Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Discipline Italian style


I have commented on the Italian side of my family. There were many aunts, uncles, and cousins on that side; And they all felt they had the responsibility to discipline all the children of the entire Family. Of course, we thought that was common. Didn't all families have aunts and uncles who were helpful in the area of making sure the children of the Family were well-behaved and courteous?

The picture here represents such a day. The event is told in my niece's BLOG, Conversations with my Father. I do remember that day. My dear uncle Joe -- my mother's brother -- had come over from South Philly to help my mom paint the living room. He was working on the ceiling. My brothers came in, mom probably asked them to do something they didn't feel like doing, and they mouthed off to her.

Uncle Joe was always affable. He whistled while he worked, and when the boys got sassy he just kept whistling and painting. When he finished that particular part of the ceiling, he thought, I suppose, it was time for a break, and he asked the boys to join him on the porch steps.
What happened next can be read in Conversations with my Father. Let me just say Uncle Joe didn't take to kindly to the way in which the boys spoke to my mother and he let them know in no uncertain terms it was not to happen again.

I say this because I was thinking about discipline and how we as children were "trained up in the way we should go" not only by my parents, but by the Aunts and Uncles as well. But with the extra discipline also came an abundance of love.

I never had any doubt when I was growing up that I was dearly loved, not only by my parents but by my Aunt Annie, Uncle Joe, Aunt Fran, etc.

Did we accept the discipline and act on it? Mostly we did. Unfortunately, we didn't always behave as we had been taught and suffered the consequence. I am so thankful to God for the training I received from not only my dad and mom, but also from the extended family of Aunts and Uncles.

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