Thursday, July 30, 2009

A bright and smiling future

As a tagalong to North of 50's ramble the other day; it was wonderful to see my sister's family and spend some quality time with them. All six of them. Yes, in this age of self-indulgence and birth control, they pay no attention. And thank goodness they do not.

It is a very different life they lead in the 'Land of Fruits and Nuts' than I here in the Midwest. My life has taken a slightly different track. My child is older and does not live with us and our home is quietly comfortable with great neighbors and their children to fill our lives, our dog and cat and N of 50 who lives just down the lane. It was a rude awakening to have the dreaded teenagers invade and stay. WOW!

Many adults look to the future and lament the times to come. You've all heard it; "these young people today, blah blah blah blah blah". Yes, the world will come crashing down upon them in their old age, the nightly news will just get worse and they will cower in their homes as they pass into oblivion. To tell you the truth, I don't agree and the offspring of Baby Sis and Mr. Krinkles are case in point.

My nieces and nephew have been raised by loving parents with a common sense approach of discipline and what is necessary in life to succeed. In this life with opulent self-indulgence these children have been raised without the benefit of cable television, cell phones and ipods. Can you believe it? It's a wonder they haven't been put up for child abuse giving in to every whim a child could want. You walk into a room and there sits a child, gasp, reading a book. Yes a book, not a comic or a glitzy magazine. At least two that I am aware of play one or more musical instruments. They are able to carry on a conversation without dropping 'like' and 'ya know' every fifth word. Don't get me wrong, they are still children and do the things siblings are wont to do, argue, pout, whine etc., but one thing I never heard was a negative response back to a parent. Not once in four days at the end of a very long vacation away from home and friends. They have succeeded in something I don't know I could have done, but then again, that is something they are used to. I am not used to four children running around my house on a daily basis.

And it's just not these kids. I have been a retail manager for twenty-five years. I have seen the good and bad as every few years a new crop comes through my doors to ask for a job and learn what it is like to go to work. Most succeed to some extent and move on to other pursuits. But most learn a work ethic, at least some self-discipline and a new sense of what life will require of them, especially when they see what Uncle Sam takes out of their paychecks every week. Boy, that's a shock the first time. Who's this FICA and why does he have all my money? It happens all the time.

So believe me when I say the world will not come crashing down around you as you get older. There are still plenty of great kids down the pike to turn this country over to in the coming years. It doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a parent. Be a parent.


  1. Thank you! My friend and I have a saying "Be the parent!" and it's worked for both of us! She has two Eagle Scouts, and the third is working on his. My son is working on his Eagle packet now. My daughter is earning college credit in high school. My younger two girls are also top of their class - Meg may be on the Academic Decathlon team this year (third one of the kids to make it if she does!). Our idea of TV is Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune becauae at least they make you think! Cell phones are a high school privilege - but only if needed due to erratic practice schedules. Amelia has one - Mike will get one before school starts. We both think that being raised with consequences worked for our parents and works for us as parents. We are old-fashioned, but it's working for us.

  2. Wow - that was sure self-righteous of me! Thank you again for complementing our kids!

  3. Hey! Use the code words here for your offspring so no weirdos will know who they are!

  4. We had this same discussion on the way home from the Land of Buckeye. Bigfoot asked his mom how many cookies he could have after dinner!! How many teen boys could be that restrained when it comes to cookies??