Old School Vs. New School

Kim WilliamsI remember when I was growing up in “the olden days,” as my son calls my younger days. I call that era “Old School Days,” a time when things were much different than our current time. The family unit had a different role that each member contributed. Family business was conducted with a certain amount of order. Everyone knew their place, as a father, a mother and a child and everyone played their position. When Mama yelled, “Dinner is ready,” everyone came to the table and ate at the same time (old school). There was a time when the street lights came on, and parents knew where their children were because they were forbidden to be outside after dark. Do you recall the time if you were caught “cutting up” in public, what would happen if the neighbor saw you? Needless to say, the neighbors were part of your surrogate family (the village) and had permission to “lay hands on you.”  In addition, you would receive another “good ole fashion” when you arrived home. I remember when I was caught out misbehaving back in the day. The neighbors would scold me if they saw me doing wrong and when I returned home my grandparents would whoop my derriere’. Nevertheless, they did not have too many problems out of me because I knew the consequences that lie ahead of me for misappropriate conduct. Furthermore, do you remember the ultimate but most effective phrase to scare the life out of any child? “Wait until your father gets home!” This expression alone would make a kid go “crap” in their pants. A child would beg and plead for their mischief to bypass their father’s ears for the sake of the discipline that would be administered by their father.  Unfortunately, this tactic is not as effective as it once was, due to modern childrearing that affords children to play by their own rules and negotiate their own corrective behavior. Old School family order has become a thing of the past.

In the new millennium, everyone just casually drops by the kitchen and if there is anything cooked, they proceed to prepare their plates, grab a tray and eat with the television and not the family (new school). At this time, while living in the 20th century, teenagers go out after dark and it is the norm to return before the crack of dawn. I think now if anyone puts their hands on a child as a form of discipline they can expect to receive judicial punishment that may result to the loss of their parental rights and perhaps even incarceration. Therefore, no one wants to get involved with helping others with their children anymore. The village has become extinct, due to no suitable family structure as well as fear of the consequences for disciplining someone else’s children.

I personally, think that some of us that grew up in the seventies that came out ahead with great life lessons along with incomparable life skills. When I was a child I grew up dealing with extreme adversities such as; molestation, a parent with addictions and the emotional and mental abuse that came along with irresponsible parenting. My saving grace was the old fashion, child rearing of my grandparents in my formative years. They taught me to always have good manners. They enforced conduct such as: always say, “Please, Thank you, May I, Yes Sir, No Ma’am and follow it up with an incredible smile. These characteristics contributed to my success in relationships as well as being highly received in an array of environments. I always share these attributes with younger people in order to help them win in life. My philosophy is you don’t have to be the best looking, smartest or richest individual, however if you have good manners they will take you far. What happened to us teaching our children the basics; good manners, respect for others, followed up my disciplinarian actions, if necessary. Is it not necessary for families to implement these old school practices with their children anymore? Or has new school become the standard practice of life for the modern family?

As a parent and leader I purpose we go back to old school and bring order back to our families. We need to hold children as well as parents accountable. You may ask how we do that, especially in the broken home. Well it takes “a village,” and the restoration of family hexarchy must be set in place. Let’s return men to their rightful position as the head of the family. I know you are asking yourself how do we this, if there is no man in the home. If there is a village there is a man around that can be utilized as a teacher, disciplinary and leader to assist mothers in the community with their children. Let us return to treating mothers in the family with due respect as the Matriarchs that they are in their family. Lastly, we must prepare children and teach them to implement the value of everyone working together for the betterment of one cause and that is for the success of building a family legacy. That’s old school which I believe always trumps new school.


Kimberly Williams

The Premier Single Mothers Consultant

Founder of the Matriarch Society