Skip to comments.Fishin..
Posted on 02/20/2005 2:47:36 PM PST by pickrell
Johnny wants to be like his dad. He waited and watched from the car, after his dad stopped and changed the tire on that old couple's car... and then refused the money that the old man offered him. They are going fishing again, just like before, and grandpa will be there too, and they'll go out in his boat, though now, they'll be a little late! Still, if his dad figures that it was the right thing to do, even if it cut a few minutes into their big trip, then Johnny will file that away, for future reference.
This morning Johnny got spanked when he made a fuss in the store about wanting a candy bar. He didn't know why he did it- it never works with dad- or mom. Johnny doesn't get spanked often, and has decided after this morning that he likes that trend. But that's all forgotten now, and this is better than any old candy bar anyway. This is fishing. And he's already forgotten the hard stare that the high school teacher gave his dad after he got spanked. Almost like the teacher was ready to arrest his dad! Grown ups are hard to understand...
There is much Johnny doesn't understand at five years old. This is not surprising. What is daunting, is the number of twenty-to-thirty-somethings who now also don't seem to understand.
The fear that the child first learns, which compels him to respond to and obey the instructions of the parent, before he is old enough to possibly understand the reasoning of the parent, must, must, cause him to freeze at the curb on command, and not step in front of the automobile which he didn't see, and wouldn't understand anyway.
The adult knows that the child hasn't the capacity to fear the myriad of hazards threatening his health and life, and so the parent enforces obedience as a safety net. Little Johnny cannot comprehend the awesome pain of crush wounds and impact injury without experiencing it, but he has learned that "you gotta do what dad says". And Dad would see his own arm hacked off before he would allow Johnny to experience violent injury at his young age. This obedience to avoid harm will later mature into care to avoid harming others as well. But that and so much more is far in Johnny's future.
So Johnny's father injects a fear of spanking to train Johnny to stop instantly when told to, and to instinctively look both ways. Not to avoid the vague, the unimagined, and the uncertain... but rather to forestall the guarantee of a warm rear end if he doesn't. That "no" means no. This young Johnny can and must understand.
Of course, this doesn't mean that Johnny's dad will beat Johnny unmercifully until his rage passes. The State should and will rightfully step in to deter maiming and worse of children. The only thing Johnny would learn from that would be that dad is a maniac lacking any self control who doesn't mind hurting his son badly. And that, too, can be passed down through the generations.
But neither will dad allow Johnny to be poisoned with the "Berkeley Plague", and learn that adults and all those in authority can be bargained with, lied to, or even safely ignored. There will be plenty of time later in college for him to be taught the moral relativism and cynical self-loathing that seems to define many university faculty. He'll hopefully be immune to their corrupting influence by then.
This understanding was passed down from grandfather to father for hundreds, thousands, of years before the enlightened liberals induced Billy's parent, living next door, to remove all constraints from Billy, accepting and excusing thuggish behavior later for some imagined gain in warm, fuzzy personal growth. Billy is loaded with self-esteem now, and realizes what rubbish that, and by implication everything else that his parent pleads with him about, really is worth.
Billy learns from an early age now what the meaning of "is" is, and will only hide behind the nearest woman's skirt on those few occasions where he was incautious enough, or unlucky enough, to be caught by outsiders- parents of other children. Billy will watch his mommy "stick up" for him, calling Tina a lying little girl, and Billy will thereby learn a horrible lesson. It will cruelly shape what the Billys of the world will become.
Billy's teachers will conclude that he is unteachable or even disadvantaged, and promote him to the next grade to become someone else's problem. Johnny's teacher, however, sent him to summer school one year and would have failed him, if the shame of what his dad would think of him hadn't compelled Johnny to understand that grades were real in his school, and that what you accomplish was... what you accomplish. As he is getting older, Johnny is becoming more powerfully motivated by what his dad thinks of him. It was a hard summer, catching up, so that he can go on to second grade. It is an expensive school, though the teachers don't earn as much as those across town at Tenure High. But they don't prescribe drugs to control their students either. Forming an unyielding front with the parents has accomplished that, quite nicely.
This automatic compliance to the limits and expectations set by his parents and by society will enable Johnny to live long enough to enter the next phase of his development. When Dad says drugs will not be used, pets will not be mistreated, and girls will not be abused, (though taunting chants seem often to be a grey area to 7 year olds, open to further exploration...), he is not inviting a leisurely colloquy on abstract debate with his six year old. Instead, he is dictating edicts which he will not tolerate deviation from. Johnny will remember from his "youth" that a spanking will result from "being bad", and will not tempt the inevitable retribution. And that one inch over the line... was an inch too far!
