BOOMERBROADcast

Baby Boomer's social commentary on life in OUR sixties for those who rocked life in THE sixties.

Ooooh boy – back in my day . . .

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The differences in parenting styles between how we Boomers were raised back in the olden days and the approaches TVby today’s young parents always makes for lively conversation. I can’t believe we’re actually saying things like, “Back when we were young,” but it truly is so very very different from today. I won’t detail all those differences here as most of us are now grandparents and first-hand witnesses to the contrasts.

Surely we were as precocious and entertaining as kids today are. We must have said cute things, dazzled our parents with our intelligence and impressed everyone with our accomplishments. But I don’t seem to remember any kind of recognition or acknowledgement of these behaviours. While our parents surely noticed, we were not encouraged to promote ourselves. That would be showing off and that was just not an acceptable behaviour. Self-esteem and recognition were simply not part of our vocabulary.

I was reminded of this while reading David Sedaris’ latest book, #Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. He wrote the following paragraphs in response to seeing a young boy outside a store defacing a federal mail box with marker pens. A by-stander held the boy until the parents came out of the store and instead of disciplining him for his bad behaviour, the parents verbally attacked the bystander for touching their child.  Sedaris was understandably appalled and described his own experience growing up in a family of six kids:

“I don’t know how these couples do it, spend hours each night tucking their kids in, reading them books about misguided kittens or seals who wear uniforms, then rereading them if the child so orders. In my house, our parents put us to bed with two simple words: “Shut up.” That was always the last thing we heard before our lights were turned off. Our artwork did not hang on the refrigerator or anywhere near it, because our parents recognized it for what it was: crap. They did not live in a child’s house, we lived in theirs.

Neither were we allowed to choose what we ate. I have a friend whose seven-year-old will only consider something if it’s white. Had I tried that, my parents would have said, “You’re on,” and served me a bowl of paste, followed by joint compound, and, maybe if I was good, some semen. They weren’t considered strict by any means. They weren’t abusive. The rules were just different back then, especially in regard to corporal punishment. Not only could you hit your own children, but you could also hit other people’s.” 

While hitting children is obviously wrong, we still must ask, are our expectations of kids today wrong? Our generation hasn’t been a total screw-up. There’s a lot of talk about what will become of the designer geargeneration being raised in this age of entitlement where no one ever loses, no one is second-best, and anyone can become Prime Minister or President. Dealing with failure and disappointment are part of growing up and learning to cope with life. The sun does not rise and set on each of us alone. We’re part of a complex society that is not always fair or easy and the sooner we learn to cope with that the stronger we’ll be. Our parents did some things right. And for that we are very thankful.

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Author: Lynda Davis

As an early Baby Boomer, born in 1947, it seems to me that as we approach our retirement years, Boomers have gone from being the energy driving our nation to slowly becoming invisible. We risk losing our identity as society remains stubbornly youth-centric. And the irony is that Gen Xers and Ys are not the majority; we are. BOOMERBROADcast is my platform for being the voice of Baby Boomers, women in particular. We've generated a lot of changes over the decades but there's still a long way to go. After a 40-year career in the corporate world, I've taken up expressing the observations and concerns of our generation. Instead of pounding the pavement in my bellbottoms with a cardboard sign, I'm pounding my laptop (I learned to type on a manual typewriter and old habits die hard). If you have issues or concerns you would like voiced or have comments on what I've voiced, I'd love to hear from you. We started breaking the rules in the sixties and now that we're in our sixties it's no time to become complacent. Hope you'll stay tuned and if you like BOOMERBROADcast, share it with your friends. Let's rock n' roll! If you would like to be notified whenever I publish a new posting, click on the little blue box in the lower right of your screen that says +Follow→ Lynda Davis

2 thoughts on “Ooooh boy – back in my day . . .

  1. White food…..bowl of semen……are you kidding…..that sounds like something Rob Ford would say….ha! ha! Is this a typing error or are you just testing to see if we are reading your blog!!!

    Gail

    Sent from Windows Mail

    Like

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