Author: bob roach
I remember as a young boy that it was usually my mother that made all arrangements for family meetings that could ultimately have a large impact on my life. Yet, it was Dad who ultimately gave us the breaking news of any UPDATES.
We had five children in my family and when we had these family meeting it was rare that any of the kids ever said anything. We knew that the people in charge had already discussed every issue and that in the end it really would not matter what we had to say. My parents were listening more to their own peers and reading magazines and watching Oprah on television. That is where they learned most of what they learned about raising children. It seemed like they paid more attention to other people instead of using common sense.
Each meeting would begin with my mom letting us know that what we were about to hear probably would not make us happy yet it was for our own good and we would ultimately thank them for the new rules in our house.
When we got a little older, it was even sadder than before. Mom and Dad said that we had voice and they wanted to listen to us. Mom called them listening sessions, but when I looked at Dad he did not seem to be paying any attention.
At first all five of us would enter these meetings with much enthusiasm. We would voice our perspective about every issue, because we knew about the importance of good communications. And we really were knowledgeable and mature enough to add to the discussion. There was no need to get organized as a group because all five of us probably had different opinions about every major issue.
It seemed as though public opinion had more to do with the rules in our house than common sense and right or wrong. I remember one wave of decisions about raising the kids came through and really changed our lives. My parents heard about something called “behavior modification.” Many people believed that if you ignored what kids did that was wrong, and gave positive reinforcement for the behavior that was desirable, the child was more likely to do what was desired. Needless to say many children of that era caused many problems because society did not actually work that way.
Well, at about four in the afternoon, usually on a Tuesday, we would all get back together to hear what was decided. Never did I see any correlation between what was said by us, the stake holders, and the decisions that were made concerning our new rules.
Well, the five of us all grew up and had children of our own. But times have changed. Even though our parents used “Behavior Modification” with us, we had yet another set of rules. It seems that there was a sway in public opinion and now they are saying our parents were all wrong.
It seems to me that public opinion should never be a factor when making decisions that affect peoples’ lives. Our creator allows us to have free will and assures us that we will be ultimately judged by Him.
By the way, Mom and Dad really did love us. Even though they made a few mistakes, four of the five of us are still alive and have very few scars that one could observe from the outside.
Most of you will completely understand what this article is all about. Others of you will enjoy it yet be perplexed of its purpose. Still others will not have a clue what in the world I am saying. But you know…. it’s okay. Because if there is one thing that I have learned in life, it is not to pay attention to Public Opinion.
*Remember the “M” & “P”