Saturday, July 26, 2014

So It's Like This, Ya See

Are you a parent? If not, than have you ever had administrative authority over others? Taught a class? Led a program? Then you will understand what I am trying to say. I'm a history teacher, which entails teaching about culture and interaction of people. History is not just a list of events. It is a series of unique and amazing stories about people. Even when we are looking at the conflicts between countries, we are looking at the conflict between two groups organized by PEOPLE.

So back to the parent thing. You're a people, right? Good. Now that we have that mutual understanding, let's talk about typical human behavior. People covet. People are tempted. People are tested in work ethic. People are lustful. People are gluttonous. People are jealous. People are never satisfied. In the world of parenting, we are in the business of raising little people and let me tell ya, it is far greater in magnitude to embrace all of these challenges in such a confined capacity. For example, at our house jealousy is something that is a constant struggle for my littlest one. Everything that the oldest one does, says, receives, spends, eats, or whatever, the littlest wants the same.

Now, are there times in this battle that I have been fighting for over six years that I choose to not handle this error in thinking with proper parenting? Uh, yeah! There are probably more days than I want to admit. The extracurricular activities chosen by the girls are similar, but in my heart, I am not sure they should be. What they want for breakfast is the same, even though really it is not. Many a mornings the youngest will request cereal because the oldest has done so. And many a mornings I fuss at her because she doesn't finish the bowl and wastes food knowing that she was not going to actually eat it. I could have handled my reaction to her words differently, but I didn't. What should I have done? I should have gently reminded her before I even poured the bowl of cereal that she is not a fan of this dish and that there are many other tasty options that will satisfy her appetite more adequately. Instead, I just go with the flow and fix the bowl and soak it with milk, all the while knowing what will happen.

Are there times where you just choose to ignore behavior because you don't have time to parent? Or better yet, are their moments when you realize that a behavior has developed as a result of your neglect? Your child is acting a certain way because of an extended period of time of your preoccupied lifestyle or exhaustion? Yeah. Yuck! It makes you frustrated with yourself, doesn't it? And sometimes instead of going back and seeking to begin to discipline and guide your child into a correct behavior, you jerk them through a keyhole and exhibit your frustration with them through harsh words or actions.


You continue to operate in a world of denial and shrug your shoulders in surrender.

Err go, the USA. You see, we are a group of people, you know those coveting jealous, lustful, gluttonous, and never satisfied group of people. We are very spoiled and well taken care of by our parents - the government. Don't you roll your eyes at me. Go SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE else and observe the operation of people with their government in another location.

Our parents have let us stay up past bed time for way too long. Our parents have allowed us to eat just one more cookie, sometimes 3-4, after we didn't eat everything on our plate. Our parents have found exhaustion in repetitious discipline and holding to their word when they issue a warning; therefore, they have ignored disobedience. Our parents have been trying to be our friends instead of being our parents.

A good parent teaches the value of hard work and self-discipline. This means that a good parent would teach that I will give you a band aid to put on that wound, but that wound will heal. When that wound heals, a good parent will encourage their child to get back out on the field and play ball. Better yet, they will encourage them to play with the band aid on their knee so that the child may learn that even when things are challenging, they do possess the power to overcome the challenge and succeed. A good parent uses chores to teach their child that all are responsible for the well-being of the home and the well-being of their family. A good parent sees the coveting brewing in their child's eyes and begins to proactively redirect that energy and assist their child in awareness of how they are blessed with exactly what they have instead of constantly appeasing the jealous wishes...constantly giving in and letting them have their way.

Our nation is in a period of upbringing where the parents have ignored their responsibilities for too long and as a result, we are a nation of unruly children. We have to make laws and regulations in reaction instead of proactively. We are giving in to jealousy and whining instead of standing firm in the original discipline that we first established and tirelessly enforced. We are a dysfunctional home to say the least, but the efforts being made to keep the home secure and unified are far from beneficial.

