Sunday, October 23, 2016


I was packing for a trip to Albany the other day and while I was folding my clothes to pack, I turned on the TV, and there was a show on called: ‘The Nanny'.

If you are unfamiliar with it, it is about parents who lose control of their children and the techniques of reclaiming that control. There are such things as making charts or maps or even some kind of visual to help take the child off the tantrum and into line with reasonableness.

I found the show interesting because I was comparing my technique with the Nanny, and the techniques of Mom and Dad in raising children.

If I ever said, "I want that!" and Mom wasn't about to give it to me, she would say: "I'll give you something!" I suspected I wasn't getting it and suspected it was better to move on to the next thing I wasn't getting.

Mom was a religious woman, religious in the fact that she carried around her wooden spoon, there was no point in putting it away as she was either cooking or chasing me with it. Timeouts in TV land just didn't occur in real life, straight to the corner, I went, facing the corner and being very quiet until Mom decided I could leave it. I didn't dare cry or pout; she wouldn't have it. She made the rules and I broke them, then she took her second set of punitive rules and applied those, without an appeal from me.

Discipline was Mom's strong suit. Mom was Dad's strong suit. Dad had no technique to enforce family tranquility, he always said: "Go ask your mother." In essence, he was saying: "You are not getting it kid, how do I know? Because you will ask Mom, and Mom will say in English, Italian, and Spanish: *"No"

Corporal Punishment was right next to Capital Punishment and for good reason.  Mom felt that a little Corporal Punishment from her wooden spoon called ‘Gentle Persuasion' was to make me understand that Capital Punishment was not far behind! "Do that again and you're dead!" was an underlining message channeled through the wooden spoon and Corporal Punishment.

Mom did her charts and maps, sending them mentally and she did a very good job of it. "Here's where we are today, and next week is where you'll be when I knock you into it!" Yes, Mom was an excellent communicator. In the old days, there were few if any crybabies in the neighborhood. Why? Because the teachers had the authority to also provide, free of charge, their own form of Corporal Punishment. Such things as hair brush spanking, ruler numbness to the palms and ears that were lengthened were techniques Miss Langon would apply. Mom would announce to us as we stood ready before her to go off to school: "If I find out that the teacher had to discipline you when you get home you will get the rest!" God bless Mom, she had a way with words.

*No-translation: No.


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