Yesterday while talking on the phone to Cindi, who is mere days away from having everything she owns be packed into a truck and moved to another part of town - and you can so hear the impending doom of a Gargantuan Deadline in her voice - I overheard something that got me thinking. In spite of the fact that she's this close to such a move, she still had what sounded like a houseful of children to be responsible for. (Made me wish, even more than usual, that I weren't so many hundreds of miles away; that's when you need your childhood friends helping you.) By the end of the overheard exchange, she'd required everyone except for her own two children to vacate the house. Can't have children bopping each other in the head when you're trying to pack up your house.
Daughter was lamenting the departure of her friends and the sudden end to their fun, and Cindi said, "Well, there are consequences to making bad choices."
I commented on the statement - have heard her say something along those lines before, but I don't recall ever having heard any adults in my childhood say such. In those days, parenting was handled much more in the vein of "I'm the parent and you're the child and you'll do as I say."
She laughed and admitted she doesn't even think about such a remark anymore. "It's a very 2006 parenting comment." Then she paused and said, "Actually, it's a very 2003-2004 era parenting kind of comment."
I think it's great that children are being taught about the consequences of their actions in such a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner. I know other people who have children (more and more, these days,) and I hear them interact with their offspring in much more direct, conversational ways than those to which I've been accustomed. It reminds me, even more, that these children are Little People who are going to grow up and run the world someday.
Makes me think something else, too. If "That's so 2006," what else are children learning from their caregivers that I've overlooked in the years since I was a nanny and regular babysitter? With a couple of days a week of gloriously, deliciously exciting promise of regular time with Mr. Pie, beginning near the end of the summer, maybe I'd better pick up a book or two myself! (No doubt sis has something to start me off, in her growing library...)
And I thought by not having children, I'd be able to smoothly bypass these kinds of concerns. Hmph.
It occurs to me that both of my parents are going to read this. Mom, Dad...I'm not saying you were bad parents. You were lovely parents. Amazing parents, even. And no doubt you DID talk to us about consequences. I'm talking about a different sort of, hm....delivery. It was ALL the parents in the 70's, not just you, who delivered messages differently than now. Just thought I'd be a little more clear.