We raised our children with rules to follow. Standards. Expectations of how they conducted themselves. Don’t lie (thieves lie so if you’ll lie you might steal). Don’t spit (it’s gross)! Don’t date until you’re sixteen (sons and daughters). Simple don’ts.
I caught several of them in lies over their preteen and teen years. Things like “I’m going to So-and-so’s house”, but I catch you walking on the other side of town with Whose-dat. Or “Did you guys clean the kitchen and the living room?” “Oh yeah Mom. It’s been done”. Lies. Fuckin’ lies. With my key in the door, I could hear them scrambling to put my house back together again.
They proved to me that liars tend to steal too. Now I didn’t raise no outright thieves or nothing, but they definitely took candy money out of my change jar. The dollar bills always remained, but quarters and dimes sure came up missing. 😂 The funny in that is that organized pilfering was the whole point of the jar!! It’s where I’d send them for ice cream truck money, last minute field trip money, and a little teenage gas money (you can’t get too far on $3 worth of change when a gallon costs $4 🤔🤣). I’ve come to realize that telling kids “don’t” translates to “do” in their ears. That doesn’t mean don’t say “don’t”. It means be prepared for when they “do” the “don’t”. Telling boys not to spit is equivalent to saying “don’t piss on the toilet seat”. There’s always slip ups and spit drips. I remember very clearly watching my Hubby watch the boys see who could make their loogie hang the closest to the ground and then slurp it up. 🤢 GROSS!!!!!! I married their nasty-ass ring leader 🤦🏽♀️
So you can image how the “don’t date until you’re sixteen” thing worked out. I will say that 4 out of 6 were obedient. The two that didn’t now admit that they emotionally scarred themselves forever. (WHICH IS WHY IT WAS AGAINST THE RULES!!) Now they understand that we were trying to protect their mental and emotional health, as well as physical. Especially our sons. Girls are so wishy washy and fickle that young men can be drug on an emotional roller coaster, put through the love ringer, and then hung out to dry (and get no sympathy for the severity of their heartbreak).
Men and women are fed lies that men do not feel love to the same depth and capacity as women. I call bullshit!!! That lie robs them of genuine experiences, because partners can be callous to their vulnerability. It was easier getting our daughter to stick with the rule, since it socially acceptable for parents to restrict the social lives of girls. Dating rules are not equally applied to boys, but they need the same parental protection.
Rules. Rules. Rules. Standards is what I call them. I know that my kids didn’t always obey them. They tested every barrier to see if it was sturdy. They never went far past the fence. I know as adults they will understand why those rules were there and appreciate parents that provided boundaries and buffers.
Now I get to sit back at laugh when my grandkids break their rules! ✔️👸🏽