Excuse Me?


Photo courtesy of hubpages.com

The Daily Post Prompt: Modern Families – If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

My family isn’t much different than any other family. It’s blended; kids have their heads stuck in technology rather than communicating, expect more than we did, and the grandkids, are spoiled rotten (hard not to). I, like most parents, today, have been too lenient.

I come from a long line of hard working, strong, and outspoken women. They were practical, knew how to pinch a penny, keep a clean house, and their children towed the line. I grew up in the era of good manners ((ma’am and sir), respect for elders, an active participant in family chores (cooking, cleaning, and babysitting our siblings), and I understood, early on, a smart mouth was better left shut.

My siblings and I didn’t receive allowances; we worked after school as soon as were eligible, spent more time outside than inside, behaved in school (or else), strived for A’s and B’s (or else), and owning our own car was a pipe dream. We understood kids and adults were different. The adults made the rules, and we obeyed.

Today, the world, families, and our kids are a different breed, and I have no doubt, if one of my ancestors returned for a visit, they would be stunned. Oh, it wouldn’t be the endless numbers of toys, the technology, or that each child drove a car.

Nope, it would be the lack of family interaction (think cell phones & texting), the lack of courtesy and basic manners. The demand for things, the attitude that they deserve whatever they want without working for them, contributing to, or knowing getting whatever, might place a financial hardship on the parents. Of course, my kids were angels and never behaved this way. (hehe).

Of course, this is on us, the parents. We’ve relegated the responsibilities of raising kids that understand the concept of hard work, respect, community, common decency, and common-sense manners, to society.

I have no doubt my ancestor’s mouth would drop open and within seconds set us all straight.

“Excuse me? What did you just say to your mother?”

She’d be off and running and by the time she finished, we all would have felt as if we’d been to the woodshed.

Not a bad idea. Perhaps, we should bring the woodshed back.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

14 thoughts on “Excuse Me?

  1. Even though I do not have children myself, I still am painfully aware of how the huge changes in technology and how we communicate with each other are having major impacts on family life. The subject is a huge one that really needs a lot more attention. We are overall a society that is very pro-technology but the downsides to much of it is becoming obvious. And it is only increasing in its influence, faster than ever with each day. Why aren’t there more discussions/forums about this? Maybe there are and I am missing them.
    Recently I have noticed that local grade schools are switching from real books to using tablets in the classroom. Sure there are positives to this but are we acknowledging the negatives, as well? Colleges, I have been told, are gradually substituting real teachers for videos of teachers from Stanford or Harvard. Sure there are positives to this as well, but are we acknowledging the negatives? There are now quite popular channels of video feeds targeted for children under 5 and there are strollers, I have been told, that have built-in holders for iPads and tablets.
    I am not a reactionary but certainly as adults we must discuss the effects this technology is having on not only society but our own lives. I think we might hesitate to discuss it too much fearing that we really don’t have much control. But to simply surrender to the technologies popping up is to put our head directly into the lion’s mouth. Certainly we are stuck in a cage with one but we may be able to negotiate a bit to avoid being eaten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A brilliant essay and summation regarding this issue. Love the last sentence. Perfection. I would encourage you to submit this somewhere as an essay. You made need to tighten the thesis and make a few changes but it’s an excellent piece. I agree it’s a discussion we all need to have. Thank you so much for sharing, esp. in the Cow pasture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. It is a topic that has been on my mind a lot. I have written a few essays about the impact that the internet is having on jobs in the USA on my blog [ http://tinyurl.com/hoh2kx5 ] and I think I have a few more essays in me about it. What is particularly interesting is that at the same time we are being converted into screen-focused people the science of neurology is exploding with new discoveries every day about how plastic our brains are and how our emotions can be traced back to brain chemistry as well. So on one hand, science knows that this new technology is having a huge impact on our brain and our emotions and is also aware that we don’t really know the long term consequences of it all (the long term effects of developing brains in children exposed to all this). On the other hand, the thirst for new technology, pursued by business profits, is heedlessly pushing forward with new gadgets.
        You know the old commercials warning against drugs? “This is your brain on drugs . . .” I picture one similarly saying “This is your child’s brain on facebook . . .” and then there’s a picture of meat sizzling on a grill. lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think some Millennials do have an entitlement attitude and are glued to their technology, forgetting or ignoring their manners. Unfortunately, I’m seeing it across other generations too. I attribute it to technology like you said and drastically changing values/norms in modern society (many of which I don’t agree with and I’m a Millennial haha). Very interesting piece 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Woodsheds are very good for keeping things warm 🙂 Seriously, while I see no harm in an occasional spanking (usually well-deserved) I believe the examples we set for our kids/grandkids speak much louder than the smack on the behind. Although there were times when that smack was necessary to direct my kids’ attention to the matter at hand! I’m thankful to say they’re all good folks today, doing a great job of rearing their own kids. One of life’s rewards.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, if you didn’t open a can of worms. LOL I’m afraid this is another area, we are cross purposes. Privileged, spoiled children of all generations behaved as brats no matter the year. I’m sure if we put our minds to it, we could think of a few friends or even relatives when we were kids that…. Oops, better not. But one thing we can agree, it’s the hard working people who did, and still do, held their kids to a higher standard of manners and behavior. JMHO

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, you know me – love a spirited debate. I must, however, respectfully disagree that it’s just priveleged children who behave as brats. Not counting your grandchildren, how many kids do you see use basic manners and show respect to others. I venture not many and our society embraces that behavior. Have you seen the footage of schools recently? Teachers can’t discipline their classrooms for being fearful of a kid telling them where to go or worse, taking a swing at them. Kids are still walking around with their pants around their ass and think it’s okay. Parents can spank for fear of being turned into social services. And, most teens today, say whatever they want to say, how they want to say it, and dare anyone including the parents to stop them. I realize there are exceptions and I agree with you that often it’s the hard working parents that aren’t intimidated. Their the ones that calls the kids bluff and hands them the phone, “Go ahead and call. You’re the one they’ll take a way.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do agree. I have raised my children the way I was raised, polite, hard working, respectful. What I find to be an issue is the outside influences. So many of the children they are friends with are allowed everything they ask for, are disrespectful and rude, and the parents allow it. It is a constant battle for me to fight that influence. The number of times I have had to say “just because xxxx is allowed to speak/behave that way, does not mean you are.” (etc…). I can’t count that high. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I so agree. And I am guilty of many of these things parents do. But…..I will not tolerate bad manners or inconsiderate behavior from my own children. They may be coddled and a bit spoiled, but they do say please and thank-you, and hold doors open for people (and they get really irritated when people do not acknowledge that gesture by saying Thank-you).The lack of manners and the bad behavior I see around me today is horrifying and I sense it will only get worse as we become less capable of socially interacting with one another, as all our interactions will be behind the protective screen of social media.

    Liked by 1 person

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