Please allow me to climb upon my soapbox and vent for a minute. I am going to leave the bark on this rant.
When you were growing up were you held responsible for your actions? Seems like a dumb question, doesn't it? I can only speak for myself, but I think I might also speak for a good portion of you readers when I say doing the right and proper thing was a good rule of general behavior and expected during our youth. If you did wrong you faced consequences. If you got in trouble in school, what happened at home? Exactly. We got punished for our behavior at school. Did you ever hear these words, "wait until your father comes home?" Yeah, those were some long lonely hours waiting for my dad to get home. My imagination ran rampant thinking of the levels of punishment he would administer to me. Would it be getting grounded (again), extra chores, driving privileges taken away, or no television (again)?
As a young boy I had the option of getting a visit from Mr. Belt on my hind parts, or being sent to my room immediately without dinner. I did the latter one time only.
From my bedroom window, in my pajamas, I watched my friends playing ball in the street until darkness ran them inside, and it killed me. The hunger pangs disappeared with breakfast but I missed playing with my friends the most.
The next time I messed up, the pains on my hind parts soon vanished and supper was always good, and I got to play ball outside until it was too dark to see. Notice I had to experience each at least once or twice. Well, let's just say I was/am strong willed, so twice was not enough.
Have you ever experienced the flavor of Dial soap in your mouth? The more you wash it out the more the taste increases. The punishment that keeps on giving. What was the worst punishment you ever received?
I lost my driver’s license for speeding. The authorities in North Carolina felt I needed to learn my lesson AND I did learn my lesson. Driving IS a privilege not a right. I was responsible or not so responsible for my behavior and I paid the price. You mess up at school, or anywhere for that matter, and you pay the consequences. Right?
Our youth nowadays are not always using their entire brains. Since when did young girls go to the hardware store to find jewelry for their faces? They can't pass through a metal detector at an airport with out setting off alarms. Ladies, do you remember getting your ears pierced for the first time? Does ice, a potato, and a needle come to mind? I watched my sister do it on more than one occasion. Why? Have you seen some of the ear piercings the guys are wearing these days? Giant O-rings and loops go from the lobe to the top of the ear. Why?
I know it is a matter of personal choice how one dresses but pain limits my fashion platform. What happens when you snag one of those ear loops on a tree branch or a hoodie sleeve? I want to be around in twenty plus years when these folks are telling their kids and or grandkids why they should or not do something to their bodies. Does the phrase "well you did it," come to mind? How do you argue with that?
I am sorry the generation gap has become a canyon. I regret I have not kept up with the masses and the misses of our society. I feel older every day when I see behavior once condemned now being celebrated. I am confused. Why did bad behaviors get punished, and now eating Tide detergent pods seem like acceptable behavior?
Don't be afraid to hurt your kids’ feelings. Don't be afraid if your kids don't like what punishment you are giving them; It is for their own good. It shows them love. It shows them boundaries and these boundaries have to be recognized and respected.
Tough love is harder to administer than to receive. What does this have to do with anything. Rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young said it best in their song "Teach Your Children Well."
Teach your kids what is socially acceptable, not culturally current. Teach them what is responsible behavior, not almost right. Teach them to be accountable for their actions, not counting on their actions to get them recognized. Teach them well.....now and everyday.
Let me now humbly say thank you, and I will carefully step down off this soapbox.
Be Well, Gary K.
Pastor Gary Karschner is the pastor at Miles’ First United Methodist Church located on E. 3rd street and Broadway. The church hosted their annual Stew Fest on Super Bowl Sunday.