Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Whether liberal parents would like to believe it or not, children do like structure. They have no way of knowing what is right and what is wrong without someone giving some sort of guidelines to abide by. They may start off liking that they have no rules and pretend for awhile to be your friend because you are "the cool" parent, but shortly (and more sooner than later) those same wayward children will resent their so called "cool" parent because they are not well liked, they don't know how to resolve problems, and they don't know why they have to do what anyone tells them to.

Though I have written about parenting and discipline in various forms before, I am not referring to that same topic now. What I am recalling are all of those lessons I received while growing up and the benefit they have on me now. I am sure we have all received the same lessons in order for us to function successfully. However the one that seems to be resounding in me now is the one of having a clean home. These days with parents being so busy trying to keep a roof over their families' head and it being necessary to have 2 incomes, there doesn't seem to be time for teaching the importance of having a clean home. What I have learned over the years that its more important for there to be order, rules, a place for everything and everything in its place; so not to be rigid but to have freedom to deal with everyday issues that happen rather than allowing them to mount up into a mountain.

I suppose the lesson was really driven when watching the series on A&E network of Hoarders. These people may have never been the organizing type and for whatever reason justifies the filthy condition of their homes. They know there is a problem but when it comes time to solve it, they come up with so many excuses and reasons as not to get it resolved. The organizers find that with these people it is a mental condition that came about because of a traumatic situation such as a loss in the family, some physical ailment, or another mental condition that stemmed into hoarding. The last episode I saw was an educated woman who didn't go out to buy a myriad of new things but didn't throw away her garbage, It got so bad that she couldn't get to the bathroom and wore disposable adult diapers because of it. When the diapers were soiled, she didn't throw those way either. She finally got to the age where she was to retire and needed to have some sort of an income. Her daughter, who had lived in these conditions all of her childhood was looking to help her mother move but only if she found help to do so. When she came to see about her mother she told of how her mother could not even sleep in her bed but tied herself to a portal medical toilet so that when she dosed off she wouldn't fall into all of the mess she had created around herself. It was to no avail. She fell asleep and in so doing she fell with the toilet tied around her. She was wedged in and couldn't get herself out of it. They found her surrounded in her own waste.

In talking with her daughter she finally agreed that it was too much for her to even contend with so she was willing to move. She also agreed to have her home professionally cleaned so she could sell the home and have an income to live on while transitioning into a care facility. As the professionals came to assess the damage in the home and to clean it, they realized the cleaning process would be for the health of the mother to see what she had done over the years but the house in of itself had to be condemned. As they moved bag after bag of soiled adult diapers, the woman watched and smiled even made jokes about the garbage. The daughter didn't see the humor and had concluded that her mother could not live with her but had to be in a home for the elderly. She knew that the collecting would begin the moment her mother was in a new place - her home.

Its funny that the daughter claimed when she moved away from her mother that she did not pick up the habit of collecting garbage though she had lived with it her whole life. She made up in her mind that it was not a way she was going to live especially when she learned there was a better way. She found this when her friends in school would invite her to a sleep over. She marveled at the way others lived and set a goal for herself.

Would this not be true of anything we do? No matter what we have been taught from our parents, if we decide to do something different as long as there is a plan and determination in place, could it not happen? Would this also be true of one's health? Doctor's say that because of heretiary conditions, we will have the same problems as our parents. If one parent is diabetic, then we have a 50% chance of also being diabetic. If both parents are diabetic then it is inevitable that we will be also. But what if we were to study our parents and see that one would not stay home for one weekend but worked nonstop for the goal of just loving to work. Because of never resting and using caffeine as fuel, he had heart disease. Wouldn't it be common sense not to have that same kind of lifestyle so not to have the same results?

It is true that we tend to model behavior after those who raised us but its just not written in stone that we have to cling to the way they did things. Don't get me wrong, if it is good and it works, by all means, do that - but know what is good and what isn't. Both of my parents smoked while I was growing up. My mother smoked cigarettes and my father smoked cigarettes, a pipe, and occasionally a cigar or two. I liked the smell of the cigar and pipe but I never had the desire to smoke any of it. Granted when I was little I would go into their car and light up the butts left in the ashtray, but that was only pretending to be grown up. Once grown, (or in those few years) it made no sense to me to be spending that amount of money weekly just to burn it up. I didn't have to discipline myself not to smoke, I just decided I have no need for it.

What about you? Is it absolutely necessary for you to eat late at night or have the sweet snack just because you feel like having something sweet? Why do you procrastinate to do the laundry week after week? Why buy more clothes when all you have to do is wash what you have? Why make the landlord wait for the rent when you got your paycheck? He could have been one of the first people paid off. Why make excuses to not exercise when you know what the outcome of that will be? Clean up the mess you make around you. If nothing else, wash your own dish when you are finished eating. Make your own bed when you get up from it. Make sure you don't leave trash yourself when you get up from the living room. You don't have to wait for the NewYear to make the resolution, do it now! Establish a goal, write it down to make the steps to obtain it. Where do you see yourself 6 months from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years and so forth and so on? What I use to teach to my clients is, failure to plan, is a plan to fail.
(Proverbs 22:6 KJV)