- Family and Parenting
Childhood - Then & Now
In order to understand the differences between the discipline I received and that my daughter's received you would need to understand that our life styles as children were light years apart. I've added some background on how I was raised and disciplined to set the stage.
When I a child there was respect for the adults in your life, from your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends and teachers. Talking back wasn't acceptable for any reason. Parents disciplined with stern warnings, punishments that were upheld and the dreaded strap. Children were seen and not heard. The father was the king of his castle and mom's stayed at home. Monday through Friday you got up, made your bed, had breakfast and got ready for school. You came home, had a snack and homework always came first. If you finished before supper was ready you could go outside until Mom called you in then it was super, pj's and maybe a television show.
When it came to school, there was corporal punishment, blatant acts of humiliation that was acceptable. If you gave a nun a reason to not like you the rest of the year you became their target. They seemed to thrive on causing you humiliation in school and problems at home. Being strict Roman Catholic parents, if they received a call regarding something you did then you received double punishment. My grammar school years were a living hell.
On Saturday mornings you were up early, all had breakfast together, got yourself dressed and went outside to play. There was no sitting in front of the television all day. We played games outside from tag, hide and go seek, whiffle ball and kick the ball. We rode our bikes, went for walks and the girls created our own doll houses, used anything from a soda cap to match box cars. Our Barbie dolls lived in style.
Dinner time was family time and what mom ate we ate or we went without. No cooking 2,3 or 4 different meals. It was this is it eat or don't. Your choice.
Sunday's we all went to church, visited the grandparents, then home for dinner, bath and bed. There was no shopping on Sunday's because we had the blue law that prevented business being conducted. Sunday was God's day. The only places that remained open we fire stations, police stations and hospitals. There were no grocery stores, liquor stores, department stores and mall, the didn't exist then.
In today's world, parents can't use any method of discipline that involves striking a child. Even a swat on the butt is considered abuse. They have gone to the extreme to halt child abuse. This I think if one of the reason children are unruly. This has now become a veiled threat used against many parents and they back down.
My girls, all 3 at one time or another each swore at me and tried to disrespect my authority as their parent. This happened only once for each of them. They each received a slap across the face. They threatened to call the Department of Social Services, I handed them the phone and told them to call. If it meant that my children could disrespect me in that manner then they could take them because no matter what they told me I wasn't going to allow my children to disrespect me and use that threat against me.
Now as for my standard rule of thumb regarding discipline was mainly taking away a privileges or if it warranted more than one was taken away. That would depend on why they were in trouble. There were times they were grounded for one, two weeks and once one of the girls was grounded for a month. The privileges were anything from removing their television, taking their cell phone, not allowing them to use the computer, no house phone, no going out with friends, even if plans were already made. There were also those times out in public when the temper tantrums were thrown, I would put back what I was going to buy them, would march them out of the store, go home and they had to sit in their room the rest of the day until supper time. Come supper they ate, got washed up and went to bed.
The biggest difference for me was that they instilled the fear of God in me and I was so afraid of getting in trouble that I was very seldom punished. Not saying I wasn't cause I did pull a few dumb moves and make dumb decisions. Though I was only grounded a few times.