I am not sure if I should be posting this, it is the post that I was going to write today, before finding the AP article on RFID. Right now I am listening to the wind howl and waiting for the snow to come. But what I am going to say, has to do with last night, and the coming days.
It is more than slightly obvious that the US middle class and lower are suffering a recession. And if we are not careful, it will lead into another depression. It frustrates me to no end that It is happening now, just when things we finally coming together for my family. But it is not my husband or I that I really worry about. Have we taught our children the tools needed to survive without us?
I watch a lot of News programs, I talk back to anchor men, and write editorials. I have been belittled and called a chicken Little, I have been watched and possibly black listed, yet none of that bothers me. Last night however one glimpse at a program almost brought me to tears. It is a program on MTV called My Sweet Sixteen. If you haven't seen it, then you are fortunate. I have a feeling most of my readers would loathe this program. These children demand and expect a birthday party that will cost their parents hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's all fine and good if the parent wants to do this, my problem is the attitude of the children. I will admit that if I had half the fortune that these parents have, I would splurge and indulge my child for a birthday, but the moment one of my boys decides that he is entitled to have an elephant escort him to his party, or that he deserves a Mercedes, it will abruptly end.
This program made me take a step back and look at what I have been teaching my boys. Will they grow up with the mentality that the world owes them? Or will they grow up as part of the world? Maybe not so much the world, but their immediate surroundings. Will they continue to say Sir, and Ma'am, thank you and please and actually mean it? Will they pull over to help a stranded motorist in this world of cell phones? Will they still open doors for women, or give up a seat to a pregnant woman or the elderly? I realize that some of you will cringe as you read these statements. Even in a PC world, a time when woman feel that men should not do these things, I still think they are important and shows respect. I have told a woman to shut up because of her holier than thou attitude toward a teen that held a door open for her, she didn't deserve the respect that boy gave her, yet he did it and only responded by nodding his head. That is the type of teen I hope my boys grow up to be.
Besides the shows of respect, have we given our children the ideals and the skills necessary to survive in a world that could be crumbling from its traditional ways. If we do find ourselves in a depression, will our children truly know the value of hard work, of a family that pulls together, of a dollar? I truly can not answer that question because those circumstances have not reared its ugly head. My children do ask for things, expensive items that their friends have. My ten year wants a cell phone, like his friends, he wants a tv and a Wii in his room. He wants all these items that they have, and even before we found ourselves in a time a some struggles, we did not give in to these wants. They are not needed. His friends would come over, enjoy the daylight and twilight out in the field, but then become bored and wish to go home because there wasn't anything for them to do. My ten year old will come home after staying the night at their houses and complained that all they wanted to do was play video games. (sigh of relief there)
I have noticed that the children that come out here treat chores as a novelty. When they go out and help with the gardening or the chicken clean up, parents are astounded to find out that their children did these things willingly, that they had even asked to help. They exclaim that their child won't even clean their rooms,. Well neither will mine, it's like pulling teeth, and I was the same way. My children know why their rooms need to be cleaned, not just that under my dictatorship these things are punishments, it just a bull headed, push your buttons attitude. Something that they will get over, no stress. It is the other chores, those other skills that they learn that I will fight for them to do. When my boys are grown and have left my home, I want to be assured that they can cook for themselves, that they can grow their own food, that they have those survival skills needed to conquer any unknown hindrance.
I want my boys to know a solid work ethic, and not to allow others to push them down out of resentment for having it. Good guys finish last feels far to real. And I can only hope that my boys will not cheat and steal, lie and connive to fit into a world that is no longer use to their kind. And that the looks of surprise or disdain doesn't bother them when they say, Pardon me, ma'am.