Having been born in the 50’s, I tend to look at today’s child raising “rules” with a smirk. Most of us had fathers (and mothers) who made sure we towed the line. It was “my way or the highway” and yes, there was a paddle in the drawer somewhere for when we didn’t behave – but for the most part it only needed to be taken out once or twice. After a paddling or two it’s amazing the Pavlonian response one gets when he/she sees a paddle (I even flinch at pizza paddles).
But all of that is out the window these days due to the warm and fuzzy way were are supposed to nurture our children – creating monsters which now roam among us. I remember a “discussion” years ago with one of my children where they said things to me I wouldn’t have dared say to either of my parents – and lived.
Today’s monster sighting:
The Scene: A local deli in town, lunchtime Sunday, long line for ordering. The “actors” are directly behind me
The Actors: Mother, son (16ish), daughter (14ish) – dressed for and on the way to pool, beach or boat
Mom to son: What are you going to have?
Son: This isn’t a real deli. They don’t have anything.
Mom: Well, you need to eat something.
Son: I don’t want anything here this isn’t a real deli.
Mom: Would you just like a container of chicken salad?
Son: Yecch, that doesn’t look good at all!
Daughter: They have deli meat and bread; they can make you a sandwich.
Son: What I really wanted was a McDonald’s burger
My brain shut down at this point (a safety mechanism which occurs when I want to turn around and add my two cents to the situation).
Their Solution: After waiting in line for 20 minutes, nobody orders a sandwich, they buy two packs of cookies and some strawberries…and my guess is they headed to drive-through at Mickey D’s.
My Solution: Were I the father…to son: “This is where we are eating lunch, if you choose to have something order it, if not, then that’s your choice because we aren’t headed anywhere else.”
Sad part is they probably drove away in the new car the 16 year old got for his birthday!