Roseanne is making some noise in the background while I sit here. The episode that I am listening to perked me up enough to actually let my fingers rest and turn my eyes to the television.
The family is having problems, but when aren’t they? This one is based on a family in the eighties trying to make IT work. Overtime is the issue. Although Dan and Roseanne realize the overtime will help it also trickles over into what to do with the kids. How do we all get fed and who is doing what on the house chores category.
They were all in the kitchen discussing options when Dan realizes Becky isn’t present. He calls her so she is involved also. That is the point where I was having my own flash backs in my life.
I went back to when I was around the age of 10 up to the age of 15 or so. There were only one set of rules at my house. They were known as the Parent Rules. I had no choices in some matters of the house.
I was expected to babysit my baby sister. I was expected to clean the house. Do the laundry and ironing. I was expected to cook what ever mom had laid out in the morning. It was a known fact that I should never come home with less than a C on my report cards. I would never be called down to the school office or I could expect worse when I got home. My parents picked out the style of clothes I wore. I got to pick the colors.
Bills and finances were never discussed in front of us children. Mom and Dad discussed everything that had to do with our family behind their bedroom doors. I never heard screaming or arguing between the two until I was around 17. This may also be that I was older and more in tune with sounds other than from my record player.
There were no family meetings. Where we ate or went in the car was always my parents decisions. We just went along with no questions asked. Our family was not run like a tight ship but it was not an open family either. We were good kids and we had good parents.
But seeing this show helps me see how much life and families have changed. I remember somewhere in the eighties kids were no longer considered kids to parents. They had a new title called friends. Parents were wanting to be friends with their off spring instead of the leader and tour guide.
I wonder what I would have thought if my parents called us kids in for a family meeting. Maybe it was the yearly house insurance bill that was coming due. Would they ask us to give up something in order for them to make that big bill? What would we think? Would we understand?
My parents figured out everything. I grew up thinking that our family was above others. We had no problems. We had no money issues. We lived in a very nice home. We went to church every Sunday.
There were no classes in high school in my day that taught budgeting or finances. Nothing to teach me about saving for an apartment. How to pay the utility bills. Was having a phone a luxury? Or was having enough food to buy groceries more important?
I learned a lot through many mistakes how to make money and time work for myself when I left the family nest. Would I have gotten married later than sooner if I knew more about how life worked? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter now. None of us can go back and change what has already been done.
So I am asking you these questions. Do you think it is better to be more involved as a youth in family matters concerning money? Should kids be able to see that money can be a juggling act? Or should kids be kept hidden like we were? Last question is should parents be the tour guide or the friend?
That last question always makes me ponder. I look at the troubled teens today. Many are brought up to raise themselves. The drug issue is definitely bigger than it was in my day. I am not saying there wasn’t a drug issue then. It is bigger and many more types of drugs now than ever. Easy access seems to be a big issue.
Where do these kids get all the money to buy these drugs and even the guns? Were drugs discussed in the home? Were gun dangers taught at home? I never knew about guns really. I knew they were used for hunting. Drugs were for medical illness.
When I was 17 I learned the most about illegal drugs when a student in my graduating class overdosed and died. Anything else I learned was from head line news or people talking. Along with drugs and guns is now a bigger issue than ever, bullying.
So in closing of my thoughts what should be taught at home versus our schools and friends?
- Thanks Mom and Dad – From Your Gay Son (myinnermostthinking.com)
- Sad when you can’t even trust family… (lawandarock.wordpress.com)
- Parents, Just Say No To Sharing Tales Of Drug Use With Kids (npr.org)
- Roseanne Barr: ‘Arm the women of the world’ against rapists (twitchy.com)
- CAMPANELLA: School choice and kids’ safety: Preventing bullying (washingtontimes.com)
- Don’t Dish About Your Past Drug Use to Your Kids, Study Finds (abcnews.go.com)
- Roseanne the series seasons 1 thru 8 are available on DVD (kevinhunter.wordpress.com)
- Hey Parents, Don’t Tell Your Kids You Did Drugs (livescience.com)
- Half of Adult Children Think Parents Made No Money Mistakes (drhiphop85.com)
- Friday Fiction #8: Home = Our Beliefs about Love (susannenelson.wordpress.com)
We need license to drive a car, but we don’t need any supervision for how to be a parent – to be a parent must be one of the toughest jobs in the world and that’s one of the reasons for not taking it on.
I was luck when I went to school .. there was not even one that smoked in our class – drugs we couldn’t spell to. I think the school time has a massive impact on us.
