Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where's the respect?

Yesterday we had a lovely day. The weather was beautiful, breezy, in the 80's and the sun was just making everything brighter. Even my mood.

The boys and I headed down to the big base for dash-1's followup visit for his asthma attack. It was simple enough, is he breathing? check. Is he back to his normal self? sigh. CHECK. Any other issues? Nope. All right simple enough.

Although he did complain that his brain was hurting. Though the reason was simple enough, he was going to space the night prior and you know the changes in the atmosphere can do that to a kid. See clearly back to normal.

After the doctors the kids love to go run around at Trophy Point and well so do I. Well I don't run, but I like watching them run. And I never tire of watching the kids shove their heads into the ends of the big cannons.

For the most part my kids just run around and pretend to fire off the big cannons or run down the hill at full speed rolling when they get to the bottom (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not so much). I have few rules when we are there.... a. don't run near or onto the road and b. do not misbehave on the memorials. I'm more willing to relax on the first one then the last one that's how much that type of behavior annoys me.

There was a family there, most likely for graduation and they were letting their children act like wild beast. Look I get kids running wild. Trust me. I get it. But there are times and places. And these kids were probably 10 and 6, old enough in my mind to understand the concept of time and place.

We always go over to the monument, how could we not, it's big and well small kids like big things. They are boys after all. But as they are getting older I am trying to explain what exactly a memorial is. That these names represent people who deserve our thanks and respect. That they may have come many, many, many years before us, heck some centuries before us, but still, they were not lucky enough to come home. Therefore we treat their names, the spot that their names occupy with the utmost respect.

At first I didn't know how to broach this subject with the kids, I don't want to scare them that daddy may not come home so I kind treat it like the sex talk. Age appropriate frankness.

Dash-1 started to run a little wild, its so hard not to when others are was his defense and I get that, but I took him aside and I made him run his hand over the names. I explained, apparently loud enough that the parents of the other kids could hear me, that these names were someone, someone like daddy, who had a mommy who loved him, who maybe had little boys like him, who wasn't lucky enough to get to come home. That we have always been lucky that daddy always comes home to us, and that these people didn't get to. And we MUST respect them and that this monument was to help us remember them.

Similarly we went down to the wall overlooking the river. Kids were running back and forth on the wall and dash-1 wanted to get up and I could tell, run. I told him he could get up on the wall to see better but that he would not step on the plaques. These plaques were listing the names of soldiers who died as POW's in the Pacific War. We had the similar discussion, what can I say he's four we are working on our retention skills and he did see to catch on sooner.

He asked why the other kids were running around and my mother came out of my mouth, "Because they aren't my children". Again I'll admit maybe I'm just nuts about this, maybe I take this stuff to serious, maybe I'm old school or some fuddy duddy.

I taught dash-1 to say "aww snap" cause I thought it was funny, I realize that's probably inappropriate but I don't see the harm in that. (Honestly it's even more funny when he says it to flyboy and you can see the steam coming out of his ears!) But I want my children to realize that respect must extend beyond just saying excuse me or pardon me to the living.

Am I alone in this?


  1. I hate when my kids say well why are they doing it. Well bc i cant yell at them. lol. I'm glad you teach them to respect things like that.

  2. No MA'AM! I am SO proud of how you handled it. You were SO good! And I hope that family DID hear what you said.

    Peopel think that "please" and "thank you" is all you need to teach your child... maybe even a "sir" or "ma'am"... but that's NOT where it ends!

    I'm SO glad I'm not alone here and so glad that you're sticking to your guns!!!

  3. You are NOT alone in this. It's the same thing as teaching a child respect for the flag. I teach my kids that they MUST stand still, quiet and have their hands on their hearts during the National Anthem...and YES they MUST stand. I teach them, that at a parade, no matter how big or small, or where it is, when you see an American flag pass by, you must put your hand over your heart. As a veteran, I have the right to salute, and I do.

    Many kids ask my kids why they do this. It's sad, really, the lack of respect.

    I wouldn't want my kids running around at the Vietnam Wall and trying to take things, etc...any thing that is a memorial to the lives freely given for the freedom of this country deserves the utmost respect.

    Hey...if you can't respect ME, kiddo, you WILL respect the flag, and those monuments...

  4. I would say you're definitely on the right track. What a great lesson for your boys, and I don't think you can start young enough for that kind of thing.

    High five for good parenting!

  5. Excuse me, is this the same woman who was having doubts about her mothering skills?

    You are wonderful to teach them like this, and you're definitely not alone in believing that memorials deserve respect. I wish more parents were like you.

