Parenting 101

I am currently single.  This is not a recent change in relationship status.  While I have been dating here and there and prefer dating certain people more than others, I am not in a significant exclusive relationship with any one female at this time.

This has some benefits, as I can come and go as I please and don’t have to answer to anyone as to where I am.  But a downside is that I have to experience what I’m about to write all by myself – it would have much more enjoyable had I been able to laugh about it with someone else.

So today, after spending the afternoon on my boat and then going and spending way more money than I anticipated on living room furniture for my new apartment, I decided to stop at a restaurant for a drink, then stayed to have something to eat and watch the Red Sox-Rangers game on TV.

While eating and having my beer, I noticed a family next to me was enjoying their dinner.  At least, most of them were.  Their young son, who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old, was an absolute terror.  He was crying, yelling, hitting his father for not playing with his toys while family tried to eat, and then he got up and began running around the restaurant while his older sister chased after him.

All of got me to wonder – what happened to parenting?

When I was child, my brothers and I were like every other set of 3 boys.  We played rough, were loud, and got dirty.  However, when we were in public, we were perfect.  I’m talking PERFECT.  No yelling, no crying, no screaming, no throwing temper tantrums.  Do you know why?  Because our mother would kill us.

Obviously, I’m being slightly dramatic.  She would never actually kill us – she wasn’t Casey Anthony.  But we didn’t know that.  All we knew was that if we acted up in church, or in the supermarket, or a restaurant, we would get a look that could stop a train, and when we got home, we got hit on our ass with a paddle and punished.  And that was it.  And never again did we do whatever it was that resulted in that punishment.

It wasn’t child abuse.  It was parenting.  My mother yelled, hit and grounded us when we fucked up.  And we learned our lessons and didn’t do it again.  She was an incredible mom and I will be a dad in the same fashion.  If my kid (if I have one) does something bad, he’s getting smacked.  And he’ll learn not to do whatever it was again.  I became a doctor with this type of parenting.  And I guarantee I’m not the only one.

So what happened?  Why are kids able to run the household?  When did parents become such pussies?  Kids today have too much power – they threaten to call DCYF if they have their TV, computer or PS3 taken away.  I’ve watched kids swear at their parents and get no discipline.  If I ever swore at my mother, I’d get a slap across the mouth.  I remember one time where I did threaten to call Social Services.  My mom handed me the phone and said, “Go ahead.  Let them take you to some other family and see if you get the good things you have here.”  Obviously, I realized that it was a stupid idea.

I think the babying of kids has gone too far.  Do I condone beating a child?  Absolutely not.  But a smack in the ass for screaming in the market or running around a restaurant or talking back and being disrespectful is fine.  It will teach the child a lot faster than waiting for him to figure out that he’s an asshole.

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