One of the Furlong daughters has been over from Africa. As I write she is sitting at Dubai, waiting for her connection to fly “home”. While she was here, the Furlong family did a lot of reminiscing.
Our kids were brought up poor – because we were poor.
Our kids were brought up with old-fashioned discipline – without the “naughty corner” abuse that happens today. I shouted a lot, and smacked them occasionally, and counted off time till punishment if they did not comply, with “One, two, two-and-a quarter, two-and-a-half, two-and three-quarters” at which point, discipline was achieved, and they also learned fractions!
We had strict “grown-up” time at night, when all children had to be in bed, or in their rooms, so that the grown-ups could nurture themselves too. Or, if we had visitors, the Furlong children might be told to scat if they couldn’t be quiet or respectful.
The Furlong children had no place in our house that was a “naughty corner” and their bedrooms weren’t a place of punishment,
Sometimes, especially as our kids got older, we had family meetings around the old dining table where dissatisfactions were expressed and explanations given as to who did what, when, why to who, and reasons, hurts and offenses were thrashed out. Or big family decisions made.
We were not perfect parents. I regret a lot of what I did, and the way we handled things. But in this modern-day, to me, grown-ups and parents, seem to always be in their own “naughty corner” for not treating children in the required fashion offered by the current experts in child rearing. Parents nowadays seem to be walking on eggs. Frightened to be seen to be doing the wrong things. And certainly nothing physical. Dads even fear to hug their daughters.
The current child abuse methods of time out, naughty corners and bedroom exile – and even distraction methods are still manipulation and bullying.
I don’t see them as any better – parents have used those methods under different names, not formally, since time began – they did their best – with confidence that their children were under their jurisdiction alone.
Today’s children seem feral. Or maybe I’m just getting old.
I think OUR children were well-behaved, and basically as happy as was possible in the circumstances we all found ourselves in. When we took them out, we were proud of them – all five of them – because they had good table manners and communication skills. And we weren’t frightened of them – “no” meant “no”.
The Furlong kids turned out well. We are still proud.
Note – The Furlong “kids” are now middle-aged, or getting there, with children of their own – but, to us, they are still “the kids”.