Did We Throw Out the Baby With the Bath Water
By Bernadette A. Moyer
My generation grew up with a healthy respect for adults, our family, our community and our church. We knew to respect our elders since they were older, lived longer and therefore knew more. When we grew up we were considered “chattel” that our parents basically owned, today kids are born with their own inherent rights.
Most of us were spanked and yelled at when we grew up and we never thought of it as child abuse. We thought of it as discipline and that our parents were trying to get our attention and help to form us into responsible adults.
Today, it seems, most kids feel like they were abused and neglected, they were physically abused, mentally abused and verbally abused. Was this the response to a generation that was abused by parents and some clergy, teachers and other adults?
Our schools are teaching our kids about abuse. Yet our military is still using the same methods as many parents that I knew used while growing up. We were yelled at and we never thought it was “verbal abuse.”
Have we raised a generation of kids that have no boundaries, were never spanked nor yelled at and if so how are they doing in this world? It seems like today so many young people are without coping skills and have a victim mentality. We have empowered our kids to where you can look at them a certain way and they are “abused” by the look you have on your face toward them.
What I see is a population of so many young people that doesn’t know what tough times are and seem more discontent that ever before. Young people who seem angrier and violent and disrespectful. We have taken God out of schools, we have taken the power away from the parents and then we sit back and act confused when so many young people are without boundaries.
Maybe I was old fashioned but my kids ate at the kitchen table and most nights we ate together as a family. Many of my peer parents allowed their kids to run the entire house with cookies and the like and then sat back and wondered why they had a mess complete with ants and rodents throughout the house.
We had expectations for our children as to what was and is acceptable behaviors. We tried to teach them that not everything in life is going to go your way and that not everything in life will come easy for you. And therefore learn to deal with things that may not be exactly as you like. Use it as a motivating force.
After the college shooting that took place just yesterday in Oregon my husband and I once again reflect upon how much respect we grew up with, in respecting our parents, our home, our community. It would never have occurred to us that taking a weapon to school or any public place and shooting at innocent people was a means of expressing our displeasure with life and with the world.
Even back then we knew that if we were unhappy it was our responsibility to find a way to enrich our life and to make it better. It wasn’t our parent’s responsibility or our community or our government that “owed” us.
Like everyone after the shootings took place I at first wanted to see what this shooter looks like and now I am like stop giving him any attention. These stories are newsworthy but let us give equal time and attention to the well balanced young people that are out there doing well in this world.
My husband and I both grew up with parents that weren’t afraid to express their displeasure to us, when and if we acted inappropriately. I don’t believe we would have so much violence in our culture if young people learned to channel their rage and frustrations toward productive goals and healthy ways of expression rather than by anger, hatred and a desire to destroy.
And I also question that if someone/anyone is diagnosed with any form of mental illness or a disability should they be allowed to own so many guns and weapons?
Peace to all the people in Oregon and May something good come from all this hurt and heartache. We pray.
Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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