Parenting is fascinating.
I love hearing stories about how people contend with those little hooligans and how parents try to retain control in a world ruled by creatures free from reason and logic.
My experience in parenting is limited to the recollections I have of what my own parents did and what other people tell me now. And those two things are really different these days.
My brother told me yesterday that he offers “stern advice” when his 3 year old is acting up. And a coworker says that they just ignore bad behavior until it goes away.
Which is a much kinder and gentler nation than the one me and my brothers grew up in. But it was all different then and, like a lot of things, there are trends in parenting, I guess.
I am not really sure what my own philosophy will be if I have my own kids, but I do like pondering. I do know that I have a small sense of pride that I survived childhood in the 80′s, a time when my elementary school principal had and used a paddle and the teachers whacked kids on the knuckles with a ruler.
Not that I ever got any whackings at school. ’Cause I was awesome. And a big nerd.
But I was just thinking about how my dad used to wash my mouth out with soap if I told a lie or used a bad word, and just how absurd of a punishment that is. Like, who wants to stick a bar of soap into the mouth of a squirmy squalling little minion and try to rub it around in there? Seems like an awful lot of hassle to me.
Obviously, I was not a fan of this treatment. It was a major suckage. But, despite how awful it was, it did little to stop my lying ways or me from calling one brother or another a Yuck Butt. Once my parents caught on that a Yuck Butt was the highest of insults in our clan, using the phrase became grounds for a mouth washing.
But we were slick and came up with a secret code for how to continue using our own special little curse word unscathed.
We switched it up to Butt Yuck instead.
They caught on to that one, too.