Monday, 15 December 2008

Walking The Line

I can remember the day Birdy was born. Being almost a decade older than her has afforded me the privilege of witnessing almost every minute detail of her life. Of course, all the information gathered is used as ammunition when I need something done and she refuses to comply. And being the only teenager in the house means that she’s broke half the time…so simple things like making my bed, doing the dishes, washing the car and cleaning the house can be bought at an affordable rate of R10…which is approximately US$1. But Birdy is not a victim of child labour. Like most in her generation, she is somewhat spoiled so as her family we take it upon ourselves to rectify that and make sure that she has to work for what she wants, like the rest of the world. However, it has become more apparent throughout the years that Birdy’s entire generation has somehow slipped through the cracks.

When we were kids, people would advertise toys and video games like Mario Bros. Just yesterday I saw and advert, Simba showing kids how to play with a ball and be more active in their WTF? How did we come to that? Did Technology kill what it meant to be a kid?

But the issue I'm really grappeling with is the rude, uncouth, foul and offensive youth of today. Now I can understand naughty children…naughty is normal. I can tolerate a hyperactive child or a child with ADHD, because it is beyond their control. But RUDE…there is no excuse for rude other than their parents are assholes who have neglected to teach them basic manners in the hope that paying their pre-school or first grade teachers will save them the effort of having to do so. Other parents just love their kids too much and put them on pedestals, often forgetting that their children are just people with their own personalities and traits and that they are bound to fuck-up at some or other point in their lives. Then there are those parents who are too scared to discipline their kids so they handle them with care, like a box marked "Fragile", and their kids eventually grow up and kick them in their backsides and they sit around wondering "Why?".

I’m sure my generation can attest to the discipline we were brought up with. In fact, I have never met anyone born before 1986 that wasn’t disciplined in some way or form. There are things that kids do today that we would have never even dreamt of doing, never-mind in front of our parents too.
We were brought up with very strict parents. Mother was the General in the house, and any protestation from us as kids, even the slightest moan was met by stern look that could send shivers down Hannibal Lectors spine. If I had even dared to speak to my mother the way I wanted to…the way Birdy’s generation communicate with their parents…I would have been thrown out of a window on the second floor.

My aunts were equally stern and we were all terrified of our parents. There was one day, in our early adolescence, that my cousins Zan, Zigs and Raz were nagging Mother’s sister, Aunty D, for some chocolate. My aunt had bought a box but refused to give them some until after supper. They continued to nag until she lost her temper, opened the entire box and forced them to eat everything. Then Aunty D went out, bought more boxes of chocolate, and forced them to eat those too. Zan can still recall how sick she was; how they were trying to hide some of the chocolate under their mattresses and how their mother caught them, took out every single hidden bar and made them eat the whole lot. She then gave each of them a table spoon of Castor Oil so that they could make their chocolate deposits in the toilet later that evening. Needless to say, they will NEVER EVER ask their mother for a Chocolate again.
Then there was Aunty M, Mother’s eldest sister, who made cousins Mimi and Naz smoke and eat several packets of cigarettes when they were caught smoking in Naz’s bedroom. They had to first smoke a few packets, all in one go, and put them out on the carpet in the bedroom. They were later instructed to eat the rest, until they were sick and Mimi threw up all over the place.

We were naughty little buggers, but we were disciplined and we had that rare quality called Respect instilled in us from a young age.

Birdy’s generation however were not afforded any kind of morals and values. They prance around with that air of entitlement and an unwarranted arrogance because their parents lied to them and made them believe that they are descendants of Greek Gods or Arabian Kings. And who has to pay the price for these self-involved narcissistic asses? Society and the rest of the world of course. The rest of the world has to endure their selfish, condescending, egotistical, supercilious and superior attitudes and that false sense of authority that they carry so well. They are unnaturally rude and don’t know what it means to have respect let alone manners in general. They don’t respect their elders, their peers, their environment or even themselves. That’s why they can talk to everyone any way they wish; verbally, mentally and emotionally abuse their peers; violate every environment they are exposed to by vandalising everything they come into contact with; and engage in sinister and de-moralising activities like substance abuse and promiscuity.

