After nineteen years, one of the reasons why me and my wife went out seperate ways, was we differed as to how our boys were going to be raised. Her idea was to raise two spoiled "mama's boys," and my idea was to raise two boys with a work-ethic. Neither one of us would give in and tug-of-war ended in divorce.
Over the long nimeteen ykear period, the problem was not with the handling of the boy. The problem was with my ex-wife. From day one, she did everything for them...clean their rooms, pick up after them, etc. If I assigned the boys a chore, she did it for them...if she could get away with it! We were never on the same page on this issue, and I knew if this continued on, this was not going to work!
Because of my ex-wife, the boys were being brought up to be lazy...spoiled brats...and of course they enjoyed it. If this continued, the boys were going to have trouble in school, getting a job later, and their self-esteem and confidence would suffer. For all those years, we butted heads as to what the boys did and didn't do and it all came crashing down in divorce.
Putting it in simple terms...my wife was a softy...a push-over! Not only would the boys take advantage of her, but people at her work place; family members and neighbors around the block. She was a door-matt, as everybody would wald all over her! Over the years, I tried to change her, but I couldn't. One of the toughest words in the dictionary to say is the word, "NO!" And, Wendy didn't have the ability to say NO to anyone. She tried to be "everything" to everybody...and she or nobody else can do that. There has to be a line drawn in the sand for everything. An example follows.
I pulled into the friveway one day, and over near the front door, Jason (4 years old), was having a panic attaci! Red-faced and screaming at the top of his lungs, throwing a temper-tantrum! He had the front door propped open, and he was throwing num-balls and other trash into the living room! Apparantely, things were not going his way on the day. Mud-balls and other debris were scattered all over the living room carpet by this brat. As you might imagne, I was furious!
Where was Wendy in all of this? In the back of the house someplace. I called her to the living room and told her that this mess had to be cleaned up, and what did she do? Instead of telling Jason to clean it up, she scurried to get the vacuum cleaner to clean it upo herself! This made me more mad! I was not surprised, as she could never confront the boyus in anything because she would get yelled at! I quickly took the vacum cleaner from her and told her that Jason was going to clean up the mess HE made!
I sent Jason back to his room where he had a mini-broom and a mini-dust pan, and put him to work. At four years old, Jason began the clean up. Little by little, he cleaned up most of the mess he created. I got the vacuum cleaner for him, and he pushed it around for a while, and sent him to his room.
I Refused to Raise Two "Mama's Boys!
Before I met Wendy, she bought a new house and I'll give the reader an ida what happens when there is little or no discipline in the household and two kids running wild! Within six months of the purchase of the house were the following: all the screens were missing from all the windows; the fronto door was hinging from it hinges; a deep baseball imprint was on one of the living room walls; the back and front light fixtures were broken and wires dangling; sheet rock in the garage was punched in with a hammer; paint was spilled on the garage floor and left to dry...and on and on and on! All of this from a three and five year old! (These two kids were from a previous marriage for her). These two kids were tearing the place apart! After Wendy and I tied the knot, all this bad behavior by the boys came to a stop!
I come from a large family of ten kids...five boys and five girls, and obviously my parents had their hands full. Especially my mother, who was a stay-at-home mom. My mother was a disciplinarian, and she had a black belt to prove it...literally. My father made her a black leather belt at his job and she used it when she had to. When my mother spoke...us kids listened and obeyed
A person doesn't have to spank a child to discipline that child, in my view. In the nineteen years Wendy and I were together, I never laid a hand on those boys...I didn't didn't have to. My policy around the house was as follows: Everyone in the household messes up the house, and everyone cleans it up...no exceptions! With a zero tolerance...everyone picks up after themselves...period!
Parents who spoil their kids, will pay for it later, in my view. When I joined the Air Force, I went to Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio for boot camp. About a week after I arrived, about six recruits had been sent home. Why? The U.S. Air Force in not a baby-sitting service. And, I found out later from one of the T.I.'s, that the recruits were sent home because the Air Force doesn't take spoiled brats or mama's boys! What was going to happen to these "boys," was that the Army would take them, and they would soon get a "greetings" from the Army, where the Army would take the "spoiled brat" out of them, which the parents should have done! So, a parent does an injustice to a boy OR a girl when they spoil them.
There isn't a woman in this world, who wants a "spoiled brat" for a husband. Today, (2006), husbands don't help their wives like they should. And, those husbands are not "mama's boys," they're just plain lazy! They don't want to do what they call, "woman's work," and later in the marriage, the wives can and do make their husbands into spoiled brats, and the wives pay for it later, by not standing up to him, etc. (Ever wonder why the divorce rate is so high?)
Prisons all across the nation, are filled with the lazy; mama's boys and girls; the irresponsible; people who are not accountible to anyone; dis-respectful of others and property; no integrity or values and who is responsible for all this bad behavior? THE PARENTS WHO HAVE FAILED IN RASING THEIR KIDS! They didn't teach their kids a work ethic; they spoiled them; no discipline...all added up to one of their children being in prison!
After nineteen years of a tug-of-war with Wendy, I was pleased with the way the boys turned out. I made them help me though every project I did around the house. Putting up a fence; laying floor tile; putting up wall paper; doing brick work; dump runs; shoveling over 40 tons of gravel (when they were teens) and they learned to get a few blisters on their hands! I was pleased that they both went on to graduate from high school...and they went on the graduate from colleg as well. Jason in the medical field and Kevin in criminology.
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I'm reminded of an experience that I had while driving down the road one time. The car sputtered and died while I was driving and I had to pull over. After 30 minutetrying to get the car started, I finally had to call the auto club and get help.
When the tow truck arrived, the driver got out of the truck, and out of the passenger side, came a little boy about 10-12 years old. I guess the boy was riding around with his father to keep him company. Boy, was I wrong! Without a word from his father, that little boy came around the back of the tow truck and started working. Throwing chains off the two truck; going from side to side around the car and lining things up; and putting chains around the frame of the car! This year old kid was rigging everything up to my car. I was amazed!
Hw was pulling a lever here and a button over there, and when he finished the hook-up, the father inspected everything the boy had done, and the little boy pulled a lever on the truck and the car raised up where he wanted it! I was standing there, with my mouth opened watching this kid do his thing. When everything was finalized with the car, we all got into the two truck, with the little boy sitting between us.
Peering from under a big baseball cap, I gave the little boy praise he deserved and he was enjoying it. I asked the father if his son helped aroujnd the house and he said, "Sure, all the time." The father wasteaching his lottle boy a work ethic and not to be lazy, and how to be responsible at a young age and I can't tell you how impressed I was.
And, this is waht I wanted for Kevin and Jason. Not to drive a two truck of course, but to have the work theic that this little boy had. And, Kevin and Jason DID have that work ethic I was looking for. Along with Kevin and Jason and the litle boy in the two truck...I'm sorry...but I don't see any "mama's boys," around here!
"When asked if my cup is half full or half empty...my only response is that I am thankful that I have a cup." Sam Lefkowitz
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Copyright; Jerry Aragon; 2007
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