I think many older folks would agree that we live in a day and age when children are generally not as well-mannered as they used to be. While this complaint goes back thousands of years concerning hundreds of generations of kids, there’s still seems to be something to this observation. Kids today are much less likely to experience the same kind of discipline; many of us had growing up. And, I’m not just talking about “spanking,” although that’s certainly a big part of many of our childhoods. But, there was also a confidence parents had when they told their children “no.”
In simpler times, children understood that a parent’s word was final, and to challenge their decision meant inviting peril. However, today many parents believe they should indulge and negotiate with their children. They want to be their “friend” rather than their parent and usually end up wrapped around their child’s finger. This type of extreme parenting often leads to incredibly narcissistic and empty adults who cannot deal with disappointment. Sadly, these types of folks end up taking all kinds of important roles in society, such as police officers, CEOs, and even politicians. Unless we return to traditional values such as teaching children accountability, we could see all kinds of problems manifest within society in the not too distant future. This scene from The Andy Griffith Show illustrates just how folks used to deal with spoiled kids.
Today, one could only imagine how this scene would play out in the real world.
I’m thinking the dad would end up being arrested for child abuse after taking his son to the “woodshed out back,” and the police department would be sued.
And there are probably a lot of folks out there who feel Opie’s the messed up kid because he’s a “conformist,” while the spoiled boy is a “free thinker” challenging authority.
Those are just the times we live in, I suppose, and you know that folks would be calling on this show to be “canceled” if you aired this episode on TV today.
However, for those who understand the lesson this scene is trying to impart, we know that it’s not about corporal punishment, but rather taking a stand and being strong for your children.
You see, kids need boundaries; they actually want them. Sure, they may push against them from time to time, but that’s only to reassure themselves that they are still there. With stable boundaries, kids can feel safe to explore, knowing that everything is stable and consistent at home. You can relive this classic Andy Giffith Show scene in the video below.