Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Old Sayings Anathema to the Modern Child

1. "Children should be seen and not heard."

This idiom rose to popularity during the Victorian era, and I think it’s high time we bring it back. Because let’s face it, today’s children (mine included) are most definitely both seen and heard. Loudly. Truly, modern-day children are permitted to be louder than a goddamn monster truck rally, and are catered to and coddled on every imaginable level. In addition to being both seen and heard, they are also fitted with helmets for one in three physical activities; placed in expensive test prep courses; and encouraged to share their “feelings” with anyone who will honor their sense of entitlement to pretty much anything in life. They’re still pretty cute though, especially when playing quietly or sleeping. Hence this phrase rocks, and it needs a renaissance.

2. "Do as I say, not as I do."

This is what I tell my kids when they catch me inhaling Costco chocolate chips by the handful for dinner, and/or drinking a Diet Pepsi and Bacardi instead of water, or when they hear me cursing like a sailor. I am way into this saying. It lets me get away with being a complete and total hypocrite while modeling poor habits for my children that they can carry with them into adulthood. Also, it teaches a fundamental human truth that it would behoove them to learn and accept sooner rather than later: life isn’t fair, and some people get away with doing whatever the fuck they want while others have to do whatever they're told.

3. "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

This phrase originates from the Bible and is regularly invoked by religious wing-a-ding-a-ling-nuts looking to justify beating the shit out of their kids for stealing a gumdrop, and similar infractions. I’m not saying all kids who are spared the rod end up perfect, obviously. But the common denominator for most felons, psychopaths, and other social pariahs is that they generally were NOT spared the rod, and usually not “spoiled” in the sense intended by this saying, or at least not as a direct consequence of rod-sparing. Personally, I say we leave this one in the past where it belongs.

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