I was raised in a home with boundaries. As a child in my mother’s home, I learned what was acceptable behavior and which behaviors/actions would result in either a punishment, a whipping or both. In so many words, Mama laid down the law, she, and Daddy, set the tone.
I was an adult before I began to appreciate and understand that those rules and regulations provided the solid foundation for my life. As a child though, I thought my parents had too many rules, where too rigid and closed minded in their ways.
The rules and regulations didn’t have assigned numerations nor were they given a level of importance. However they all worked together and this is how I remember them:
- My sister and I were not allowed to be in the same room with adults when they were discussing adult topics. We were shooed out of the room to go play.
- We were required to put a “handle” on adults’ names when addressing them. (i.e. Mr, Mrs, Miss, Auntie, or Uncle “Such-in-Such”)
- We were not allowed to listen to any of Richard Pryor’s comedy albums. I remember straining to listen through the vents of the adjoining room while my parents listened and laughed to the album in the living room.
- We were not allowed to be in our bedroom with the door closed and locked. Mama said it was her house and she was going to know what was going on in every room of it.
I also remember my mother saying “I pay the cost to be the boss“, meaning she was in charge, not me nor my sister. Or, “When you get grown in your own house, you can do whatever you please.”
These things were brought to the forefront of my mind again last night when I was at a very close friend’s house. I also thought about my blogging friend, Soul Sistah, over at Black and Blended and what would be her take on the situation.
I was at my friend’s home, L-Boogie, to restore some computer files that were lost when her stepson (17 years old) attempted to create his own user profile without knowing exactly what he was doing. The stepson also made it so that the system would prompt for a user to input a password before accessing “his” user profile. Needless to say, L-Boogie, was pissed when she told me about it. My first question was did he first ask his father for permission (he did not) and the second was why did he feel the need to “password” protect anything on the “family PC”. L-Boogie had the same questions, ironically.
The stepson also addresses me by my first name which annoys me since I didn’t shoot marbles with this youngster and I’m old enough to be his mother.
Finding the files and restoring them to their original location was a very simple process so crisis resolved.
In the process of searching for the lost files we came across some nude and partially nude photos of young girls, apparently friends of the stepson, that she was not aware existed. When she called the husband in the room to show him what we had discovered and to ask if he knew the girls, his response was so casual it was disturbing.
“Oh, that’s prolly one of those girls from Florida.” and “Oh, that Pete’s pictures”
That’s it. Nothing else.
L-Boogie expected the response to be exactly what it was even though she doesn’t agree with how it was handled. She has taken a “hands-off” approach when it comes to her stepson because of his father’s apparent oblivion state when it comes to basic parenting. “How could he ‘correct’ Pete when he has the porn flicks next to the family DVDs in the family room? Besides, he doesn’t see anything wrong with it”.
So, what do you think? Would you “knowingly” allow your 17 year old son to have nude photos of young ladies on your family PC without any admonition? Am I too old school in my thinking that a child should know his/her place?