I ABHOR rude children with the venom of a thousand rattle snakes. One day, when Birdy was around 6 or 7 years old, she and a few of her friends were playing in our house. There were two in particular, a brother and sister – twins, who were causing a ruckus by jumping on our beds and on the couch/sofa in the lounge. When I reprimanded them, the little bastard told me to “Fuck Off”. So I bitch-slapped the little mofo on the back of his head with enough force to send him lurching two steps forward. I told him “I am not your mother or your friend so you will NOT talk to me the way you want to”. I then pulled the little bitch’s ear and told her that they will not do as they please in my house. She told me “I’m going to call my Mommy”…to which I replied “Please do so that I can kick her stupid ass for bringing up such rude children”.

I place the blame squarely on the Parents, especially those who neglect to teach their children basic manners. Children are not born rude and they’re not genetically programmed to be rude either. The children are supposed to be our future…now what kind of fucked up future are we to have with a bunch of spoiled, demanding ingrates that don’t even have a clue about what it means to have morals, values and respect?
Your kids are not going to learn the basics of life from their 2 or 3 year old peers. It is the responsibility of every parent to teach their children, from the BEGINNING, on how to act and behave in their respective environments.
Parent’s who find their child’s rudeness “cute” grate my fucking nerves. I have a cousin-in-law that finds it hysterical every time her 3 year old son assaults another adult by scratching, biting or throwing one of his toys in their faces. I bitch-slapped that scowling mofo too. If she can’t control her child and do her job as a parent, then I’ll have to step in and show her how it’s done.

Instilling morals, values, respect and discipline in your child is not Rocket Science and does not require a Lobotomy. A few years ago, I met a gentleman called Nick at a famous accounting firm in Johannesburg. I was working as a contractor, editing all their documentation as they introduced and adopted the International Financial Reporting Standards into their existing policies. I can remember the day he breezed into the open-plan office and in the most polite manner asked me to assist him with the new template. He was so gentle, courteous and gracious that upon his departure, everyone in the office exclaimed “OMW, Where did he come from?!?!”. I have NEVER met anyone with such impeccable manners and awe-inspiring etiquette in my entire life! I was stunned, astounded, amazed, speechless and breathless. I’m sure if I was a Christian I would have fallen in love with him right there. After a few hours it had occurred to me that we are so accustomed to and numbed by vulgarity and rude behaviour, that when someone is being respectful and courteous we are shocked to the core because we don’t expect that. The next time I saw Nick, I was sure to tell him that I commend his Mother on a job well done. I don’t even know her but she had inspired me to instill the same etiquette, morals and values in my own kids one day.

People want to know what’s wrong with the world today. They don’t have to look far…they should look at their parental skills because a little boy who watches his Dad beat his Mom will grow up thinking its OK to treat women that way. And similarly, a little girl who witnesses such an injustice will grow up thinking that it’s OK if her boyfriend/husband hits her. Children are like sponges; they absorb everything in their surroundings and take their cue from their parents. Parents essentially mold their children’s personalities, behaviour, future beliefs and ideas about the world. So as a parent it is your JOB to be an example to your kid, to be someone he/she can aspire to be.

We all know and are witness of the extent to which morality has decayed in our society. One of the problems people have is that they are afraid to verbalise their opinions when it comes to witnessing the debauchery of the youth, because parents tend to become emotional and defensive when it comes to their rude children. But that kind of response is exactly what is responsible for leading to the ethical deterioration of society. When I was much younger, adults would reprimand children who were out of hand, regardless of whether they knew them or not…and parents were supportive of this kind of discipline by echoing the disciplinarian’s sentiments. In today’s times…you cannot offer your opinion or chastise a child caught red-handed in some or other kind of devious or wicked act without the fear of the onslaught that might be brought on by his/her parents. And parents are too willing to stick up for their iniquitous children, even if they are guilty…and so the juvenile delinquent is born.

As parents, you don’t raise your kids for yourself. You raise them for the world that they have to live in. There is something called tough love…it doesn’t mean that you don’t love them…it means that you actually do. My message to all the parents and future parents out there is that if you actually DO your job as a parent, then I won’t have to help you. If you discipline your child regularly and consistently…or every time that he/she crosses the line, then I won’t have to do it for you. I have no qualms about offering my help to those who are less capable and anyone who has a problem with that is more than welcome to meet me outside where I will be waiting with guns blazing, because apparently some kids are not the only ones who need to be disciplined. I’ll be offering my services free-of-charge, and doing society a favour in the process because we need to get rid of the hooligans that tread around recklessly, for the greater good of mankind.


