Defiance or determination or discipline?

My post today was prompted by reading Marilyn Armstrong’s post called Defiance or Determination.

Children seem so ill disciplined nowadays compared to my childhood, when my parents said no, they meant it and we knew it too. I am astounded at how rude some children can be but when you see a family out and they are sitting round a meal table all of them on their phones with no interaction between them, I’m not greatly surprised.

It will obviously never go back to the old days where six of the best with a slipper or a cane used to help concentrate the mind no end. Punishing children who don’t like school by excluding them from the very place they don’t want to be doesn’t seem like much of a punishment to me.

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It’s quite odd to me that when I was at school, we never had anyone with ADHD or autism no-one disrupted a lesson and we were so unbelievably well behaved compared to modern children.

I know from experience that you can give a child a full-strength fizzy pop style drink and they shoot of as if they have a rocket up their backside and take some considerable time to calm down, I have no idea if this has any bearing on ADHD. When I was at school, we had fizzy pop called Tizer it tasted horrible so we didn’t consume vast quantities of the stuff which may explain a lot.

In my day there were four basic categories of children at school, naturally clever, hardworking, not so clever and lazy, or permutations thereof.  For example, you could be clever and lazy which would place you about halfway in your class, or you could be not so clever but put in an enormous amount of hard work and come top of the class.

Surprisingly the main thing we all came out of school with was a decent education in the lessons of morals, ethics and good manners, most of which was taught (although we didn’t realise it at the time) in the Religious Education class with parables like the good Samaritan etc.

I can remember my parents saying to me, “never speak to a grown up until they first speak to you,” which when visitors arrived, we would dutifully wait to be spoken to before responding. You can’t imagine the youth of today behaving in such a fashion.

We try to educate our grandchildren in the correct ways but sometimes it feels a little like pushing water uphill, I wonder what on earth it will be like in a few more generations time, from the look of things sometimes I worry that some of the coming generations may damage their knuckles as they scrape along the ground.


About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother who had dementia, hence the lack of acting work but shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
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9 Responses to Defiance or determination or discipline?

  1. I know exactly where you’re coming from Joe. I wanted kids, but it wasn’t meant to happen, though when I got really broody and saw my two nieces who were absolute brats, it was the best contraceptive ever.
    People I worked with had obnoxious offspring, one designer conscious like her mother and sulked when she refused to pay £75 for a party frock, then forked out £400 for a disco for her 9th birthday (!!!), and another whose son was excluded from school more times than attending for biting the teacher, kicking the teacher, attacking the teacher with a chair and throwing said chair through a window. His dad wanted to give him a good hiding, his Mum wanted to adopt the soft touch, so to make the boy feel better they took him shopping for some computer games. Bad behaviour rewarded, and they wonder why they had problems.
    I tried to instill good manners and consideration for others in all the kids I cared for. It didn’t always work, but if they misbehaved, they were reprimanded. I always said I would be happy to take them anywhere with me, but they only had to let me down ONCE, and that would be it. One pushed his luck, and I kept my ‘promise’.

  2. Sadje says:

    We had a totally different upbringing.

  3. I think the constant busyness that starts with Wi-Fi and ends up with kids who can’t concentrate because they are “waiting for the screen to change” … well if that’s was the way they were raised, it’s no wonder they can’t sit still.

    I couldn’t sit still either, but mostly, I was bored. They were working on the third-grade reader in school and I was reading Moby Dick at home. Schools have yet to work out how to deal with dyslexia and dyscalculia — or how to find a way to keep a bright student from getting so frustrated they don’t want to go to school at all. When you get a combination of these — a dyslexic child who is also very smart — teachers don’t know what to do.

    They don’t seem to teach the teachers how to cope with children who don’t act the way they are “supposed” to behave. My mother was always at school battling with them to give me more interesting work to do. She was semi-successful and those were the days of small classes. Now? A bright child whose parents can’t afford a private school can wind up with a bit of a monster child. Boredom turns quickly to anger in kids.

    And they STILL don’t know how to teach dyslexic kids!

  4. I read two articles in the past few days that fit perfectly with this post. The first was that a father had been prosecuted and sentenced for smacking his daughter and leaving a red handprint on her bottom (which reportedly soon disappeared – the handprint, not her bottom). The second was a report that 40% of teachers said they wished to leave the profession because they had been assaulted by a pupil. I despair, and am truly thankful that I will never have grandchildren!

    • It’s quite extraordinary how many young people seem to blog about being anxious and having no self esteem, with all the things and means of enjoyment you would have thought this generation should be one of the happiest.

      • Joni says:

        That’s always been a puzzle to me too. I can’t remember in my entire school years anyone ever been anxious or depressed or suicidal or unhappy. We were a hopeful lot optimistic for the future. Kids have so much today, every whim and wish satisfied, that they seem to lack coping skills when life inevitably throws them for a loop.

      • I find it hard to understand too.

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