I was abandoned by my parents when I was just an infant. They abandoned each other--and then abandoned me.
My paternal Grandmother raised me, for all intents and purposes. She had already raised 10 children of her own, and was caring for her invalid husband (my Grandfather). She should have been able to enjoy the "golden years." But alas, she wasn't afforded that opportunity.
I grew up in abject poverty: no designer gym shoes, $200 jeans, iPods, computers, or any of the other stuff that "teenagers" take for granted today. Most of the time I didn't even have the "essentials"--meaning more than two pairs of dress paints, and more than one pair of shoes--dress shoes, at that.
But I did have this:
I grew up learning good manners. Respect. Class.
I knew better then (and still to this day) than to "smart off" at an adult, for any reason. I knew that "Yes sir" "Yes ma'am" "Thank you" "Please" "You're Welcome" and all the other vocabulary in this seemingly foreign language were absolutes in our home, in our neighborhood, and in my life. There were no excuses for not using these phrases all the time.
Repercussions were swift and certain if I didn't use them.
Teachers in the public schools where I attended knew that my Grandmother was their absolute best ally---and I knew that too. I knew that I would never "live" to be a problem student, so it was out of the question at an early age....it never crossed my mind.
MY HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED!
It is a rare thing to find good manners in the current generation--and occasionally I do. These fine young people are sadly the exception--not the rule.
And really, I can't blame them. I can certainly blame their parents though.
This "travesty" on society can be approached from several viewpoints, but I'll tackle only one of them today: Parents, raise your children!
I personally have nothing against sports, extracurricular activities, and all the "stuff" that children and teenagers have today. What does bother me a great deal though is when these "things" are given to kids, teenagers as a poor substitute for good parenting.
Parents, your children deserve and must have your attention! You made the decision to take on the responsibility of being a parent. God gave you the blessing and honor being a parent, and now isn't it time to "honor God" by raising your children?
Don't let XBOX, video games, iPods, Cellphones, and all the "stuff" raise your children. That is your responsibility. "Smart mouths" can be corrected...and MUST be corrected. We called it "attitude adjustments" when I was growing up.
Sure, Senator Clinton was right: It does take a village. But that "village" must start in your living room, long before it ever starts in the public school classroom. It is not reasonable to expect school teachers to "raise" your children. And they shouldn't ever have to do your job.
The Church can certainly help you in this regard. But then again, the church can never be the "parent" for your children--even though many wonderful, godly people helped to raise me, and bless them for doing so.
I'm not coming down hard on anyone...but I want to see a far better generation than the ones I'm currently seeing.
Parents, raise your children.