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ROUNDING THIRD: Kids spoiled by lack of discipline

John David Fay
Sentinel columnist
Posted 10/9/22

Thoughts on behavior.

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ROUNDING THIRD: Kids spoiled by lack of discipline


While shopping in Marshall’s the other day, I witnessed a small child (maybe 2 or 3 years old) misbehaving badly. He threw a really good tantrum, complete with screaming, thrashing and slapping his mom. She hadn’t bought him what he wanted.

That behavior is strange to people my age who were taught to honor and respect your parents. It may have happened back then, but not in any of the families I knew. I pondered about it for a while, and decided — once again — I don’t have an answer for that problem, just reflections.

Parents have so few choices today in that area. Back then, they even had cute little adages about it: spare the rod, spoil the child.

Well, today, corporal punishment is reported and prosecuted. Everybody is watching for abuse.

But what exactly is abuse? Sometimes I think our worst mistake is letting a child into the world thinking it owes him a living and the blowback when he discovers it doesn’t!

So what’s the answer?

Talking? It doesn’t seem to work too well for most. This generation can’t even type texts without abbreviations and codes. Don’t bother telling me I’m an old fogey — I know that. But I’d truly like to see some legal way to control and teach your child how to live with the 7 billion other people on this planet.

I’m not convinced yet. A friend of mine asked me to write something about this. For example: knowing what I know today about what teachers have to deal with — I’d never do it again. How do you teach without any discipline? Who will learn in such an explosive environment?

Spare the Rod

Spare the rod and spoil the child — that’s what they used to say.

It’s not the way they did it then, but how it’s done today.

It’s such a kinder, gentler style when children go astray,

But, lift a finger to your child, and they’ll send you away.

My daddy had a stronger style; he’d put me on his lap,

And I can tell you this, my friend, it wasn’t for a nap.

But parents now are scared to act, they take a lot of crap,

And everybody’s watching, so throw away the strap.

It’s now considered cruel just to raise your voice or hand.

We have to reason with them when they’re making the wrong stand,

And pray to God they learn from when it doesn’t go as planned.

The lack of discipline in kids is rife across this land.

I’m not a Dr. Spock who’ll tell you how to raise your child,

Nor do I know the answer for when they’re going wild.

I know my dad is up there and I bet that he just smiled,

And said, “It isn’t you, my son — all parents are beguiled.”

I’m glad that I’m just watching now, my “raising” days are done,

But I just love my father for the way he raised his son.

It couldn’t have been easy, I was always on the run,

And into everything there is underneath this sun.

But Pa knew how to handle me and taught me how to grow,

And more than once he’d “emphasize” to keep me in the flow.

I honored both my parents in that time so long ago.

That honor then becomes respect for people that you know. JDF

Joke: The couple were celebrating their 50th anniversary and the daughter asked the mom what she was going to wear to the party. The mother described the dress and asked her daughter what shoes she should wear with it. The daughter told her to wear the silver ones. The husband chimed in jokingly, “That would be so it would match her hair?” The wife turned and said, “Then I guess you’ll be going barefoot.”

Favorite one-liners:

• You never know what a poor loser you are until you try to go on a diet.

• The most dangerous time in any man’s life is when he decides he knows enough.

• My brain is like the Bermuda Triangle. Information goes in and is never heard from again.

• I wish there was a way to donate fat like you can donate blood.

History: Horatio Nelson was in a sea battle with the French in 1801. His commander on land signaled for him to retreat, but he didn’t want to, so he held the telescope up to his sightless eye on purpose so he could truthfully say he didn’t see the signal. In the course of those events, the saying, “turn a blind eye” came into being.

See you next week. JDF

Note:  In last week’s column, the last line of the poem was inadvertently left off.

It was “Swallow all that vanity, and when I buy — YOU LOOK AT ME!”

Sorry for the confusion. It is necessary to tie up the concept of the poem.


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