I also think it’s good that a home as rules where children do their part – because that’s the training for IRL and we all need rules because it gives stability in our lives, even as adults.
I think if we ask children if they want rules and guidance they will say yes. They want to know we care enough about them to be firm. I agree that being a parent is the toughest job of all. We hold little lives in our hands molding them for their futures. Thanks for the great comment Viveka!!
True. I cringe when some parents say kids don’t need structure and that they can do whatever they please. Truth is if structure is introduced early on in life, and kids are slowly released to the real world with the needed guidance and wisdom, they will develop the skills necessary to be independent. Too much emphasis is given to independence and very seldom to responsibilty and consequences.
absolutely true. I believe if kids are asked they do answer that they wish for guidelines and rules
I thought so too!
Good points, Terry. As far as including the children in family financial matters I think they should know something about the importance of spending wisely. If there are financial problems, the kids should know the basics as to why there isn’t enough money to do everything, but I don’t think they should be burdened with too much knowledge if there are serious financial problems. How much information is shared should depend on the age of the children. They may begin to feel insecure in the one place they should experience security if there seems to be a real threat to the financial stability in the home.
As to parents being friends? Kids have friends at school, at church, in the neighborhood, but they only have one mother and father and they need them to be parents who can guide them into becoming responsible adults. There is a different kind of respect shown to parents than to friends (at least there should be). Parents are caregivers, teachers, comfort-givers, guides, protectors, nurturers, etc. and these things are not generally the role of friends.
I agree that rules are necessary, but sometimes, depending on the age of the child, they need to understand why certain rules have been set and if they are truly unreasonable they should be able at least to express their opinion without being put down. They may be wrong, but they should know their opinion in family matters is of value so they feel they have value as well.
I think the biggest point you have made is the age. Issues should be treated with consideration to age and severity. children need to be nurtured and loved. they desperately want to feel secure. All good points you have made Diane
The crucial age is from the womb till 7. The developmental stage is where it’s toughest. You become lazy and don’t deal with them at this stage, and it’s not gonna get easier when they are older.
I am guilty of this also. I can remember thinking when is the proper time to introduce a new topic. Thinking in my mind would they understand instead of thinking about giving pieces of info according to age. Luckily my kids grew up alright but in today’s world morals are lost and the time to start is immediately
I agree. Parents should start early. Form the very foundation snd when they’re a bit older they can cruise life with the learned values. Unfortunately, values nowadays are unheard of.
Terry, you described how we were raised too. Parents were authority and respected. We grew up well, nit damaged or anything. And yeah when parents stopped being parents, that’s when some of the troubles started. It’s a terrible thing to say but most parents now are lazy. They don’t want to deal with what comes with parenting anymore. I see it daily, it’s sad.
I see it also. You can not be the friend and parent at the same time. It is parents responsibility to mold the young mind, to teach right from wrong. it affects their grown life so much
Really excellent questions you’ve raised here, Terry. More mixed and step families have also changed the landscape of relationships, families and parenting. We mixed two families with 5 kids ranging in age from 6-15 when Steve & I married – blending everything together was not easy. The “other” parents had different rules; they discussed finances openly in front of the kids, fought in front of them, etc. We constantly had to explain that while that may be the way things are ‘over there’, they are not like that in our home. It must be really hard on the kids to trot from place to place and to have to adapt to the different rules but I’m not sure that will hurt them in the long run…knowing how to adapt to surroundings or learning that there are different times and places where certain behavior is not allowed can be a positive thing, I think. Their lives may not have been consistent but we tried to keep the rules of our house consistent across the board.
Beyond knowing we live on a limited budget, finances are our business, not the kids’ business. Would we have a family meeting to discuss a financial decision? No. Absolutely not. We have explained things once decisions were made but never have the kids had a say in household affairs. Drugs…yowzers…we got off easy until the last 2 girls were coming up into late teens…they can find – and are apparently willing to try – drugs I’ve never heard of. It is really scary but we’ve learned to hold our shocked reactions when they screw up and talk them through things. I would have gotten grounded into my next lifetime for some of what they’ve pulled but we can’t ground kids who are only here 2 days a week so…we talk openly, honestly and educate them the best we can. I wish I could have kept the cocooned longer but…short of holding their hand all day every day, it isn’t possible anymore. My daughter can get ecstasy between 1st and 2nd period at school. There is only so much parents can do short of caging their kids until they turn and I understand that law enforcement frowns on such things lol! 😉
I believe if we start from the beginning with love, guidance and nurturing we can help them so much adjust to mixed families etc. it is when the child feels lost or unloved that things begin to unravel