Monday, June 13, 2011

Parental Proverbs

Many of us would like to forget our childhood. But try as we might, some things stick. In this category, are parental proverbs. You know, those sayings, quips, attitudes, and responses from our parents that tend to niggle into our disposition. So just when you think you’re not like your father, he comes falling out of your mouth.

Anyway, when my son Chris was taking a course to receive his teaching credentials, one of his assignments was to write down three sayings from his upbringing, three parental proverbs that have influenced him, positively or negatively. This piqued my interest, not just because I’m one of the parents he was quoting, but because as I get older mature, the kind of imprint I’m leaving has become increasingly important to me. What am I leaving my children with, philosophically speaking? Further compounding my interest was this: when our kids were young, I used certain sayings repeatedly, believing they were teaching tools. So what did my twenty-something, math-Mastered, boy remember?

These were the three parental proverbs Chris noted:

  • YOUR HEART IS LIKE A DONUT — A blatant rip-off from the Donut Man, a Children’s CD. Translation: Your heart has a big hole in the middle that only God can fill. Cars and friends and money and possessions — nothing! — can fill the vacancy in your soul apart from a relationship with your Maker.
  • WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE — A cheesy, cultural cliche with ancient roots. Translation: We can never transcend ourselves. Moving from house to house, job to job, church to church, or state to state, will not solve your problems, bucko.
  • LIFE IS NOT FAIR — A simple maxim that modern man sorely needs. True justice will not be had till the end of the age, when the Judge of all the earth does His thing. Until then, bad men win, good men suffer, and the undeserving get what they don’t deserve. Deal with it!

So what parental proverbs do you remember from your childhood, and are they good or bad? And what quips have you employed as teaching tools for your children?


Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar said...

My mother used to always tell me that "sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you." I'm here to say, THIS IS FALSE -- especially when the phrase is used as an excuse to do nothing about bullying.

Bruce Hennigan said...

"You may be better OFF than anyone else, but you are no BETTER than anyone else." Growing up in the south during the late sixties and early seventies I was blessed with parents who were not your typical Southern racist. They taught me that color meant nothing to God and that we are all equal.