This morning I attached my self to a post that described how our children are different than they were in past years. One mother compared a moment of John Boy Walton to her own son. I was so glad she posted what she did because it sprang my brain into thinking of my own home.

The one thing I hear too often is “things use to be so different.”

I always believe if things have changed, we, ourselves, have allowed them to change. Yes, things were different back during The Depression, or even back when I was a child in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

What is different?

Technology.

Economy.

Clothing styles.

Hair styles.

Toys.

Communication.

Etc.

Most of the big changes are things that have shaped our world, and how we communicate. Sadly, it has shaped our communication skills to be non-present communicators.

Automatic tellers.

U-Scan at the grocery store.

Voice mail.

Email.

Cell phones.

Texting.

We do not communicate face-to-face, or even in hand writing. And trust me, I am just as guilty of these technological pleasures. For me, though, I use Sprint and can rarely call or text (or receive) from my own home. Standing in my backyard in last week’s heat was not an option!

One thing I constantly hear is, “Kids are so different today.”

What is different about our kids, today?

Has anything REALLY changed?

If children have changed, then we, ourselves, especially as parents, have allowed it.

If children refuse to do assigned chores, and we do not follow up, or address the unfinished chore, and do it ourselves, then the child is doing the parenting.

Why?

Why do we allow our children to set the course for our lives as adults when it is our duty, our responsibility to teach them?

Are we afraid to say, “No” to our children?

Do we wish to not upset them for fear we will not be liked by our own children?

If our values, or belief system has changed, then it rests squarely on our shoulders.

I had one parent say to me last week, “my child talks back to me and I would never have done that to my parents.”

Well, my response was, “Because your parents would not tolerate it. So, why do you?”

Sometimes, I think we use “times are different” or “things were different back then” as an excuse so we do not have to take responsibility in being parents, or even good citizens.

I remember when cable television and HBO came to our community in 1980. There were citizens who were out-raged because it could be available in their homes and they did not want HBO in their homes for their children to watch. Well, they missed the point: don’t order cable, or, if you do, set down the ground rules.

I remember my mother saying, “If you don’t want your children to watch HBO, be the parent and tell them, ‘No.”

Ahhh… the one lesson in parenting I have always remembered from my mother – and God bless her for demonstrating it.

That evil word that so few parents like to use: “No.”

Why is it we cannot use “No” with our children?

Don’t want to deal with the results?

I have heard, “I work all day, run errands, come home, drive kids to various practices, lessons, games, dance, etc., and the last thing I want is an argument.”

I understand this. Generally, the ones from whom I hear the above statement, or something of a similar complaint, have a spouse who assists in raising the children. Seldom do I hear these complaints, or whines, from single parents.

Interesting…

The only thing that works for me is: I’m the parent in my home. I call the shots. It is not a democracy. It is not a group-led home.

“Oh, but that’s being a control freak.”

Ok. Call it what you wish, but the buck stops here. I am the responsible for my home, and my children. It is my duty, my responsibility to raise my sons on the path to become fully-functioning adults, providing them the valued, well-experienced tools that were handed down to me by my mother (who, during most of my childhood was single, and had no problem saying, “No” or setting down rules which were to be obeyed… I am not promoting single-parenthood – merely stating personal facts).

Yes, things were different back then. I grew up without air conditioning. This past week I feel I survived simply because I had air conditioning. However, I survived hot summers as a child – and I do not believe summers were less hot back then.

What has changed in this scenario?

Me.

I have air conditioning, and on hot days I use it. It’s a choice.

We, as parents, have a choice in determining whether or not our children will participate in life, or whether we will allow them to fall victim to our excuses. I raise sons whose earlier lives were prescribed by their birth parents, or foster parents. Some days I know it would simply be easier to allow myself to feel victim to my child’s past.

All I can say, is: LOL.

Not on my watch!

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