What Have We Become?

Some time back, I made a posting on Facebook after the Liverpool vs Manchester United match and had a string of other comments that followed. Even my Mom got in on the action.

Followers of my postings on Facebook would have noticed that my Mom and I are rather tight and that we share a love for cooking, good food, humour and a host of other things including our foremost love for God.

This prompted several people to write me asking how come my family is so closely knitted from my Mom to me and me to my kids. My answer was;

Why is yours not?

I found it disconcerting that so many would ask such a thing when it should be the norm. To me, it was like asking, “Why did you slow to stop when the traffic light turned amber?”

Have we, as a society, become so dysfunctional that what is supposed to be normal is not normal anymore?

I believe we have. When once we were courteous and giving, today we are rude and selfish. When once we were conscientious and caring, today we really don’t give a f**k unless we have something to gain by it.

What have we become?

More importantly, WHY have we become like this?

Family values have eroded, no, they have totally lost their way. Respect for your elders no longer exists. Children used to be seen and not heard but now they make themselves heard more than their parents and use it as a weapon to gain what they want. Siblings who loved and cared for their parents in the past now have become bitter and vengeful rivals for their dying parents’ legacies.

Is it about the money? Did society breed all this hate in us? Did the nation’s growing wealth make us greedy and selfish? Has the government failed in raising its citizens right? Have we become so spoilt that its normal for Maria to haul boy-boy’s military full pack? Did we become so ignorant that we blindly trust our government to take care of us when we’re overspending on things we don’t need? Have we become so naive that face and pride precedes common sense?

Are we doing the right things because its the right thing to do?
Or have we mistaken what is actually wrong for normal?

As much as most of you would like to point a finger and blame rather than accept your own failure, the answer is not in the past or what could have been.

It about what we do now to shape the future. 

I was raised on old-fashioned family values and I have raised my kids the same way;

As they become teenagers;

As they become young adults;

Communication is key to healthy relationships. This is even more so in a family. Most grievances within a family can be attributed to a lack of communication and a lack of understanding. Family time is the best time to communicate. Mealtimes like lunch and dinner, whenever possible, should be done together at a proper dining setting (not in front of the TV). The table should be filled with conversations (not mobile coms and tablets). Conversations should be about the children’s interests and adult’s advice (not complaints, grumbles and quarrels). Everyone should have a chance to speak and everyone should listen to whomever is speaking (this is mutual respect). Such occasions always bring the family closer.

Have a fear for God in whatever name you call Him – this is called having a conscience. If you are not religious, then believe that there is always a greater force, a higher authority that will rule and judge us. It is imperative that the family is raised knowing the difference between good and bad. The parents must lead by example. Thus, if you’re going to be a parent or if you are already a parent and you have been shithed without realising it, don’t be surprised when your kids start behaving like you. If you ever ask, “what’s wrong with my kids?” or “why do my kids behave like that?”, all you have to do is look in the mirror for your answer. If you’re going to blame your spouse for that, look in the mirror again. Then get your spouse to do the same.

What goes around, comes around. This also means that if you raise your kids as spoilt, disrespectful and rude brats, you are going to be the biggest victim of what you sowed. These shitty kids will grow up and could care less about their parents (because that’s how they were raised). This is why so many young adults these days see their parents as burdens. Remember that if you expect your kids owe you a living, what are you doing for them today to build that credit?

Respect is earned, never an entitlement and certainly not a given. As parents, you earn the respect of your children by respecting them. By spoiling your child and allowing them to wail for whatever they want is disrespectful to you. When you give in to their demands, you are not earning their respect – you are just goading their greed. When they eventually learn that you can be taken advantage of, they will forever disrespect you because you don’t even have respect for yourself by giving in to someone else’s demands. Let the child know who’s boss. This starts at a very young age. Once they know you’re the boss, they will seek protection, comfort and love from you because you have earned their respect. They will trust you. They will seek your counsel. They will love you unconditionally. However, this does not mean to rule by fear. Fear breeds hate. And hate breeds separation. The child must know that behind every tough decision is a reason of love.

It may seem archaic and middle ages. Sometimes other kids think that my kids are uncool. But then, it did raise the question of how come my family is so tight. The fact that people of all ages are asking the same question proves that being a tight family is cool and having family values rock. Even my children’s peers are saying that my kids have a cool family.

The lamest excuse any parent can have for not doing these things is that they have no time. But there’s always time for the iPad and smartphones. I see that all the time – families out having dinner and everyone is on some electronic device instead of sharing a conversation and enjoying quality family time. Some parents even go to the extent of distracting the little one with the iPad so that they are not bothered by the child’s whims or cries for attention.

It all starts when they are old enough to see. That’s right. From the moment the child opens its eyes, they see and learn. Parents set the way the child will grow and learn. Thus the way your child behaves is a direct reflection of who you are as a parent. The sad fact is that such parents won’t take responsibility for the way their child has become and blame everything and anything else under the sun for their ill fortune for having such an ill mannered and badly behaved child.

Raise your child properly. You can be the biggest recipient of their upbringing or the biggest loser when karma comes knocking.

Have a great weekend ahead and Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers. We wouldn’t be here without you.

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