Teach Them Young
C. Derick Miller – Head Writer
Your Stories on Video
I’m forty-seven years old but, as of two years ago, I am the father of a six-year-old. My wife, his mother, is way more modern and liberal than my own children’s’ mothers, so I’m learning a new form of parenting very different from the style I chose with my own children. I guess you could say my style was an off shoot of the one used to raise me by my own parents. Was it the right way? Is there a “right” way?
Example: When I was a child, I didn’t dare ask how much things cost, and I sure never asked either of my parents how much money they earned in their paychecks. Keep in mind that I grew up dirt poor in the bustling burg of Greenville, Tx and the small-town way of life was to comply with the wishes of your parents and grandparents or get the fire slapped out of you for defiance! For sure, we never got into the affairs of the adults in our families, especially when it came to finances. No sir, you made that can of SpaghettiOs last all week and you liked it! I’m exaggerating, but not by much. My last name wasn’t synonymous with the up and comers who lived in (insert the name of any random wealthy, historical neighborhood here).
Now, with my newest stepson, he is all up in the things that I knew nothing about as a child. It doesn’t matter what he asks because his mother chooses to raise him as a human being rather than a free form of minor labor or a prisoner who learns the hard way only to speak when spoken to. The kid is six years old and has never had a spanking. Sure, I know, at least in the southern United States, it’s considered to be the “new” form of parenting if you don’t scar your child for life with minor acts of violence toward them, but is it? My wife is thirty years old and has never had a spanking in her life! She turned out to be a very successful woman with two college degrees and is a main figure in a successful corporation. I got smacked around every time I turned the corner when I was growing up and I’ve had troubles with alcoholism, substance abuse, and have four divorces under my belt. Is there further research to be done in this field? I believe so!
An addendum to the above paragraph: it’s also very easy to come up with these scary stories of mine as a horror author because they are continuously playing out in my head twenty-four hours a day. Psychiatrists: feel free to contact me everywhere on social media @howlgrowlsnarl to study my brain. I’m up for anything!
Anyway, back to the beginning of my story. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty details of my stepson’s biological father, but let’s just say he was raised differently than both myself and my wife combined. He comes from a very wealthy family and was raised by a Nanny. I’m sure this is where my stepson gets this part of his personality. I’m certain, in their neck of the cleared out, highly manicured woods, it’s no big deal to know how much money is in Mom’s purse or how much the average Neiman Marcus credit card bill is. Is that even still a thing? Neiman Marcus, I mean? I personally always hated going there with my mother (which she could only afford to go once in a blue moon) because of all the employees by the front door spraying you with perfume like you were a cockroach who escaped from the glue trap!
I’m not entirely sure that there is a right or wrong way to raise a child. Everyone from all different walks of life choose to do it in their own way. Now, if any of my own children (who are well into adulthood and have NEVER read a single thing I’ve written) were to read this, they’d tell you that they wished I’d taken this approach while they were still young. I, as a young father, was heavy into corporal punishment because that’s the way my father was with me, and so was my grandfather, and so was my school…
You see where I’m going with this? Subtract a couple of decades from society and throw yourself into a small-town frame of mind, and you’ll know exactly what they mean by “spare the rod, spoil the child”! Seriously, me and all my friends used to get beat like a drum set in front of Alex Van Halen! Granted, it toughened us up, but not everyone is meant to go into the military to fight wars or become amateur hockey players!
Then again, I’m not so sure that time has anything at all to do with it. The research has been done and we, as a society, all have access to the same books and they same internet sites…but, when I go to smaller towns than Dallas, I still see parents physically punishing their children in public places. To be honest, it angers me, and I normally want to walk over and perform the same maneuvers on the parent dishing out the beating…but what kind of society would be to punish violent people with violence? Oh yeah, never mind. We’d be humans! It’s sort of our thing.
Is it something that is more prone to happen in the rural areas of this country rather than the larger cities? Why is that? Raising? A difference in education? Family Tradition?
I know this is a bit of a strange request but, here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! What is your opinion on physical punishment when it comes to raising your children? When it came to your own kids, were you a spanker, a time out-er, or a grounder? Even better, what were your parents like regarding punishment and how much did that influence your own parenting style? Feel free to comment below and fill us in! We won’t judge you; we just want to compare notes. Believe it or not, this is actually one of our interview questions!
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