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Raising Children With Old School Values

Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!


The world of child rearing has changed

If you go back twenty, thirty or more years, back to the good old days where things were less electronic and we live a life that was much more personal. Families always shared dinner together, elders were people to cherish and learn from and respect was something that you had to earn. Back in a time when children would wear hand-me-down clothes from their older siblings... to where family always came first and 'brand names' were not the as important as staying warm.

The world has changed more for this generation of children then any other before, in the last decade. With cell phones, flat screen televisions and computers everywhere, this generation is overwhelmed by screens invading every space. Children no longer get up at the crack of dawn to get the chores done before they walk themselves to school. They have more freedom of personal expression and a voice that gets heard on multiple levels.

Some of the changes have been good and made life drastically easier around the world. Like in the in the awareness and supports for parents raising children. Yet, somehow, we have lost some of those 'old school' values and lessons that taught respect and grounding.



Old School Values

That would benefit the children of today

Children today are primarily well adjusted individuals in society. If we take a step back in time, we would see a lot of similarities in how children were raised then verses now.

Comparing the 'good 'ol days' to 'here and now' we will find that there have been some advances and some steps that we have taken backwards.

Some of the very important, old school values that parents instilled in their children, back in the day, included:

  • Simple manners: Please, thank you and I'm sorry, could have easily been included in the most common words children used
  • Eye contact: Ever notice that eye contact seems to be optional in this day and age? Back in the 'good old days' eye contact was considered a respect thing that was a must
  • Table manners: No elbows on the table, sitting up straight, chew with your mouth closed and eat what is in front of you...
  • Listening and being attentive: To the person who is speaking to you, with out interrupting or checking your text messages!
  • Respect for your elders: Very to the point
  • Speak when spoken to: Do not encore the people speaking to you and do not (inappropriately) interrupt a conversation

These are just a few things that children of yesterday used to be experts on! Today though? How often do you see children breaching these simple common sense core values in everyday life? Try as we might as parents in this very busy world, some of these things are no longer golden rules to abide by. Maybe we are too busy, or perhaps the world has just changed so much that these things no longer have the same weight of importance that they once did.

  1. Ring around the rosy: It brought children together in a fully encompassed, hands on play
  2. Kick the can: It was what soccer is now
  3. Double Dutch: This is one that we can still find children playing from time to time... But back in the day it was a passion that was creative, and the talent at which the children executed those ropes and jumps were amazing!
  4. Hand clap: This was a huge pass-time for many girls (and a few boys) where two or more children would get together and sing a song and use their hands in different motions and claps to make or follow the beat
  5. Hula Hooping: Need I say more... we have all heard of it and indulged in some swirls of the plastic hoop!

Kids could benefit from an afternoon of 'retro activity', to give them a taste of how much 'quality' we used to have, with out electronics, where we actually interacted (face to face) with our peers.

Duble dutch songs - To bring back memories of the good old days


5 Forms of Old School Discipline - That I remember from my childhood

  1. Standing: (yes standing) in a corner with your nose in it! Ah the memories my nose could share with my corner. This was the catch all punishment. By the time I was done in the corner my legs would be tired, my mind bored and I would do anything not to get back there!
  2. The belt: This is now considered child abuse (with good cause) - personally I am glad that this practice is now abolished
  3. Soap in the mouth: Back in the day of my childhood, this was used for back talk, sassy mouth or saying the slightest curse word, and let me tell you... NO SOAP TASTES GOOD!
  4. Being sent to a room: This punishment for me was the worst! If by chance I ever got caught bickering with another family member, we were both sent into a room together and were not permitted to leave the said room until we could get along! Really?! Grrr!! Most of the time we would come out madder then heck at each other, but no one else could tell because we learned how to control our negative emotions
  5. Getting sent to bed with no dinner: Complain at the dinner table? One chance then you were done, gone and hungry into your room for the entire night! It took me a few years of lessons to learn to eat what was put in front of me. FYI, just to confirm, you don't die of starvation for missing dinner, you just really excited to eat breakfast, no matter what was on the plate!

Children's toys from generations before are still available to enjoy

Video games, computers, cell phones and I-Pods have literally taken over this generation... remember good old games that didn't beep, buzz and had you interacting with the people who you were playing them with?? It was about spending real quality time with the people you were with in the flesh! Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys, remember those? I will admit: I am still a Tinker Toy fan after over three decades!

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But what about the other 'old school' games? Double Dutch, hopscotch and tag? Though not as popular in the life of today's youth, you can still hear the laughter of children as they get down and sweaty with the games of our youth...


The value of stepping back in time

When raising your children

If we could push a pause button on the world today, take a moment and reevaluate on how we parent, perhaps we wouldn't change much. But, on the other hand, maybe there are some things that we could do that would help our children become better members of society. Compassionate, thoughtful people who would want to lend a hand to their family, friends and neighbors -- without expecting to get reimbursed for their kind deed.

The core of parenting is still the same. We love our children and attempt to raise them to be good people. As long as we install the lesson that for every action there will be a reaction, good or bad, and teach them how to deal with the situations that they may find themselves in... We are on the right track. Mixing a little of then, in with the now, will surely create a generation of well adjusted children that will be the adults of tomorrow.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2014 Lou Cannon

Please share a child rearing tip

soniabaad lm on May 30, 2014:

A child should be taught to respect their elders in the first place. And most importantly I don't think we should pamper them with every luxury when they are kid as they should know what the sweat is. It will help them to become stronger and face the life tantrums easily.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 29, 2014:

I love your last photo. She looks so sweet in the garden. Yep I remember the eat everything on your plate. I hated that rule because I was very fussy as a kid and am still very fussy as an adult. The only thing that punishment taught me was to give my own daughter smaller portions. Wonderful advice and memories you have offered.

jen09 writes on May 26, 2014:

This is great. As a mom of two little ones I hope to instill the values that used to be considered normal. Unfortunately it is difficult to truly parent your children as nearly everything taught at home is reversed the moment they enter the classroom.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on May 26, 2014:

Love this article. Oh if only we could go back to the old days, where children were polite, never yelled back at you if they couldn't get their own way, so many more things I could say, but that will do for now, these days children have control of their parents, not the other way round, which isn't good for anyone.

georgepmoola2 on May 26, 2014:

There is no substitute for good manners. Too many thoughtless oiks around these days.

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on May 26, 2014:

Enjoyed reading this. Great idea to share too. Hopefully parents find a balance today that teaches what we think of as common courtesy and thoughtfulness.

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