I'm not sure when I first heard it. Thirty-something perhaps. Maybe later. Back then I'd just nod my head in agreement. As I got older I heard it more and nodded some more. After all, I was an adult too, and a parent, so I was entitled to my opinion even if I wasn't an authority on the subject.
Nowadays I hear it even more, but I don't nod my head anymore.
I remember the fears I went through then, raising two daughters with my wife. Wondering whether I was doing the right thing; setting a good example? God knows, she and I didn't always see eye to eye, and there were conflicts and confusions about how things should be handled.
And, my duaghters didn't always hang out with peers I thought they should. As my youngest one once told me, "Dad, I learn from them what not to do."
Nor did I minimize their fears, or their dreams. When they hurt, I hurt. When they talked, I listened.
As to "Spare the rod, and spoil the child", I never spanked my daughters. We don't beat criminals, why should we beat our children? Is their infraction greater than a murderer's?
Somehow we muddled through.
Now, when I hear someone complain about the kids today, I think of them and then. I don't know how we did it. I'm proud of the young adults they've become. And the only thing I really know is . . . . we shared with them what our parents had shared with us.
Where were you on Memorial Day? Did you take you children down to watch the parade on Main St.? Or did you go to work instead?
Where will you be on Independence Day? Watching the parade and fireworks with your children or cashing out customers at Walmart?
Veterans Day? Shopping at Sears? Labor Day? Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year's Eve? Easter?
Don't blame it on rap music or the lack of prayer in the schools. If you're not praying with them at home, reciting verse in school isn't going to teach them about God or right and wrong.
And, your parents didn't like your music either.
If it isn't important enough to you, why should it mean anything to them.
"Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by."
Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young