Yet Another Journal

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» Monday, July 16, 2007
Monday Madness

Hmn. Armchair quarterback time again, I see.

1. Do you feel that children these days are disciplined enough?

No. Maybe it's not so much discipline as self-control sometimes, but other times it is children who just blithely ignore their parents, who do nothing about it. We were in Italian Oven one night next to a big family and they were just letting their little boy run around the table, getting in the way of waiters with full trays. Yet I bet if the tray fell on the child, the parents would have sued the restaurant. This kid even crawled under the feet of a family having dinner in a booth! A couple of times the woman said, "Now, you shouldn't be doing that, honey," but no one ever thought to get up, corral, and scold the little brat. Parents let their kids run—or roll—around stores and never reprimand them. (God, I hate those roller skate sneakers!)

It seems a lot of times people want to have kids, and play with them, and be "buddies" with them, but don't want to take the time or attention to make them into decent human beings. Heaven forbid they should have to miss climbing the corporate ladder, their tennis game, their scrapbooking classes, their hour at the gym, or whatever. When you have a child, your most important job is raising that child. Nothing else. (And this isn't a sex thing; it goes for fathers as well as for mothers. Yeah, you worked overtime to get your kid fourteen Barbies and all the effluvia connected, or a Wii and fifteen overpriced games, or the best car money could buy and you were never home. Big deal. That's not being a good father, that's being an ATM.)

2. What are your thoughts about the "time out chair?"

I think it can work effectively with some children, but it depends on the child. Some are sensitive, some are not. The sensitive ones will take a time-out to heart.

Too often a kid is timed out in his room. With the stuff kids have today, that's no time out.

3. When YOU were a child, what form of discipline did your parents use most often?

LOL. All my mom had to do was start counting! If she got to "three" after she called me by my full name, I was in big trouble. When I was little I was spanked. No, I was not "beaten," "abused," "victimized," or anything horrible like that. I got a couple of swats on the backside and it did save me from things like being run over by a car or burning myself on the stove. Once I was about first grade age, though, Mom found out it hurt me a lot more if I wasn't allowed to play with my toys, or look at a book, or, especially, watch my favorite television problem. All she had to say was "If you keep that up there will be no Lassie on Sunday night" (or Daktari on Tuesday or whatever the program du jour was) and I was turned around.

Mom did brandish a wooden spoon at me many times. It was the classic threat of Italian mammas. She only swatted me on the fanny with it once. Once was enough.

4. Did your parents have to constantly remind you of the guidelines they set for you, or did they just have to LOOK at you as a "gentle" reminder?

You never saw my mom glare. I didn't need to be reminded most of the time. Unless it was to wipe the dishes. LOL.

5. What are your thoughts about screaming kids in public places?

Parents need to take the kids away. Yes, they punish themselves, too, but it was their decision to have a child. No one else should have to be miserable because their child is.

6. What do you feel is the BIGGEST mistake parents make when it comes to disciplining children?

They give in because the child keeps nagging. Sure it's easy. I remember how persistent I could be as a child. God, we could be such damn pests! Also, one parent not supporting the other parent's decision. (Granted, sometimes one parent does go overboard due to anger at a bad behavior. But the parents should discuss it and perhaps amend it without letting the child off.)