November 12, 2011 4 Comments
“I’ve never told any of y’all this but I recorded every conversation y’all had.” He went on to say, “You are my children, this is my house, you were using my phone and it was my responsibility to know what you were doing and to protect you, “ he said and then he fell out laughing.
I just hung up the phone with Daddy – he’d held that all this time. He said, “What’s it been now Baby, over 20 years since you moved out? I figure I’d go ahead and tell you now,” as he cracks himself up laughing!
What was I doing as he shared this? I was laughing hysterically with him. Why? Because that is who my Daddy is and, while I didn’t know he was doing it, I’m not, at all surprised.
I’m always troubled, okay let me just tell the truth, PERTURBED by what I call “loosey-goosey ass parenting” – more concerned with being a child’s friend than their parent. As a parent there should be times when your child doesn’t like you, at all! Times when they want something really badly, but don’t have the wisdom to know how it won’t be to their advantage because they’re not developed enough to understand, but you; and when you refuse to bend because you care more about protecting them than being disliked (for a period of time) by them.
We repeatedly heard, “I don’t give a damn how you feel about what I’ve told you to do, just do it!” Daddy didn’t bite his tongue, and every threat he ever made he followed through on. We were very clear about where “the line” was with Daddy and we wouldn’t dare cross it!
Was it fear? YEP! A very healthy fear. Fear based on respect for the man who worked very hard to provide more than we needed, but never all that we wanted – balance is so key!
He never told any of us he loved us (while we were young) and we never doubted that he did because love is an action word. One that is not always about what you do for your children. It is also about what you won’t permit and allowing them to do.
Too many parents want to be the “cool parent” and they fail to discipline and establish/reinforce rules. Children will have a lifetime to develop friendships, but only a sliver of time to be parented and that’s sliver prepares them for a lifetime!
Every one of us has rules to follow in life, so should your children. And they should understand that, early!
Respect wasn’t something my parents had to ask for, and we were more reverent of them than we were afraid. When a child doesn’t learn to revere at home, they’ll not just grant that honor on anybody when they leave your house. A child know their loved when there’s boundaries, rules and discipline and when they get into the real world and see that the home prepared them to respect boundaries, follow rules and has given them the tools to then discipline themselves that’s when the appreciation kicks in.
No they don’t like it when it happens, but they love you more when they have points of reference later in life and that’s what parents are supposed to provide!
Daddy was always a step ahead of me and my siblings. Along with having the village who was quick to tell on us (even whip our tails if we really deserved it) he also had the recorded conversations which he kept downstairs in their bedroom out of clear view (and we wouldn’t DARE go through their things). So when we asked to go somewhere and told a story about where we were going and with whom, our recorded conversations would confirm our truth or reveal our lying asses and Daddy would permit us or deny us based on them.
No, he wasn’t invading my privacy. He was protecting me from my own stupidity and I love him all the more for that! He used the latest technologies to keep us safe. Parents today have far more tools available to them and I think they should use them…all of them!
Who knows how much of my youthful stupidity he protected me from? All I know is that his answer was “no” a lot more than it was “yes”, and he established with us early that “No” was a complete sentence.
So thank you, Daddy for using whatever means necessary to invade my privacy! Maybe if more parents would, they’d have less surprises about what their children are REALLY doing and can better guide them, and protect the rest of us.
Tell me what you think…do you think your underage children should have privacy – something in their lives that you should not know about?
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All the best,
Speaker, Individuality Advocate
Author of Living by Design and Living in Harmony