Johnny now knows the limits of behavior, and is not left twisting and uncertain about what he can really get away with. He is also beginning to understand that self-discipline can avoid retaliatory external discipline- a lesson that will serve him well throughout his life. And when he later temporarily casts aside that self-descipline and then suffers the consequences of his decision, as he will inevitably do when he reaches his teens, (we all did), the lesson will be reinforced even more. He will then be old enough to understand the consequences of what he has done, and the damage that was caused. For a good kid, (read a well-trained young man), it should never take more than once, of seeing the results replay in his mind later, as he tries to sleep. If he's lucky, no permanent damage will be done.
What many of the Dr. Spock adherents never understand, is that Dad will not be Johnny's "buddy" for now. This is to spare Johnny serious pain in the future. The Spockists cannot bring themselves to deny little Freddy the candy that so buys his contentment, but will surely come back to haunt them later, when little Freddy faces the dentist's chair...the terror of the syringe and the chilling promise of the drill. They couldn't force themselves to be parents then, and so little Freddy will suffer now. But it could be worse.
Billy's parent is downtown again today, since the court ordered an appearance this morning to hear yet another plea that Billy shouldn't be incarcerated. That he was a troubled youth, as demonstrated by his surly and sullen demeanor in front of the judge. That when Tina's mom get's back from the cemetary this afternoon, that she should understand that accidents happen, and sometimes young men drink and drive. That it was late, and dark that night, and that they're very, very sorry.
Being a Dad is hard and serious work.
As Johnny's dad sits in the boat after casting near the fallen log at the shoreline for that bass rolling there earlier, he glances over at Johnny's grandad, and remembers all the precious times they had fishing together in years past, when he was but Johnny's age. It's why he takes Johnny with him fishing now, even when grandad can't make it. Even if Johnny weren't along on this trip, he'd still have a hard time looking at the old man in the back of the boat and telling him how much he cares about him. It's hard for men to say stuff like that.
The gruff old man might appreciate hearing it, though it might make them both uncomfortable for a while, but what he really wants from Johnny's dad, is for his grandson to be raised the way that he was raised. All of Johnny's young life has been course of study in responsibility. And knowing that his grandson, and thereby probably his grandson's grandson, will grow up to be good men, will make worthwhile that new car he didn't buy, so as to use the money for tuition, and that better vacation they didn't take, so that Johnny's dad could stay at home and work that very first job painting garages. Johnny's dad learned early that committments are to be kept, and vacations happen after the hard work is done. Johnny will too, because he has two of those old-fashioned parents. And a grandad watching. It's really hard to get away with stuff when they watch you, Johnny smiles to himself.
All of those things that grandad denied himself will be repaid in full, when Johnny, in the fullness of time, sends his own child to bed with a warm rump and a certain knowledge that consequences happen- and that they happen when bad behavior is chosen. For good men won't do nothing, despite the latest ephemeral theories in child-rearing coming from California.
It's why grandad looks happy, even though he hasn't had a solid bite all morning on his minnows. He's committing a little white sin, and feeling pride in the young men who do and will bear his name.
Good story-excellent explanations for the need for frim fair discipline.
My ex-wife never understood this and never will. Which is why she is my ex and I cringe every time I visit my kids
I have used a variation of this to DEFINE liberalism this way: Liberalism is the rejection of hundreds or even thousands of years of accumulated knoweleged and wisdom to embrace every sort of whacko, nitwit idea that comes along simply because the liberal rejects the people it comes from.
It is the equivalent of me ignoring the warning to "Watch out for that car!" given by a cross-dressing tranvestite simply because I didn't approve of their lifestyle.
I was one of those mother's that insisted that I would never spank my child, until the day that she jerked her hand out of mine in a parking lot and ran out in front of a car. I realized then that no matter how intelligent my three year old was, I couldn't possibly explain what would have happened to her if she had gotten hit. I took her home and spanked her. It was half-hearted and not very hard because I didn't really want to do it, but it worked. She never ran from me again.
My mother and in-laws just smiled knowingly when I told them about it.
I smiled at that, remembering when my boys were little. They simply didn't understand about the road and - They had no knowledge of "really hurt" or "killed" - So I told them if they went near the road, a truck might "sit" on them.
They got the picture!
I am truly sorry to hear that. Please continue to use whatever influence you have with your children. Many, many children will often recognize destructive behavior and practically cry our for limitations to be set for them. I have seen at least three young boys in my neighborhood who I could literally see it in them, but their moms were too absorbed with themselves or their new boyfriend/husband or new baby in the next relationship to even see it. Make your phone and home available 24/7/365 to them should they ever need you and they will see you as the one who really cares enough to say "no".
