Monday, June 14, 2010

It's all about honor

Here's a topic I haven't thought much on before, but after reading this article/blog, I'm going to give it a lot more thought. Lots of great quotes in that article too.

I've often had thoughts about how different it is to raise our kids today than it was when I was a kid. We as parents struggle with how to discipline our kids compared to how we were disciplined. When I was young my mother said on more than one occasion "Wait til your father gets home" and she wasn't the only one to use that phrase. It was so common across American households that they even had a TV show (cartoon) by that name. And in our case it was because dad was the designated disciplinarian.

I remember talking to a therapist about using spanking with my kids. She asked me if I wanted my kids to fear me. And at the time (and at other times) I thought, well, yeah, sometimes I do! It seems that most kids these days are missing that fear of mom & dad. I don't know about your kids, but mine certainly don't seem to have it! But she also added, that corporal punishment also leads to resentment and do I want my kids to resent me? Well, no, I don't want that. But at the same time, I don't resent my parents. They did their best with us and we turned out okay.

Alright, let me change direction as I don't want this to be a blog post about whether or not it's okay to spank your kids. I'm sure that argument/discussion can elicit the same amount of animosity/opinions as whether or not to vaccinate your kids!

Another reflection I've had is about how on television all Asian families are portrayed as being bound by honor. Honor of the family. Respecting and honoring elders, leaders, parents, etc. I really think this is the thing that is missing from American parenting. Now, I'm not going to lump all of American parenting into my own parenting, but lets just say it's missing from a strong majority (at least it's missing from the kids that end up being in the news for doing something wrong). I'm also not saying that Asian families have it all together - just that they tend to be portrayed that way on TV!

I do recognize that "Honor thy father and mother" (commandment #5) is what seems to be missing in my house. I acknowledge that we have not raised our kids to go to church every Sunday. We have our reasons so please don't let this start a blog post on the merits of church-going. However, I can see where this hole between Sunday School and corporal punishment has left my kids lacking in the understanding of honor.

I guess where I'm going with this is that I recognize that honor is not just a word, but it is a word that seems to be missing from dinner conversations in my home. Something that I plan to rectify right away. And with that, I'll leave you with a quote I skimmed from the article that got me started on this tangent...

“Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” ~Sophocles (Greek playwright)

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