A Glimpse from the Past


Michelle Meiklejohn- freedigitaphotos.net

Raising Generations:

The way parents raise their kids can vary drastically, but they all seem to have one thing in common.; they want what’s best for their kids. So far this is beautiful. Parents across the globe seem to agree on the end result, but the implementation seems to be different. When I was growing up, discipline played a big role in the community. Kids my age didn’t feel any different. We all got the same treatment, and if we didn’t, at least we knew what to expect and what should be done to avoid the torture that could be inflicted on us by our parents. It was very simple, you get bad grades you get punished, you cause trouble you get punished, you decide to drop out of school, well that wasn’t much of an option because the punishment bar gets risen before you even think about dropping out. It is very similar to what happens these days, except for one tiny thing, “the punishment”; maybe if I use the term “timeout” some people might understand what I’m talking about.

The equation is quite fascinating. If I wanted my kids to succeed in life I made sure they got there. A good example is the “baby boomers”; we have now reached a point whereby parents have become so soft that there will never be another baby boomers generation. To some, this is a great relief, but to others this is a disaster. When I discuss the baby boomers I am not merely referring to the mass births of babies right after World War II through the 1960s; I am referring to the way they were brought up and what they have brought back to society, in terms of knowledge, education and wealth.

People from my generation and older have been exposed to different behaviors among each other, maybe eccentric but it led to some results. Before I proceed with this, let’s put some guidelines. When we discuss punishment, we’re talking about beating, but not to the extent of causing damage, which is also tricky in a way because we have physical damage, mental damage and societal damage. Let’s break them down:

Physical damage: The most obvious form of damage. You get marks all over your body, black eye or broken bones etc.. Well deal with it time is a healer.

Mental damage: In my opinion mental damage is not really caused by parents, because in their mind whatever punishment they’re inflicting is for your own good. Since they care about you they wouldn’t do anything with the intention of hurting you. Mind you, this is the norm, we’re not talking about the abnormal cases where parents get drunk and go rampage around the house. Mental damage in my opinion comes from schools and their therapists these days. One way or another they teach the kids that their parents could be a possible danger or threat to them; it gets funnier cause by the end of the school day they send the kids back home to this horrific image they have implanted in their brains. Kids now feel they are on a mission to spy on their parents and maybe put them to the test, and parents on the other hand have to make sure that their kids won’t play a prank on them because it could be extremely embarrassing and costly; and by prank I mean, jokingly tell someone at school that they were beaten by their parents. It does happen.

Societal Damage: This one is hilarious in my opinion. If a man lacked affection while growing up, he would make sure his kids will be deprived of it as well, under the pretext that this is the acceptable thing to do and everything else is wrong. It gets even worse because kids are known not to keep any secrets, so this wealth of social knowledge of what’s right and what’s wrong gets spread among all the kids, and before you know it the kids grow up to be distant and isolated, constantly on the lookout for suspicious parental behavior.

So by reviewing those three damaging factors, you are taking power from the parents and handing it over to the kids, who now can  be in control of almost anything that is not of monetary value. Your only bargaining chip as a parent would be “As long as you live under my roof, you abide by my rules”.

From an initial stance, one might like this idea. It seems intriguing…but let’s look at the bigger picture. Let us draw a long-term scenario. On the long run, it’s creating a rift between the children and their parents. Parents would be waiting for the minute their children turn 18 so that they can move out. Sure it might seem great, but don’t blame your kids if they never want to be part of your life, don’t blame them if they are too busy taking care of themselves that they couldn’t make it to your funeral; in short, the minute they step outside that door, start blaming yourself cause they will.

– You weren’t there to hold them when they needed you, whether girls or boys, you were too worried about the judgmental society that you risk losing your children.

– You couldn’t punish them old school, simply because you were afraid of being punished yourself by society.

– You risk watching them go on drugs, and start drinking at a young age, just because you couldn’t properly teach them what the limits are.

As a kid, I had two choices, either burn my hand with fire, or get slapped on my hand before the action. Of course at the time I didn’t understand why I was being slapped, but now I know why my hands are not deformed.

Parents need to regain this control; the foundation is the most important thing in any matter. To lay a good foundation, there needs to be proper understanding of your kids. To understand your kids, you need to have more interaction with them, guiding them between what’s right and what’s wrong. They might act tough, they might act knowledgeable. In short they’re not, they’re kids, they’re teenagers, and they are not fully adults.

As a parent I would rather regret one incident with my kids than watch them regret their entire life.

Raghid Khalil

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