball I was lucky enough to have extended family, friends and teachers to fall back on. It takes a support system even if that system isn’t obvious and sometimes in the worse conditions it takes only the influence of one person to make a difference.

Also I wouldn’t rag so much on parents who work the holidays because in all likelihood the only reason they’re working it is to feed their family, which is more important than watching the parade. What makes a difference is teaching your child why you weren’t able to attend the parade and making up for it on a day you have off.

For example, as difficult as it is if your boss won’t let you leave your job in the shoe department of the local department store to attend the birth of your child and you need that job to support your child, you miss the birth and go in as soon as your shift ends. Trust me, your child will forgive you and what sustenance that paycheck brings in will be more important to the development of that child.

Keep things in prospective and know your priorities, at least that’s what my parents taught me. *smile & wink*

janie ward stimatz from alabama writes:
July 5, 2007
I always enjoy David Smiths work. I have known him for several years and he seems to get sharper as times goes by. I do hope he will not wait so long before he writes another poem or something. David old boy. You have talent. Use it!!!!!

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