  1. Good old fashion values!

    I wonder what happened to them.Fuckin kids have zero interaction skills because they sat on IRC and now mxit,they play WII instead of proper sports,they dont have the privelage of having seeing the postman or the milkman deliver their respective products home.

    Fuck I feel old already.

    Hey don't go bitchslapping other peoples kids coz the parents are so fucked up,they will pull out a gun and shoot you!

  2. I couldn't agree more. Lately I have also been getting very irritated with how rude the children of today are. We had people over the other day and this child literally tried destroying everything in sight. Every time her mother tried disciplining her she would cry by daddy and he would playfully hit his wife and say dont you dare shout my baby, see daddy hit mummy for you, now alls better.It almost made me sick. Like you say the worst is when the parents think oh their children are so cute and clever when they are being rude. Im with you, Im all for disciplining rude children. In our day, as a child, we weren't entitled to opinions. Sad how bad things have become.

  3. Mini - Kids of today appreciate NOTHING...they know nothing of life. Instead they are pricks who think the world owes them.

    LOL... I'd like to see them try. I'd probably give them a whip-lashing too..stupid bitches.
    My motto with regard to kids is: "If you're in my home, in my car, in my vacinity and if what you do directly affects me sure that you're going to have to face the consequences...and if you want to be difficult about will be you and your daddy".

    Sameerah - Bunch of ignorant monkeys they have as they dont know any better...Exactly, in our day, we never have opinions or choices. We were told what to do, wear, where to go etc.

  4. Just a theory I am throwing out there.... do you think its possible that these kids dont learn values and manners because they are dumped with other people from a young age? I mean when we were young most of us had moms who stayed at home and took care of us unfortunately in todays times it has become necessary for both parents to work in order to survive hence babies are left to grow up with day mothers.... I see it everyday because my neighbour runs a sort of creche and kids as young as 6 months get dropped off at 7am and are only picked up after five. These kids dont have the grounding that say perhaps we did.

  5. EOW - I grew up with my Grandma - spent my first 3 years with her and the other years were spent with a domestic worker and my sisters grew up with domestic workers. And we turned out just fine...the moral compass in tact. In fact all my cousins were brought up by domestic workers and we all have the same ideologies, morals and values because all our Mother's (who happen to be sisters) share the same morals and values. So at the end of the day, it really does come down to the parent, regardless of where the child is...but alot of parents neglect their children not only physically but emotionally too...because they're either too engrossed in their own lives and become too selfish or they are simply too tired to put in the required effort for the child's mental and emotional well-being...

  6. Cant argue much with that Azra... Point taken and theory disproved

  7. if i show this post to my mother she would be so proud of you :D

    i agree with you all the way!
    esp about how we are so used to rude behaviour and lack of manners. you mentioned this guy, Nick..that reminds me I had this amazing literature teacher back in alevels and he is the first (hope not last) person who is such a gentleman. he would open doors for us, his students. he would always bow a little when talking to us and then talk so politely...we were all so amazed..the exact point..we feel weird how people in this age and time could be well mannered.

  8. Thank you so much for this post.
    My nephew, "the apple" of my brothers eye is becoming a rude bugger. The worst is, is that he is very sweet and innocent and does all the crap on the quiet.
    I don't accept it, I let him know when he is becoming a little monster.

    My sister's one is naughty, is the louder one of the two, so he tends to get the blame for most things. But he is not a little monster. HUGE difference. The older one is unfortunately influencing him.

    I'm not proud of the fact that my nephews are a little bit scared of me, but in a way, it's good.
    At least someone out there instils a bit of fear in them.
    I caught them annoying the crap out of my mother the other day,. Now my mother is very soft to the kids, she doesn't like to shout or give them smacks as she feels that her time is past.
    I switched off the TV, took away the remotes (crafty buggers are getting clever) and refused to let them have any privileges until they apologised and gave my mother a hug and kiss, otherwise, the belts with their names on it will come out :)

    Childline is going to be called one of the days.

