"We sent our children to play outside no matter what the weather, and told them to be home for dinner, which we ate together. Making dinner wasn't just about grabbing a plate and walking away with your food; we made them help us prepare the table and we said a prayer before we ate, to thank God for the food and our blessings. We insisted on using manners, and not just 'please' and 'thank you', but actual table manners! We had very meaningful conversations during those meals and we solved a lot of problems and told a lot of stories, then we cleaned up as a family and sometimes we would sit together and watch television or play cards. Radio and TV were censored and we were glad for it! We didn't complain about losing our rights. Who wants the right to hear people cursing or having sex or showing their privates? If you want that, go to a peep show!"
"And that's another thing — children spoke like children. If an adult used a curse word in front of a child, that child didn't repeat it or they would have their mouth washed out with soap! Children were scolded and they were made to apologize if they were naughty. We didn't blame others for our children's bad behavior, we blamed our children, and then we gave them a lesson to help them remember to not do that again, but it certainly was not always a spanking! We made children clean up messes and repair or work off the cost of a broken window. Sometimes those lessons help them learn best."
"Children had social skills because they were surrounded by people who they had to talk to. We didn't fight with our neighbors; we helped them and we spent time with them, just like we spent time with our family. Parents and families attended our children's events and we made a big deal out of them, but we didn't go to every little practice and we didn't make them do things they didn't love or weren't interested in. I still don't understand why parents today waste their time and money making their children do so much stuff! There's enough to be done around the home and in the backyard if they would just take them out of all those silly activities where no one wins or loses anymore anyway!
We were proud of our children when they did their very best and they won, and we hugged them and tried to cheer them up when they lost, but either way, we let them play their way! We didn't scream and carry on like apes in front of them, we let their teachers and coaches make the decisions because people who were in authority were respected. We called them coach or sir. As a matter of fact, all adults were addressed with respect. We didn't allow our children to call adults by their first name, they called them Mr. or Mrs., or sir or ma’am and a grown woman understood that to be a term of respect, not an insult to her age! We did not make fun of police officers or teachers or political pfficials, and we never had adult conversations in front of children who were too young to understand. It makes me so sad when I see that today."
"When I was raising my children, we used the words 'responsibility' and 'answers' when a problem came up. Today all young parents talk about is fighting or blaming or suing someone."
"No wonder children have zero respect these days! And no wonder parents get so mean and angry toward each other. I would be pretty angry, too if a stranger suggested the only way to handle my children was to whip on them! If parents today really want to raise respectful children as their grandparents and parents did, maybe they should start remembering and doing all the other things: the good things, the responsible and right things that their parents taught them. My goodness! If anyone deserves to have their mouths washed out with soap or a spanking, it's these parents!"
After listening to my Nana tell it, perhaps the kids aren't the ones who need a break from technology, who need to learn respect, and who need to get over their entitlement mentality. Maybe our kids aren't the real bullies and maybe our kids aren't the poor sports. Maybe — just maybe — kids seem to be out of control because their parents taught them to act that way. What if, when it comes to the real problem with kids today we, as parents, are the ones who have dropped the ball?
My bottom line: If we want to change the direction of our children to a more positive outcome, we need to put down our defenses, step up to the plate, and be the kind of parents our grandparents would be proud of.