Yesterday’s children and the family pets

Published 11:48 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

There have been some discussions lately about how the guidance and teaching of modern day children has changed over the years. Some say the children now do whatever they want to and have very little correction by their parents. Some of that may be so, because some pseudo-intellectual a few years back had written that if you corrected your child it would make him or her lose confidence in themselves. It’s a wonder how children were raised years ago with a lot of correction (for several hundred years), and our country continued to grow and children grew up as responsible adults.

In our early years of the 1930’s and 40’s we certainly were corrected if we did something wrong, and not being corrected may be why today’s youngsters do wrong and not know it. Our mother kept a switch pretty handy at all times, and we would get the warning, “That’s one time,” and later, “That’s two times,” and it usually didn’t get much higher than that when along came the switch and some do’s and don’ts. We did learn in our really young years that we had to behave or else, and so did most of our friends.

Some of the school teachers cannot punish the children today, and that makes a hard job even worse. Back in our school years the teachers certainly did spank anyone not behaving, and the high school principal even had a big paddle on the wall in his office that had written on the paddle, “Board of Education.”

That would irritate a lot of people today, but it kept things under control, and it was in a time that it didn’t matter if everyone liked it or not, it was the rules of the day. Some of our classes had 30 to 40 students as members, and learning was what we were there for, and we all did the best we could to learn the subject and had a lot of respect for the teacher and behaved because of that respect.

Another aspect of the correction or spanking at school was that when we got home we got another big whipping. Lately we hear if a child is corrected at school the parents make a hasty trip to the school to criticize the teacher, a big change from our early years. Some children are treated too harshly at home nowadays, and it comes close to being abuse, which is worse. Times were a lot worse in our early years. Money was scarce, jobs were hard to find and the parents did the best they could with hand me downs and the like.

Only one boy in our elementary school had a bicycle, and it was a good time when he let someone else ride it. When we were in high school one student had a motorcycle he would ride around the streets circling the school but not on the school grounds, maybe it was off limits. We did all grow up, went through school, and learned to get along within the rules of the day and prepare for a job.

The family pets were and are a different story from the children. Living on a farm we always had several dogs, one big old dog of unknown breed was called a hog dog and was used to catch hogs. Two Red Bone hounds lived a long time, and their joy was to chase rabbits, sometimes into the night.

Back then dogs and cats lived outside and were not allowed inside the home. Most houses in those days were built with a wood floor and were situated 2 or 3 feet above the ground level. This made a good place for the dogs to stay while the cats usually stayed in the barn. If it got really cold the dogs would move out to the barn with the cats.

Now on television you see a lot of ladies holding all kinds of different dogs up close to them and are often seen kissing the dogs and cats. That would have never happened in our young years, and can you imagine allowing a pot bellied pig inside the house, not in our house.

How may it be the Lord helped us through hard times and still is a blessing to us all.