The LOOK

Glaring

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. 

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Did either or both of your parents have THE LOOK?  You know there would be no more words if your behavior didn’t improve. You knew the next step would make it uncomfortable for you to sit. If you had any brains at all, you didn’t push that line.  It just wasn’t worth it.

angry-father-scolding-his-son-fmexyc

I got that silent glare on more than a few occasions. Not from Mom. She tended to just look sad or disappointed unless she was truly furious, and then her whole face changed. But my dad?  Yeah, the face didn’t change so much; just his eyes–and the set of his jaw.

My husband can do the same things.  With just a look, the offending child would know that he was only seconds away from doom.  And my kids have told me, as has my husband, that my eyes go smoky when I’m angry. Huh.  Smoky eyes?  I’ve never really understood that, and of course I’m not usually angry when I’m looking in a mirror 🙂

I like the photo above. We need more of that–a stern father making it clear to his kid that the nonsense had better stop.  Too often, these days, it seems to me that it’s the kid who is telling the parent how it’s going to be.

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I can’t even imagine looking at either of my parents like this little princess, obviously  mouthing off and not looking cute at all. None of my own kids tried that one on me, either. You deal with this kind of attitude before they’re two years old, and you won’t have to deal with it later.

I will acknowledge that parenting can be a real trial, but being persistent, consistent and in charge, tempered with a lot of love, pays off in huge dividends. I’m always startled when a parent says something like, “Well, I don’t know–I’ll have to check with my kids and see if they have a problem with our being away that night.”

What?  REALLY?  You have to ask your kids’ permission to go out without them? Make sure they don’t mind? Yikes.

Someone said, long ago, that  American children have the most obedient parents in the world. I sure hope that’s not true.  I don’t remember who said it, or if they had any authority to say it. Whatever the case, that person clearly saw a shift in power from the parents to the children. Sad.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glaring/

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13 thoughts on “The LOOK

  1. Very nice! I think that it is the ongoing bad conscience of the parents in our time. Too little time for the children, too little patience, too little sympathy. The bad conscience makes us weak and we give in with everything. Children are looking for limits. If these have never been set, the chaos is pre-programmed. However, once the rules are set and trust is established, they no longer need any limits, then they are ready to live by themselves.

      1. thank you granonine, Many things in the upbringing and togetherness of children and parents are not so difficult to understand, we have only to watch ! (ourselves and others). Respect and love. it does not really need any more, or?

  2. Good points, Linda. My dad never got “the look”; I just got “the smack.” A bit too far into the other ditch maybe, but no sass allowed.

    Reading the comments, it seems interesting that parents have such guilty consciences now when we (generally) have the most leisure time ever. With the exception, perhaps, of homestead grain farmers who had hours in the winter shut up indoors. If there was livestock and water to haul, there was always work.

    If you read accounts from 100 years ago a lot of parents had to work long hours almost every day to put bread on the table. Their children worked, too, as much as they could, and the free ride ended at twelve for sure; in some countries children 6-7-8 were/are working in factories. Children (under 18) in our society today have to do the least amount of work that kids ever had to do and have the most money to spend kids have ever had.

    On one hand I think parents in our society have been brainwashed into feeling that we owe our children so much. On the other hand — contributing to the guilt maybe — almost all kids when I was young were part of a standard family and had a mom at home. I didn’t, but I was the exception among my friends. Working moms have a lot to juggle and that’s apt to generate guilt; it also makes a mom too exhausted at times to ‘put her foot down’ and keep it there when children are allowed to argue. (Back to the initial thought. 🙂 )

    1. Oh, I see, these are good arguments! 100 years ago, there was no choice…everybody had to fight for living…and familys were big…grandparants were living with the family…..we want to have a “better” life for our children. But we do not recognize, that the better live is to help each other, to organise together…for a mum it is always easier to make everything by herself ( its faster and maybe better)….but children should learn. And it is a pleasure to see, that they can cook, they can use the washingmaschine…etc….and yes, mums are often to tired to `”put their foot down”…I´m always very helpless, when they start argueing…this is not good, but at least they love me and stop when they see that they are hurting me…..

      1. oh, I do not know, if I have this look? Nobody told me yet. I know, that I can smile and laugh a lot if I do not have to think. If I worry or think to much, I know, that I never have a nice face, even if I feel happy…

    2. I believe that when the psychology books on rearing children too the place of the Bible, we saw a dramatic increase in insecure parents and tyrannical children. But then I’m old-fashioned.

      1. I read one time that Dr Spock, towards the end of his life, seeing the changes his counsel on child training had wrought, said something to the effect, “I’m responsible for the raising of a whole generation of spoiled brats.”
        “There is a way that seemeth right to a man…”

      2. Yes, I’ve heard that too. Shame it couldn’t have come in time to save our society from a plethora of books and child psychologists who adopted his methods.

  3. It’s complicated. I agree we feel guilty when our kids struggle due to conditions of our adult lives, and we often overcompensate. As a single mom working split shifts as a telephone operator, I bought our clothes at a thrift store and got help from our church. When I had money later on, I gave it gladly but doing so didn’t prevent awful mistakes and heartache. We all do the best we know how to do. Our parents did the same. Unless we’re caught in a transgenerational cycle of abuse or neglect, we gave our kids our best, imperfect though it was. Somewhere in scripture it says, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” It’s the part in between that is so hard. As much as we love them, we can’t protect them from all life’s hard knocks. As I tell parents who agonize over their adult kids and their legal missteps, financial irresponsibility, alcohol/drug abuse, and/or unhealthy relationships, at some point, they have to suffer the consequences of their bad decisions, the only way we all learn in the end. Bailing them out with well-meaning enabling isn’t the answer. Loving them no matter what, and knowing they have their own karma and their own path is.

    1. Thanks for you input, Sunny. That verse is Proverbs 22:6. I had a pastor year ago who was asked why this woman’s child had turned his back on God, in spite of her efforts to rear him biblically. I thought his response was wise. He said that the verse is a proverb, not a promise; in the sense of, for instance, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” It’s a proverb that may not come true for every single person. However, because that verse in Proverbs is inspired by the Holy Spirit, we can trust it more than anything man can say. And the truth is, people who seem to turn their backs on God may return later in life. There is also the possibility that the person was never truly a believer to begin with.

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