Upbringing and Behavior
We older people remember as children being told how to behave, that in regard to table manners, being respectful to senior members of the family, and also visitors.
We had to say please and thank you at the appropriate times. It was often a case of being seen and not heard, a lot of the time.
Should we receive any gifts we were expected to thank the donors even if we did not like the presents, or they might have been not right for our particular age group, or not inviting at all. They would be put away or else quietly disposed of after Christmas. There was no e Bay in those days.
Over the years though, people have given up giving birthday and Christmas presents when the recipients did not have the courtesy to thank them. This was adults as well as children. The time, care and expense of obtaining the gifts and then no one getting in touch afterwards was very disappointing.
A friend of mine bought a couple of tops from a local department store for her grandchild who told her quite rudely that she did not want that particular Christmas present, she wanted money, although she was told that she could exchange the gifts if she did not like them at the store, as her grandmother had arranged that she could do so.
In the end the garments were returned, my friend got back her money and decided that the grandchild could do without any present that Christmas.
This young girl in her teens had been for a long time very inconsiderate towards other people. She had taken for granted that she could do what she liked, leaving dirty dishes, untidy room when staying with other family members. She also had a habit of staying in bed in the mornings and deciding when and what she wanted to eat.
Finally it was decided that some plain speaking was necessary particularly when the child’s parents had not shown a good example and had failed to teach her social skills. Her mother often argued with other family members in front of this young girl, and her out of control younger brother. She had failed to settle any differences away from the children.
I was talking to another friend who also said that his grandson only wanted money so that he could spend it on what he wanted. This boy was not prepared to do anything for his grandparents without being paid. I think it is fair enough that if people do not want to give teens money, it should be vouchers that they can redeem.
Unfortunately families have indulged children and most kids have gadgets that most of us had to wait for until we were old enough to earn them for ourselves.
Even split up and blended families may have more presents than normal as relatives on all sides may spoil the children feeling that they are missing out.
It is little wonder that we have lost and insecure young people who cannot get on with other people that they may work with, and also neighbours when they go flatting.
They have never been taught to consider other people and they just do what they like. They often lack the life skills to be able to look after themselves and their homes, temporary that they may be.
Children can leave home at the age of 16, some at that age may be perfectly capable of looking after themselves and managing away from home. Others may not want to work, and go on expecting family members to go on shelling out for them.
There needs to be a time when young people are encouraged to work for the money to get what they want, to give them work experience, and teach them responsibility for themselves which is what I had never learned, and which I needed guidance to do so. It was a very hard lesson for me.
There are adults out there at the ages of 30 and 40 who still expect Mum and Dad should be putting something away for their retirement to continue to subsidize them.
These so called loans are never paid back, often leaving the older people short of money for necessities. The parents have made a rod for their own backs as they have failed to teach responsibility for the long term.
I wonder just how many people reading this in the website can relate to this, wish that they had acted differently, that either as parents they had laid down boundaries, or the children who wish now that they had tried to be more independent, that their parents had suffered because of their selfishness in not making sure the money was repaid.