    I blame rude and disgusting children to the lack of corporal punishment and because people tend to "baby" their kids too much.

  9. I went camping this weekend with one such child. then went to an adult comedy show, where my cousin dragged her son along too.

    Both these kids have no idea of what the hell they are doing. rude, crude in your face and their mom's are oblivious

  10. This is 21 st century and after that....what you guys expect!

    Respect and manners,
    Politeness and honesty
    are not interchangeable attributes!

  11. Remembering back to the words of Mother in the good old days, "There is your dinner"! Now it is "what you would like for dinner"?

    Another household saying of Mum's was "I can not afford that". Twenty first century mums can by doing an extra shift at work.

    Poor state of affairs... terrible!

  12. Azra, I cannot agree more on this issue---it's horrifying how rude kids are these days.

    And don't get me started on the tantrums! I cannot handle a kid that throws tantrums whenever they can't get their way.
    Parents definately do 'baby' their kids way too much these days...discipline is completely lost.

    You are are not born rude---their parents instil these crappy values in them.

    Yeah, I too bitch-slap and shout unruly kids coz if their parents are too damn lazy to teach them good manners, I won't think twice about helping them along!

  13. Great post Azra and its so relevant for me...

    I think that the only thing, us as parents need to do with regards to our kids is:
    1) feed them;
    2)and teach them respect...

    All the other lessons in life will be taught to them at some point or the other.

    I cant agree with you more that parents are the ones to blame, if we carry ourselves in a respectable manner then our kids have no choice but to follow...

    When I see rude kids it only makes me wander how the parents carry on when they are at home...most probably the same way the kids carry on.

    And with regards to Nick (I might know this individual as I am in the same field as him), society is in such a state that when a polished individual walks in to a room, he/she intentionally/unintentionally leaves a lasting impression, simply because of the scant number of such people in society...

    One more thing I am really worried about the type of partners our kids will bring home, but I guess its a snow ball effect of what we teach them when they are young...


  14. The one thing that seriously grates my liver is when a child is rude or hits their parents. And you as an outsider says don’t do that – then the parent looks at you like you’re the one who hit them!!

  15. Mubi - I think we should revive Chilvalry...there is nothing more attractive than a sincere gentleman :D

    Sofi - Thanx :)

    Fatima - We need solidarity on the respect's really getting out of hand. Nice to see you're doing your part :)

    Aasia - Parents are integral in instilling those core and fundamental morals and values...they dont realise how they're messing up their kids lives. Its not the teachers place to teach the child to say "Please and Thank You"...those parents who over-indulge their kids must seriously wake up and smell the shit brewing before its too late.

    Daanish - It's time to :)

    Seher - My point exactly...we weren't given choices. We were told how its going to be. Today's kids are given choices and they end up telling the parents what to do. Every parent/child relationship needs boundaries. And if your child is already controlling you from a young age, I'm afraid to think what he/she would do in their adolescence.

    TCQ - I hate kids who throw tantrums. Tantrums mean onl one thing...that the kid cries and the parents the kid thinks he/she can do it again and again...and each time it becomes worse.

    Stunna - I'll echo to the "Gentlemen" sentiment :)
    I believe you can't control every aspect of your kids life...but if you teach your kids some good morals and values as well as instilling confidence in them (confidence NOT arrogance - theres a fine line)...then they actually have a chance of making it in this world with some dignity and integrity. We seriously lack some quality people...theres ALOT of people..but no quality.
    Hmmm...I love Nick LOL. JK.

    Trinity - Those are the parents who need their asses kicked. Seriously.

  16. lol at ur cousins having to eat all those chocolates,bt just a word of warning--its actually dangerous to make kids eat cigarettes. cos nicotine is well absorbed from the dont do that one to ur kids ok :)(Wen u have them that is :))

  17. 'I have never met anyone born before 1986 that wasn’t disciplined in some way or form.' I agree. But there ae a whole lot of teens who are VERY disciplined when it comes to buying cheap energy drinks, which I find curious, for they are too lazy to read a book - surely they're not gonna use up all that extra energy? :)