The way I see it, I thank God for the upbringing provided by our parents, when those of us from ‘the old school,’ were growing up.
Mind you, when we were undergoing such guidance and overbearing care, we certainly were not happy troopers.
Earlier today, I was having a conversation on such issues with a friend and we laughed as we reminisced on the ‘good ole days.’
I remember that we grew up in a crowded home. There were seven boys and one girl. The St. George’s Anglican Church, which we attended at the time, was in the habit of hosting what were referred to as BAZAARS. We would all be allowed to go and we looked forward to getting a few dollars to spend as well.
However, in those days, the instructions were clear and precise: ‘Make sure that you all are back before it gets dark (that normally meant before 6 pm) and make sure you all go and come back together.’
Anybody stepping out of line was really asking for it.
Now, in all fairness, if my parents existed in this present time, they may have been locked up long time for ‘child abuse,’ because punitive measures then, were meted out with a vengeance.
I mean literally anything they could get their hands on, when they were ‘sharing licks,’ was used to great effect.
It could be a yard broom; a piece of board; a pot spoon…or maybe even the whole pot!
Well I newa!
My friend reminded me of another feature of the punishment: ‘And no mek no noise in ya!”
Now how in the world, you could be getting that kind of punishment and be not expected to holler out loud?
But guess what? If you want the punishment to ease up, you better shut up and real fast.
Those were the days and I don’t think that we came out too badly either.
Now, I am not promoting such treatment for our modern day children. Certainly not!
However, I do believe that the children nowadays are literally allowed to ‘do their own thing.’
Yes, they are now able to call 911 and make reports on parents-real or imagined, but there are still some things that parents can do to keep their children in check.
I can’t forget the many days when my cousin Lewis, would boast about how long they stayed liming at Market Shop or ZANZEY Bar, the night before and it hurt because we were cooped up like chickens at home, since sunset.
Oh how I longed for the day, when I could join them in the Market shop lime…..
Guess what? As I matured and got a job and earned a sense of freedom, I took time out one Saturday night for my initiation in the Market Shop lime.
I was to be sorely disappointed.
All the fellas were doing, was drinking beer; chatting a whole lot of rubbish (including curse words) and seepsing every skirt that passed.
It did not take me long to figure out that my parents had done well in keeping me away from those kinds of outings.
My friend made a valiant point however. She noted that in this day and age, we cannot be too restrictive on children but we need to teach them a sense of responsibility.
She also mentioned that she could not fathom the fact that some parents are indicating that they cannot deal with their primary aged children and they are living under their roofs!
I believe though that there are some things that parents and guardians can do:
- Bring up the children in the fear and nurture of God-from the time they are born: Church, Sabbath school or Sunday school must be compulsory and guide the children, so that they eventually grow to love and go on their own.
- The children must be TAKEN to church and not just SENT. Parents must be example setters. Children nowadays are too smart to follow the rule of ‘do as I say and not as I do.’
- Put a monitoring system in place. They live under your roof. You must be able to check their bags before they go and when they return from school. Anything that you cannot reasonably account for, must be dealt with speedily.
- Their rooms must not be a safe haven or a sanctuary. They must know that they have some degree of privacy but their rooms can be checked without prior warning. I have heard of children telling their parents that they cannot go into their rooms. Well I newa!
- Become computer savvy and monitor computers; TV programs and phones on a regular basis.
Children must be made aware that, that is exactly what they are: CHILDREN.
Of course with all of the monitoring, you will treat them with respect and love and the more they prove themselves to be responsible, the more freedom you can allow.
My friend pointed out to me that when children are too strictly monitored, they literally go wild when they get some freedom. As in the case of going overseas to study.
So what can we do?
In all of our doings, we have to PRAY FOR THEM and PRAY WITH THEM and ask God to constantly keep them in his care.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?