When I Was A Kid

When I was a kid, we had to walk a mile and a half to school, in the cold, with no coat, barefoot, both ways.  I’m sure at some point we all heard this from either our parents or grandparents.  Just one of many sayings as a child you just roll your eyes and think to yourself “whatever”.  Then you become a parent, suddenly you find yourself saying those same things your parents said to you that you swore you would never say.  You realize there was meaning behind those words, more than just what the words meant themselves.  A reason for saying what they said, when they said it.  A reason for making you do things you didn’t want to do, even if at the time you didn’t understand what it was, you were just thinking they were being mean parents.

I have noticed though, kids today, just don’t think the way we did as kids.  Sure some may have the same values, same work ethic, same moral compass but the thought process is still different.  I think that is because their motivations are different.  Their environments are different, their surroundings are different, laws that effect them of what is considered acceptable and not acceptable are different.

Kids Fighting

When I was a kid, I will admit I had a lot of friends in high school.  However despite that I always felt like a loner.  I still feel like a loner, like no one truly understands me.  My 7th grade year I spent most of it in the principle’s office, hands on the arms of the chair, listening to the whistle of the wind blow through the large holes in that large paddle as it came down on my ass because I was in YET another fight.  I was picked on a lot in 7th grade for being skinny and short.  I had to prove myself and I did.  Come 8th grade, very few problems and lots more friends, people who were my enemies the year before.  Why?  Because I didn’t run and hide every time someone came after me, made a threat or called me a name.  I stood my ground and I earned their respect.  Did I get my ass kicked?  Sure there were a couple of times I lost, there were a lot of times it was broken up by a teacher, then there were a lot of times I won because they weren’t expecting the fight that they got out of me.  Am I advocating violence?  No.  I am advocating standing up for yourself.  Not only will others respect you, you will have more respect for yourself and feel better about yourself.

When I was a kid, I spent 90% of my time outside.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t play inside, it just means I was outside more.  If I wasn’t doing something like playing war with my friends, shooting each other with our bb guns, we were playing baseball, football, riding our bikes, running through the woods chasing snakes, having rotten orange fights in the yard, at the arcade in the mall, or I was alone.  I did a lot of things alone.  The woods was my sanctuary.  When inside, I either had friends or I played alone in my room, watched tv in my room, or played my Atari.  I loved reading, all through high school, I read everything I could get my hands on, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice And Men, Shakespeare, Luis La’More books, porn magazines, and with the exception of the porn, I read them all at school, (only in the library), when not in class like during lunch or a study hall.  I still love reading today but I limit how much and how often.  You have to enjoy your time as a kid because one day you won’t be one and you will regret all the things you didn’t do that you wish you had.

natural born griller (kid chef)

natural born griller (kid chef) (Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

When I was a kid, we had to eat everything on our plate or we didn’t get up from the table till we did.  Remember the saying, there are starving children in Africa or some other country that would love to have what you have?  Yea and just about every kid was thinking “pack it up and send it to them since their starving cause I don’t want it.”  Honestly I never agreed with that statement.  It has nothing to do with eating what was put before you.  As for sitting at the table till you finished everything, shit it only took falling asleep at the table a couple times before I realized, it was easier just to eat.  Now there are a lot of people who have concerns about this and well obviously by this post I disagree with them.  I don’t believe it promotes obesity.  Why?  because as a parent, theoretically your only putting on their plate a healthy amount to eat in the first place.  You were already expecting them to eat everything before they started complaining so if they did eat it all without complaining there wouldn’t be an issue.  So why is making them eat when they do complain suddenly promoting overeating?  I say it isn’t.  We also know as parents, that when they don’t get their way about not eating something, they will suddenly become full, when in reality this not true unless they ate half the kitchen right before supper.  As parents we need to be willing to accept the fight.  I believe it teaches them several things.  First, respect for the cook, that person took the time to prepare you something and in some cases all day to prepare you something, the least you can do is show some respect and thanks by eating it.  You don’t like something no one is saying gorge yourself on it but a couple of bites won’t kill you either.  Second, it teaches them to be thankful for what they have, because one day, they may be looking at a bowl of ramen noodles or worse an empty plate all together wishing they had just one bite of that vegetable they didn’t want to eat a week ago.  These are the lessons I learned anyway.