For example, our immigration issue that is of constant bickering and opinion tossing is a great example of lazy parenting. For years we have let our borders become less and less secure, and therefore, the protocol by which we expect people to adhere to in order to gain establishment within our borders is ignored. We have MILLIONS of illegal immigrants, but that is another people issue I will touch on in a moment. Now, let me paint this picture to you back in parent mode. For years, we have been letting one child get away with not following the rules and have been ignoring it because we are too preoccupied with other matters (war with nations on the other side of the globe, a dysfunctional economy, LGBT agendas, healthcare, etc.) As we continue to ignore, the behavior continues to worsen. Children do this too. If they get candy out of the candy jar and you do not catch them, than they will do it again. If they get candy out of the candy jar, and you see them and SAY NOTHING, than you better believe they are going to do it again. Why wouldn't they? It's CANDY!
Don't forget our nation is completely made up of IMMIGRANTS. Not one family can claim that their ancestors did not come from somewhere else (aside from our Native Americans). So the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the first few generations were required to adhere to certain rules and regulations in order to be a part of this family. The citizenship process has been respected and obeyed by many generations of immigrants that chose to come to this great land. In other words, there are children in our family who obeyed the rules and cleaned their plate and asked permission to get candy from the candy jar before they just took. They respected the parents... (DON'T MISS THIS) because their parents demanded it. Now we are in a place where there is an absence of fairness. The parents are not exhibiting the same expectations of the younger children. In fact, the younger children are not only getting CANDY for free, the parents are contemplating how they will allow them to continue to get CANDY for free and eventually "gently" move them into a placement in the family where they are doing chores and contributing to the whole. All of the grumblings being made are the children who are mad about this breaking of the rules with no punishment.
Ah, but check this out. These same complainers are also a part of some of the movements to make it less difficult for struggling students to make the grade (oh, another day). They are a part of the movements to create a raise in wages and treatment of workers for equality. They are a part of the movements to keep the parents from having too much control over their decisions in various aspects - money, healthcare, marriage, etc. We want the government to just manage, not micromanage - well some of us. I will tell you what I think the government should and shouldn't do another day. Meanwhile, have you ever looked at the requirements to becoming a citizen? They are extensive and complicated. I'm not gonna lie to you. I would look at them with despair and discouragement.

You know how your parents wanted you to keep your room clean and make your bed and all that junk. Did you have parents who reminded you daily or parents who reminded you only when it was time to go to a party? "You can go, after you clean your room and make your bed!" Yes, there are some of you that were model children and you only had to be told once to do this particular chore. Then there are those of you who probably have small rodents living under your bed from all the crap you crammed under there every Friday night. Personal rant - I COULDN'T CRAM STUFF UNDER MY BED BECAUSE I HAD A DAYBED WITH A TRUNDLE!!! Whose fault is that? MINE, because I asked for that kind of bed. When our parents are not reminding us daily of the rules, we, as those people creatures I described earlier, tend to see just how far we can go. Then our parents find great frustration with our lack of obedience and arrive at the challenges of having to go back to the foundation of the discipline and, let me tell ya, IT IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK. Because it is frustrating and hard, it sometimes brings out the wrong response and wrong emotion of the parent.

Now we have over 11 million non-citizens living in our country that we are trying to figure out what to do with as they have not followed the rules expected of the older children AND they are getting most, if not more, of the same perks that the other children are getting. Oh, and they are not contributing to the chore list (not paying taxes).
Perspective check - if you could get candy without getting in trouble, would you? DON'T YOU LIE. You would. Statistic check - the current minimum wage in the United States is $7.25/hour. THE AVERAGE DAILY INCOME OF THE REST OF THE WORLD IS $2.00/DAY. If you were looking at the possibility of making 3 1/2 times what you make in a day in the time constraint of 1 hour, wouldn't you try to go to that place as well? They come for the candy. You were just lucky to be born in the house where the candy is.

Now what? Well, I shall tell you only what I know. You have this new perspective to look at on how we have gotten to this great problem. Oh, and this is only ONE of the problems with our parenting that has been going on for the past century. Just like any adequate solution, we cannot just come up with a temporary fix. We have to go back to where the problem began and fix the break in communication, break in discipline. AND we have to be proactive for future issues THAT WILL come up. AND we have to decipher the most logical solution for those benefiting from the candy now. Any solution is going to be costly - VERY COSTLY, but unfortunately this is a cost that must be made. You can put off some things for only so long. How much longer will we put it off?

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