Friday, October 06, 2006


More Silliness I Suppose!

Too many things floating around in my head this morning. That's all there is to it!

As usual, I seem to have a kazillion opinions on just about everything except nuclear energy and rocket science - both involve way, way more knowledge about math and chemistry and natural science subject matter than my brain can ever hope to understand, therefore, I steer completely clear of anything along those lines!

But topics of a sociological nature, I'm bound to have an opinion on those things and usually, am pretty determined to try to share them as well.

Take for example the argument Hilary Clinton puts forth in her book "It Takes a Village." Ok, I've never read the book - not yet any way, but I'd like to do that sometime as from what I have heard about it, I think I agree with her tenets there.

I grew up in a small, coal mining village in central PA - still live there for that matter. And, as a child, this little place operated under the auspice that each family was the other family's keeper - so to speak!

If I was out and about, playing with other neighbors kids or just messing around on my bike or walking through the village - whatever - and if another neighbor saw me doing something that was believed to be unsafe (for me or for others), or doing something maybe not quite kosher or being rude, ill-mannered, undisciplined, etc., there was never any question about whether to admonish me for those actions or not - or whether to let my mother know either that I was being an obnoxious, rotten little snot of a kid!

It was done and that was it! No ifs, ands or buts about it!

My mother operated pretty much in the same manner with other kids in the neighborhood too unless the issue was a squabble between other kids and me and then, she withdrew completely. It was her belief that to interfere in those disputes only brought more grief - to the parents though. The kids would generally settle their issues on their own if left alone but if the parents got sucked into the game, the feud could then remain and often simmer for months, even years after.

Her theory about that aspect of child-rearing somehow made sense to me as a child and made even more sense to me as an adult trying to raise my three kids to be somewhat responsible citizens. And now, with three granchildren, three step-grandchildren, I still think that method of operation is the best!

I worked for many years in the food service industry and have dealt with customers - families, you know - who stopped at whatever establishment had me in their employ to get a bit of food for themselves and their kiddies and have seen some truly obnoxious behavior from the kids and from their parents too!

Parents who allow their children to deliberately toss food on the floor, smear it on the table (or tablecloth), in general, just make a mess of their seating area and get up and leave without attempting to clean up one iota of the mess their progeny had just created.

Parents who allow their children to run wild in a busy restaurant dining room, forcing wait staff to duck and bob and weave about while carrying large trays of (usually hot) foods, or pots of coffee and not seeming to understand how hazardous their actions were/are to the children and waitstaff alike. Yet, if the kid were to trip and fall, or if the wait staff might happen to have balance problems and some hot coffee or foods fall upon the kids, guess who would be considered to be at fault here - probably even sued in the process? If you guess the waitstaff or the restaurant, you'd be right! Those parents should be held responsible, liable for the kids actions!

Parents who believe the best thing they can do for their kids is to shower them with every conceivable new toy or gadget imaginable, dress them to the nines in all expensive brand-name clothing and then wonder when the kid is grown what happened that made this kid have to concept of value for a product, of want versus need when spending their hard-earned bucks, or often respect for others property as well.

Gee, wonder why that might be?

Work ethic, the ability to handle money with good judgement, how to use a checking account and balance it, manners, in general - all too often it seems these factors are being overlooked for their importance as things children should be taught and expected to obey from early on in their childhood.

Ok, so much for that discussion today. But I am just curious as to how many parents might agree with me.

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