Yes, when you actually become a parent you realize that children sometimes must respond INSTANTLY to your voice knowing that disobedience means a spanking.
My four year old daughter KNOWS that when I yell, "KATHRYN ELIZABETH! STOP!", that she had better stop that instant. Once she almost ran in front of a car when I yelled at her and she stopped instantly and came back to me wanting a hug to be reassured that I was not mad and that she did the right the right thing. Of course, I did.
Thanks for your thoughts. I plan on doing just what you say, but know I will have to wait before they come to that realization.
They are having too much fun now running my former household
I hope they come around, all I can do is maintain as much contact as I can. Even those can be trying.
Today I was over and my 10 year old daughter in hip huggers and midriff top proudly showed me the temporary butterfly tattoo on her back near her hip.
When my response was less than enthusiastic, her mother asked me why I had a problem with it.
The only thing that went through my mind was that if she had to ask the question, she wouldn't understand the explanation.
I do what I can, but haven't gotten any back up for about 3 years now.
I agree. But I had to learn that by watching my daughter come within inches of serious injury or death. You see, back in those days, I was a know-it-all liberal. I bought into all of the liberal BS. And I certainly wasn't going to listen to my mother or my mother-in-law. It wasn't until I was in a real-life situation, rather than reading "studies" by "experts" in a book, that I realized that I could not reason with a three year old.
I wish his father had helped him learn some self discipline at a younger age -- a spank or two probably would have helped a lot, though I admit I'm no real expert on the topic.
Amen to that! Finally, someone with common sense!
Told people for years....."I spank my kids, 'cause I love 'em." All my mom had to do was give me 'the look'.
Have you considered suing for custody? You sound like the better parent.
That happened to me the other day with my boy (3 years old), it scared me half to death, and he cried his eyes out because I was so upset. Of course I spank him already, and I think the fear of getting another spanking is what made him cry, and what keeps him in line half the time. Making him stand in the corner is now almost as bad as spanking him, but he knows what will happen if he doesn't listen to Daddy and Mommy.
When my response was less than enthusiastic, her mother asked me why I had a problem with it.
Tell your ex that it's called a tramp stamp.
You're right, but it wouldn't matter
I'm too rigid
Long story, believe me, i am no prude. 25 years as a cop in Military and civilian world, I've seen a lot of things, and developed a certain situational sense of right and wrong to deal with my world.
But when it comes to the home, there needs to be firm, but fair guidelines.
That made me an insufferable a@@
how straight on..
my mom and dad had 6 kids... all three boys had spankings (we called them whoopins) and i remember getting 3 whoopins from Dad with the belt.. and why.
my two sisters never had ONE spanking. guess who is liberal and who is conservative? it's NO coincidence the two who never had a spanking grew up to be libs who have both been divorced and don't give their kids spankings either.. no coincidence at all..
We could have been better parents together, which no matter what our problems and disagreements were, I tried to work. We could have been a very good balance if she wanted balance
She didn't want compromise-she wanted capitulation on my part.
I called her standard "Being a Disney Channel Dad" Not my bag.
I do not knock her desire to be good parent. In many ways she is better equipped than I am.
My assessment is she is misguided by a desire to please. She is not negligent, just over accomodating.
As far as me being a better parent, I go back to my original statement. I could not do it alone. I don't think she can do it alone.
We needed to balance each other, and she does not want my balance. She wants soemone who is more sensitive
Dr. Spock gave us "sensitive". Now we have a generation of people who neither understand self-discipline nor respect authority. Screw "sensitive". Apply appropriate discipline, and forget Dr. Spock.
True-I get to see the result every day in my job as a cop
Unfortunately, I cannot forget the other parent who does not see things my way.
She has her agenda. It does not match with mine and she has not interest in suppoprting me.
I will do what I can
That's "no interest in supporting me"
God be with you, and with your children.
I catch my kids doing wrong and I will call them over to me...my (just turned 5 today) son will ask "Am I getting a spanking"...my answer..."Oh yeah, but it doesnt mean I don't love you!!"
He takes his spanking, crawls up in my lap and cries. I just hold him and tell him to not do it again. He tells me he is sorry...and that misjudgement is part of the past, never to be brought up again!
My daughter is a little more strong minded, but she knows when she has pushed mom to the limit. She sulks, but she knows it is best to learn from her mistakes!
Nice story! Pinging to make a copy. Yea being a Dad can be hard but I can't imagine anything else that I would rather be.