Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

read the signs

 I had a short discussion yesterday about parenting. I have reached the conclusion that my parents basically used fear and intimidation as the primary motivator. That and the fear of going to hell. It isn't that love and understanding weren't utilized, they certainly were, but my attention was held by the former. And I have to say it was very effective. It wasn't quite as strict as their parents practiced, after all, we have made progress, right ? Judging by the kids today I'm not so certain about that, but that can be said for every generation.
 I was motivated to listen by threats. Yes, that is the truth of it. I'll put my foot up your *ss was a common one. I never wanted to find out if he would or not. Call it risk and reward. For the most part whatever behavior I was considering at the moment was usually not worth the risk. Those " promises " did influence my thinking. One thing was certain, if they said it, they meant it. Even when they knew they were wrong, they were right. How many times I heard, this is going to hurt me more than you, I can't say. I do know that it never did, at least not in my opinion. On the other hand it was best to not dispute that claim. Wisdom ? No more like self preservation. And that is what the lesson plan was, how to survive in the world. It isn't always fair but deal with it. You do not get to change the identity of anything. Call a spade a spade . Quit crying or I'll give you something to cry about. My how that has changed. At 18 I would have been totally mortified to be seen crying. Now, these college kids cry and are given coloring books to cope with their stress. Pleeeease, stress ? Stress is when Dad said you had better straighten up and fly right, whatever that meant. Stress is when you hear your mother say, " wait till your father gets home. " Stress is when you are asked, " if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you do that too ? " Stress is when you heard, " you made your bed, now lie in it. " Yeah that was stress and you learned to deal with it.
 In the middle of all that was good advice and a genuine concern for you and your future. My parents felt it was their duty to prepare me for the world. Teachers, and others were there to assist, but the primary responsibility was theirs. It was impressed upon me that I was responsible for the choices I made. How many lectures were prefaced with " you knew better than that " and I was made to feel awful foolish. Fact is, I was a great deal of the time. Yeah, I was just being a kid but that in itself is not an excuse. Your job, as a child, is to learn, not repeat mistakes. Yes you can have a good time doing that. All you have to do is avoid bad behaviors and stupid choices. Those things carried consequences, serious consequences, up to and including eternal damnation ! Hey God forgives if you make an honest mistake, but not if you choose to sin. No different than your parents really. If you didn't know you might be forgiven, reprimanded and given time to absorb the lesson if you pray hard enough,  but if you " knew better " that was it ! Hell loomed large on the horizon and hell wore a size nine shoe.
 That seems to the problem nowadays. These kids have no fear. As a result they have no coping skills. They haven't learned to navigate in the real world. Confused and offended by bullies and people that don't agree with them. Their response is protest ! Really just a temper tantrum that accomplishes nothing but gaining attention. And that was something I learned very quickly, best not to draw attention to yourself. Not unless you figured you could stand up to close scrutiny and that wasn't often. Make a big fuss ? Not a wise decision at all. Want attention, you'll get attention all right, intense therapy will be applied immediately, even in public ! Most especially in public as the threshold of tolerance was quite a bit lower in those situations. And it only took a glance in your direction to know that. One head tilt and a widening of the eyes from Mother was like a fire signal going off. It got your attention ! With Dad I would hear, that's it, I've had it. Time to duck and cover.
 Yes it was fear and intimidation alright. Strange how looking back I can't recall getting spanked very often. Oh, it happened no doubt about that. It wasn't abusive in any way. I was never hit or punched, nothing like that.  Guess the intimidation factor was enough. I like to think I just developed good sense. There are things worth the risk and I did take those risks. I learned a sense of value. I did take pause to ask myself, is it worth the risk ? More often than not, it wasn't worth it. I did learn that my wants and needs were entirely different things. I found it best to concentrate on my needs. Those wants now, they could be trouble. Best thing there is to give them careful consideration. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions but the road signs are wants and needs.