He and I have both been on calls for service where parents are completely and totally at wits end as a result of the actions of their children. It's truly sad because I know, and what I have tried to show Jessie, is that there is a certain point where these kids are gone; the opportunity and privilege of forming and training their precious personalities and lives is lost. Their parents have travelled so far down the slope of parental remission, laziness and selfishness that the only person who can change these children now is the children themselves. In the beginning it was a tantrum at bedtime in defiance that was catered to. "No" was heard by the child as "keep on asking". Later as their poor souls regressed and as the battle continued, these young children stood their ground as seasoned generals while their Dads and Moms retreated; their patience, wits and bodies wracked by the wounds of the workday. Lessons of respect for authority and for adults have been abandoned. "Ma'am" and "Sir" have become archaic jargon lost somewhere-post baby boom.
Let me tell ya' folks, when I was coming up, my sisters and I feared my Dad. Granted, Mom was bad, but only because when you wronged her, you wronged Dad too. My school teacher's pen was the devil's instrument...not because she wielded it, but rather because my Father would eventually read it's damning words. Get in trouble in school or at a friend's house meant you were guaranteed double jeopardy when you got home. I remember whispering in my buddies' ear as they answered my Father's questions; "Say yes sir", because I had been taught from toddlerhood that was the only proper way to answered my Dad. At the time, did I understand the bigger picture that he was teaching me concerning respect for authority? Not hardly. Do my daughter's understand it now? Not hardly. But you know what, just as I understand it now, one day they will too. There is no such thing as small stuff when it comes to my girls. I love them unconditionally, and I make it a point to ensure that they know this. But I also love them enough to teach them right and wrong. As Gov. Mitt Romney stated, ”...there's no work more important than what goes on within the four walls of the American home." My home is no exception.