Top Ten Lessons Learned AND Taught (SCARY STUFF)
How I Am Becoming More Like My Mother With Each Passing Day....
Right off the bat, just let me say I love my mother. She would give you the shirt off her back and she has many qualities to be admired. I would not trade her for another! BUT, I really never thought that I would find myself agreeing with some of her lessons and her reasoning and using them on my own children! I have done just that in the past with my oldest child and I am doing it now with the youngest. I often find words flying out of my mouth and as the words come out by one brain wave, the thought going through my mind on another brain wave is something along the lines of "I sound just like my mother!" That set me to thinking about all the lessons I learned from her and how all those lessons have either been taught or are being taught to my sons. So, here's my mother's and now my own "Top Ten Lessons Kids Need to Learn and Teach to Their Own Kids." Although it is a top ten list, Lesson 1 is no more or less important than Lesson 10. When I was learning these lessons, what was not important one day might be the most important lesson in your life by the next day. I am also sure that there are other lessons that could go on this list to. So, here it is ....
Lesson 1: "I don't care what your friend is doing. If your friend jumped in the fire, would you?"
After a few hundred times of hearing this statement, it finally sunk in for me. It took a few hundred times for my eldest too. I think the younger one learned something from the eldest as it has only taken him about half the time to figure out that good parents for the most part don't care what your friends are doing because your friends are not their responsibility. You are!
Lesson 2: "You just wait until your father gets home."
Actually, this was a good lesson for me. For some reason my mother thought my father was really going to let us have it. Maybe, she thought we would worry all day about what was going to happen when "your father gets home." I am sure by now she has figured out that since she was the bigger disciplinarian of the pair, this statement actually cheered us up! After all, my father would take us to another room and and tell us to put a book in our pants so that when he "spanked" us it would not hurt. The only thing we had to do was fake scream and cry a little.
Lesson 3: "You are going to run away? Do you need help packing? Can I call a taxi for you? Can I help you with directions?"
This was bruising to the ego. Here you were, thinking you were the most important person in the house and nobody seemed to care that you might be running away. In fact, they even seemed a little giddy about it and were just so pleased to be helping you prepare for your big adventure!
Lesson 4: "Because I said so....."
Why is this an important lesson? Because I said so. That's all you or anyone else needs to know. At least my mother saw it that way.
Lesson 5: "Oh, so you think it's funny your sister is getting a spanking and you are not? Here, let me give you something to cry about too!"
I quickly learned that jumping up and down, pointing at your sister, and laughing while she was getting her fanny tanned was a great way to make sure you got yours tanned too. My mother, the Equal Opportunity Disciplinarian.
Lesson 6: "You're bored. Well, hello Bored, I'm Jean."
I think this one can actually make me madder than it made my mother. Why? When I was growing up, you entertained yourself. You went to the library and got books to read. You wrote pen pals. If your friend went on vacation for a week, you just had to suck it up and hear all their news when they returned. Not anymore. There really is no reason for a kid growing up these days to be bored at all. They can stay connected to something 24/7. There ought not be a boring moment in their life!
Lesson 7: "Don't lie because you will just have to tell another one to cover up the first one and before long you won't be able to keep your story straight."
So true...Fortunately, I learned this one early on and lies did not happen often. It was better to take the punishment up front because on the back end it was going to be worse when you did get caught. And you would get caught. I am thankful that it appears that my boys both learned this. It truly does make life easier. This is one lesson that at least for me I only had to learn a few times.
Lesson 8: "The one thing that makes me madder than the lying is you thinking I am too stupid to figure it out!"
Sadly enough, this is one that a great number of adults have not figured out yet. It makes me very mad when kids think you are stupid. It makes me even madder when adults think you are stupid. Kids get some leeway. After all they are kids and you have to teach them. But the adults??? Come on everybody....don't assume that you are smarter than everyone. Those of us that know you are lying and that are not as dumb as you think we are....we just get mad.... very, very, mad. We'll never trust you either.
Lesson 9: "Well, it's a good thing your underwear has elastic in it or you would lose that too!"
I am sure that this one does not need any explanation whatsoever. If I only had a dime for every time I have heard, "I can't find...."
Lesson 10: "MOM - it does not mean "Made Of Money!"
As they like to say in the South, "Well bless their hearts...." Children really have no concept of how much it takes to live and how hard you have to work to earn it. All I can say to this one is their day is coming!
Enough of my babbling about lessons I have learned and taught. The reality is that all of these lessons along with many others are very important lessons. I am thankful I had my good cop/bad cop parents. I turned out ok. Hopefully the good cop/bad cop parenting we are doing has the same results for my two!