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Mean Parents

April 2000 | by Grace Bulletin

‘The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame’ (Proverbs 29:15)

Were your parents mean? Ours were. We had the meanest parents in the world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs and toast. When others had a coke and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. Supper was always different from what other kids had, too; and we never got to eat in the den, watching television. We always had to eat as a family at the dining-room table.

Our parents always insisted on knowing where we were all the time. You would think we were convicts in a prison. They had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. They insisted that, if we were gone for an hour, we would be gone for no more than an hour. They were always telling us what to do!

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They violated the child-labour laws all the time, making us wash dishes, make our beds, empty the trash, mow the yard, and help clean the house. Sometimes we even had to do the laundry, iron our own clothes, and scrub the toilet! I think they must have stayed up at night thinking of things for us to do.

Telling the truth

Mom and Dad always insisted on us telling the truth. By the time we were teenagers, they could read our minds. Then life was really tough. If we lied to them, disobeyed them, or made them tell us to do anything even twice, we were sure to get a ‘whipping’. Other kids’ parents were always far more understanding. Our friends never got ‘whipped’. They never even got scolded much.

Our friends always had to come to the door, so Mom and Dad could meet them. If they just honked the horn for us, we were not allowed to go anywhere with them. While everyone else’s parents trusted them, letting them date at twelve or thirteen years old, we had to wait until we were at least sixteen. Even then, Mom and Dad had to approve of both our dates and where we were going. Our friends stayed out as late as they wished. We always had to be at home before midnight.

Missing out?

Because our parents were so strict, we missed out on many of the things other young people did. None of us ever got caught stealing, vandalising other people’s property, or arrested for anything. We never got drunk or used drugs. They would have killed us!

On Sundays, we always had to go to church. We never missed. We knew better than to ask to spend the night with a friend on Saturday night. We never got to do anything on Sunday night. We always went to church. We even went to church in the middle of the week, no matter who came to visit, or what came up. Nothing kept our family out of church, ever!

Now that we have all left home, and Mom and Dad are gone, their influence remains. We are all educated, honest, hard-working adults. Like our parents, we never miss a service in the house of God. We even insist that our children attend with us. We are trying our best to be mean parents, just like Mom and Dad. Maybe that is what is wrong with the world today. There just aren’t enough mean parents anymore.