Although it might seem pretty corny to a lot of folks today, the old Andy Griffith Show really did have a lot of common sense family values that we could learn from today.
Take for instance the episode “Bailey's Bad Boy" that guest starred Bill Bixby as a spoiled rich teenager who wanted his rich dad to bail him out of jail once he got in trouble in Mayberry. Bixby's character sees the perfect example of parenting from Andy when Taylor makes Opie stand on his own two feet and pay for a window he had broken. Too often in real life we bail our kids out of everything. You don't really do your kid a favor when you take away any chance they might have of getting a personal sense of responsibility. No matter how small the occurrence if your child breaks something even by accident, take the time to explain to the child the importance of taking responsibility for the things we do. I'm not saying you should get angry and act like the Incredible Hulk, just explain to the kid that if he breaks things or makes a mess he has to clean it up, and then make sure they do.
One of the most famous episodes of Andy Griffith was the episode entitled “Opie the Birdman". Opie accidentally kills a mother bird leaving her baby birds all alone. Andy doesn't sugar coat the situation. He doesn't yell and scream like a cat under a rocking chair either. He just simply opens a window and let's Opie hear the baby birds crying for their mother, and points out to Opie the hard fact that his actions have consequences. Sometimes we shelter our kids from every type of responsibility possible, while at the same time allowing them to absorb hours of violence and sex on the TV and video games.
Today we have more than made sure our kids have material things. They have video games, televisions in their room, so many toys there is not enough time to play with them, but we shirk our responsibility on the biggest, most important part of raising a kid, the part where you actually raise them up to be adults. Fun and toys are great. Every child ought to have fun, but they should be slowly growing up too. So my humble suggestion is like Andy Taylor said make sure your boy or girl can stand on their own two feet. No opportunity is too small to begin instilling these important lessons. It's just like the Bible says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. “
Taking your kid fishing like Andy did Opie is not that bad either. If that isn't your cup of tea then surely you can enjoy going to the park with your kid or playing something outside. Most kids never seem to want to venture outside anymore. They're missing an important part of development and growing more and more obese every year. Health is another important aspect of life that kids need to take responsibility for. Even children are developing diabetes, which they wouldn't have normally, due to diet and lack of physical activity. The fact of the matter is, in the long run protecting our kids from facing the consequences of their actions today will mean greater consequences later down the line. So be like Andy and open the window and let your kid hear the birds, and don't be afraid to let him or her pay for a broken window occasionally.
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