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Posted in Parenting and Spanking on 2018-10-26 01:46:39

Bob,

I agree that at a certain age, everybody has to make their own choice about religion. I have drifted away from it and back again, a couple of times. But I find I am better off when i have it in my life.

I don't think that being a Christian necessarily means thinking that everybody else is wrong. There are some Christians that are like that, but I have never subscribed to that thinking. I think religion runs a spectrum, and there are different interpretations of Christianity, as there are of other religions. But most religions are pretty much the same in their message, so it's hard to say that one is right and another wrong.

I've already explained some of the reasons why I have maintained my faith. In your case, while it surely wouldn't have killed you to play along with what your parents wanted for a little while longer, eventually you would have reached the point of having to tell them that you were no longer going to church. I certainly don't think what you did was wrong, though it must have been painful for them and made them feel that they had failed in some way. It's impossible for us not to do that to our parents sometimes, unfortunately.

I disagreed with Rick's suggestion that it may have been a good thing for you to have been physically punished when you were younger because that might have made you more likely to yield to your father's wishes at age 20. If having been physically punished makes you afraid to make your own life decisions if they are at variance with your parents, then I think that is not a good outcome and would argue against physical punishment.

I too have good memories of "Jesus Christ Superstar." My religion class in 11th grade had a big focus on the play and movie, and I had the soundtrack to it (on an 8-track tape). Did you ever see "Godspell," another religious play that was popular around that same time?

Posted in Parenting and Spanking on 2018-10-26 01:08:42

Bob,

The same is true of me too. I think I took fewer risks and was more law abiding than a lot of the guys my age. I think there's a spectrum and I was somewhere in the middle. I kind of enjoyed doing things I knew I shouldn't do, as long as it wasn't really bad and the risk of injury/jail etc. was low. I was not afraid of getting into minor trouble, as some people are. But I had a pretty low threshold of what I was actually willing to do, because I didn't want anybody to get hurt or to get into serious trouble.

The reality is that even "good kids" like us mess up sometimes, and even the kid who is good on the surface often has an underlying desire to be bad sometimes. It's like the line in "The Breakfast Club" when Bender (Judd Nelson) says to Claire (Molly Ringwald) - "See, it feels good to be bad." I can really relate to that line.

Posted in Parenting and Spanking on 2018-10-25 01:21:45

Rick,

I hope you realize that I was kidding when I told Bob that he should have repeated his (heinous) offense of walking across the grass and then chosen a caning instead of the ping pong ball essay, so he could compare the two. While I don't think it would have been that big of a deal if he had done that, I wouldn't suggest that to somebody other than as a joke. We talk about how it might have been beneficial for both of us to experience the form of punishment that we didn't get, so that was along those same lines.

Bob is right that I was never punished for underage drinking. I never really got caught though it wouldn't have been too hard for somebody to catch me. At that time, the attitude toward older high school students drinking was pretty permissive, and I was 16-17 when I started, rather than 14-15, which is when the real "bad" kids started. So I don't think it would have been viewed as much of a problem even if I had been caught. I suspect my parents knew about it and did nothing because they didn't see it as a big issue, as long as I didn't drive drunk, which I never did. It was only a very short time before drinking would have been legal for me anyway (at age 18).

Where I disagree with you is that I don't see a problem with the "stubbornness" that Bob exhibited at 20 when he didn't want to go to church at his father's insistence. While it's nice to go to church and I go every week, sometimes more than once, I don't think anybody should be forced to attend church beyond a certain age. At age 20, Bob was a man and had a right to make his own decision about that, IMO, and not to be taking orders from his parents as if he were still 12. I think that developing that sense of self, and standing up for your own preferences, is a healthy thing, and I don't really think that having been hit at school or at home for minor transgressions when he was younger would or should have made any difference in that regard.

As far as my father busting my butt when I was 17, and whether that would have changed my behavior, it's hard to imagine it. He never hit any of his kids past childhood or very early adolescence, and honestly, I don't think my behavior needed changing all that much. I went to a strict school that punished minor transgressions, so I partook in that punishment sometimes, but the reality is that my entire senior year, I cut about 6 classes. That is about 1/150 of my total classes for the year, or less than 1%. And for that I spent a whole chunk of hours in detention or doing work details after school. So I was punished plenty for the minor stuff that I did. Not complaining, because I chose to do it and disregarded the possibility of punishment and the effects of past punishment. That was my choice, and I didn't have regrets then or now. I'm not sure why you think that a different form of punishment would have changed my apparent need to push back against rules even if it meant getting into trouble. For me, it was part of growing up, and making me the person I am today, for better or worse. I think most people have to go through a stage like that one way or another, and when they don't, the effects of it aren't always good.

We were raised a bit differently, though I think there were probably more similarities than differences in the way were raised, especially when compared to kids who were raised without limitations or guidance at all. While our views are a bit different, I completely respect where you are coming from.

Posted in Parenting and Spanking on 2018-10-25 01:11:51

Bob,

Haha man, now you sound like a guy who spent half his adult life in prison and laments that he didn't listen to the people who tried to keep him out of trouble when he was younger..:)

Your family sounds pretty strict. You must be the black sheep...:) The funny thing is, I had a somewhat similar conversation with my grandfather. I was riding in the car with him and he was driving really slowly, and I asked him why and he said that he had to follow the law. He was actually going well under the speed limit, IIRC. Mom used to scorn his driving, saying that with him driving, it was better to get out and push.

I like fast driving, and don't intend to slow down just to avoid the possibility of a ticket on occasion. You shouldn't either!

We seem to have a lot of uncanny similarities. Both the oldest of 5 kids, consisting of 4 boys and a girl as the youngest. Both habitual speeders. Both had grandfathers who had a strict interpretation of the law. Neither punished physically. And I think we're right around the same age (I'm 56). It would be cool if we were able to meet each other.

Posted in Parenting and Spanking on 2018-10-24 09:55:24

True, you got lucky on that one and the biology class cheating. In both cases, the penalty would have been far worse than a run of the mill speeding ticket or school infraction, but you got away with them.

I didn't get busted for the worst things I did either. Probably my biggest infraction at school was to cut a whole day once, late in my senior year. Considering that I got almost 2 weeks of detention for cutting my afternoon classes when I got drunk at lunch, I would have really gotten slammed for that, and my parents would have been called for sure. Since I had been getting in trouble sporadically since the first week of senior year, and had piled up a healthy number of detention hours, it would not have been pretty if that whole record had been exposed. Thinking about it now, it was stupid to take that risk, but somehow I got away with it.

In terms of driving, I didn't get caught for the worst things I did either, though it was pretty rare that I did anything worse than routine speeding.

Did your family really razz you for that speeding ticket you got on your way to your sister's wedding? That must have been pretty funny. And it's f&@king hilarious that you got another one the next morning. If one of my buddies did that, I'd take him out to a fancy dinner to celebrate!