  6. I told you that you were an incredible parent! That is such an important lesson that, unfortunately, most parents these days fail to teach. I'm glad you are starting early and reminding them often!

    I feel like such an old fart now. I see kids going wild and can't help but think, "Kids these days have no respect!" :)

  7. you are definitely not over reacting about this! Children are not taught respect anymore and even adults have seem to forgotten that we are still in a war and people are still dying. We need to remember them always. What a wonderful mom your kids have to teach them respect like that!!

  8. i had such a beautiful image in my mind as i read your description of running your fingers over the names on the wall, telling your son what the names meant in a way that he could understand.

    you're awesome!

  9. I am with you too. Great job...and you aren't a fuddy duddy. Hubby and I spent over an hour picking up little American flags that people dropped all over the ground at a 4th of July parade. Perhaps that makes me a fuddy duddy too.

  10. No no, you're not alone. Right now what comes out of my mouth is, "my kids will never do that. If they do, it'll only happen once". Places like that deserve respect and I'm glad you're teaching it to them.

  11. I think that is really awesome you are like that and are teaching your children to respect more then just the living. If one of those plaques had been my husband, or father or loved one I would probably have went ape shit over them being stepped on...Your respecting those families who's loved ones didn't come home and that would mean a whole hell of a lot to them...I'm sure of it!

  12. You're such an awesome Mommy!!!

    And yeah, when the weather is nicer I find myself being in a wayyy better mood.

  13. I am so thankful to read this today. I am a HUGE stickler on respect especially for the families of those who have lost someone. ie. memorials etc.

    Last memorial day after church I took my kids down to the local cemetery to place flags on the graves of veterans. To my surprise it had already been done. We took the time to walk past every flag marked grave and we had an open discussion about life & death and what each and every one of these people had done in their lifetime for their country.

    I too explained that we do not walk on grave/head plates as this is very disrespectful to the families who have lost this person.

    My biggest peeve is when people take weekends like Veterans Day or Memorial day to party and BBQ WITHOUT even taking the time to give a second thought about why they have this "long weekend" The lack of respect and appreciation really grates on me the wrong way. It is fine to do those things but Folks please take a moment to show some much deserved RESPECT for those who lost their lives.
    My kids will certainly be raised to have proper dignity when being around or approaching these types of places/flags etc.

  14. You are not alone in this. It's great that you are teaching your kids about respect at such an early age. It makes no sense to not teach kids and then suddenly expect them to "get it" when they are older. You're definitely on the right track. And I really hope the other family heard what you were teaching your child and felt some chagrin at their own kids' behavior (I know they probably didn't but still...).

  15. i whole-heartedly agree with you on this one! Sheesh! People are really messed up these days and have no clue about respect. Then these brat kids grow up to be criminals and they wonder why or where they went wrong. HELLO?!?!?!?! Im proud of you! Whats right is right! :)

  16. You are fantastic at finding a way to explain something very serious without scaring your kids to no end and yet still giving it the gravity it deserves.

    Greg and I were in DC and saw a child, maybe five or six, climbing up the Vietnam Memorial, while his mother was just standing there watching. It makes me so mad. I wanted to grab the kid and yell at the mother, but Greg told me I wasn't allowed to make a scene. I wish he would have let me. I tell you what, though, if we ever take the Captain to a memorial like that, I'd kick her little butt if she tried anything like that.

  17. The Mrs - Thanks for the reminder. I've been living outside the USA for so long that I hadn't really thought about this...

    And I gotta admit that even though we're not military, the idea of a kid fooling around with Joshua's stuff or touching his things without permission would have me going BONKERS! So in that respect, it totally makes me appreciate why we need to be respectful of memorials and things like that.

    Again, thanks for the reminder! And I'm echoing with the others - you're definitely an awesome Momma - don't 2nd guess your skills!

  18. So good of you! I think you are right. It is what memorials are for. To, you know, remember... and pass it on to future generations. What a good mom you are. And shame on them for forgetting where they were.

  19. I do not have kids (yet) but this is something that I hope to instill in my children. There are things that should be respected, no matter what age (although I realize it's harder to explain at younger ages). I think you did a beautiful job of explaining it and I commend you.

    I live not more than a 10 minute walk from Arlington Cemetery and I visit it about twice a month. Nothing irritates me more than seeing high school students visiting the cemetery running around, hollering and pushing each other. There's a time and a place for that behavior, and Arlington is neither of them.

    I really, really am giving you a huge thumbs up for doing what you did.

  20. I completely agree with you. And I love how you explained the memorials to your boys. I need to remember that for when I need to teach mine.


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