When I was a kid, I hated homework, but I did my homework.  Now I was smart, I did it all at school when I had free time so I wouldn’t have to do it home but sometimes I still had to bring some home to do.  I understood the value of an education.

Parent and Kid ArgueWhen I was a kid, I never argued with my parents when told to do something.  EVER.  Did I complain while I was doing something I didn’t want to do?  Sure, what kid doesn’t but I did it and without argument.  I never asked why, I never said no, I never said I would do it later, I never said I didn’t want too why couldn’t someone else.  I also never smart mouthed my parents.  I wouldn’t still own all my original adult teeth if I had.  When we were kids we had respect for our parents.  It was that simple.  Sure there were times, we thought they were the meanest people ever, we hated them, or whatever but those feelings never controlled how we spoke to our parents.  You pick your fights as a parent they say.  I believe that with children and helping them to learn what is acceptable and what is not acceptable, every smart mouth comment, every argument is a fight worth fighting.  Can it make your life miserable, your blood pressure rise?  Damn right it can, sometimes you may even feel like your just yelling at a brick wall but if by the time they graduate and are on their own, they have learned to respect their elders and respect authority then it’s worth it.

You should never have to put aside your morale values because society says or some women in a grocery store says your wrong for thinking it.  If you know what your doing is morally right and is teaching meaningful life lessons and a strong moral compass, it can never be wrong to do.

Now I know for a fact there are going to be people who either disagree with one or even all of these things and that is fine.  First Amendment gives you that right.  What it doesn’t give you is the right to bash someone because they think differently only the right to disagree.  I am not out to start a wordpress war over what is good parenting or bad parenting, because we all know what works for one kid may not work for another all I’m saying is there are some things I believe do work for most kids if they are willing to learn.  So if this post offends you, well I am sorry for that, it is not my intent to do so.

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25 thoughts on “When I Was A Kid

  1. ramblingsfromamum

    I cannot believe how I think the same way as you… no let me re-phrase (I am tired) this is wonderful and I AGREE with everything you have written. No respect for parents or elders, no discipline, no there isn’t another meal made..just because you don’t like brussels sprouts..take it or leave it..kids are coddled too much today and are worse of for it.They need to learn by example, unfortunately examples of some parents are so misguided. Closing…it is up to us as parents to teach – nurture our children – if we do not then they can sadly end up as the ‘mis-fits’ of society.’ Let them eat dirt’ (my brother did and he still lives to tell the tale) EXCELLENT post Rades.. truly excellent.

    Ps I noticed you have followed me on emptynestdotme. I do not use that site any longer but I keep it running because of the nice comments from people. I will close and transfer to ramblings…but I thank you anyway for your support. 🙂

    Reply
    1. radaronelson Post author

      Thank you. I will admit that a lot of kids, get their bad “habits” from bad parents or parenting so they are only doing what they know but this is more geared towards the normal good parent trying to do the right thing. Yes I knew you stopped one and started another but I couldn’t remember which one you started and which one you stopped and I saw I wasn’t following that one and I didn’t want that to be the new one and the other to be the old one and I lose you all together so i figured I’d follow them both till one day one disappeared lol

      Reply
  2. susieslittleinspirations

    I totally agree with everything in your post, I constantly find myself saying stuff to my kids that my parents relentlessly said to us. x

    Reply
    1. radaronelson Post author

      Thank you, sometimes, I’ll say some of them just to say it, but yea your right a lot of times it will come out trying to express something to them then after I’ll be like “Damn” I sound like my parents.

      Reply
  3. sakuraandme

    I am standing up and applauding you! Great…No, brilliant post! It should be put in a womens magazine. What is this go down to there eye level and say,”NO, Johnny… that’s not acceptable behavior”
    As the child stands there screaming hate! A quick smack never hurt any of us! I have no trauma on being brought up exactly as you wrote! Courageous post! well done. 🙂 ……..Paula x

    Reply
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