My son, Andy, proved easy to raise. He slept through the night from Day 1. The Terrible Two’s never materialized. Even as a teen, he never requested getting either a driver’s license or a cell phone. I finally insisted on both when he turned 19. (No, I did not have him locked in a closet all those years. He was easy.)
But about those Terrible Two’s, I do recall one near meltdown in a grocery store. I had been wheeling him in one of those carts, but he clearly wanted more freedom. Pushing the envelope of my patience, he was on a mission to give new horizons to the diagnosis of AD/HD. Now he wasn’t acting disrespectful; he was just antsy. Three or four times I warned him that we may need to divert to the men’s room where I could apply one of the more meaningful aspects of my parental responsibility – to his butt. He’d chill for a few minutes, but then he’d start up again.
Finally we arrived at the checkout line; a long checkout line. “Oh boy.” This only agitated Andy all the more. Now in our overly-permissive culture, I knew to be especially careful what not to do in public venues; I didn’t want child services showing up to drag Andy away – though on this day, I did consider it – kidding.
Finally it was our turn to stand before this 60-something-year old female clerk. She could tell I was frazzled; so I said to her in exasperation, “Would you mind if I spanked my son right here and right now?” Immediately she countered, “I was sure hoping you would.” Andy’s eyes widened as saucers, his young mind presuming – “Adult conspiracy!” He pled mercy.
Times are changing and one of the venues that has been hit hardest is the home. Since the beginning of recorded human history, children have known their place and role in it: they are the kids and they obey the parents. Today we’re seeing a disconcerting roles’ reversal.
Why not come this Father’s Day Sunday as we probe this culturally-delicate subject of, “Administering Discipline to Our Children?”