Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Children Mirror Their Parents' Relationship

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 20) This probably sounds silly, but I miss talking to Tom today. However, I had to type out a term paper. Whew! It took a lot of time. Tomorrow I’ll see Tom. I’ll be glad. Good Night.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 21) Tom gave me his pictures today. He sure looks handsome in his cap and gown. Bishop, I love him.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 21) Geez, I did not win the Junior Round Table Speech Contest (I think I mentioned to you about this metropolitan Human Relations group in a previous entry). Of course, I graciously congratulated the winner, but inwardly I think I ought to have been chosen as the winner. Maybe all losers think that, but the guy really didn’t put half as much “umph” as I did. Oh well, next year is another year for me to try. Thank you for helping me to accept defeat with a smile.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 22) Tom called me up tonight and told me about his acceptance to the university he wanted to attend. Great! Thank You, Lord. Please let him and me complete our education. 

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 23) Today I was accepted to the university I wanted attend. I am very thankful and happy. Also, my Mummy and Daddy are so very proud of me. 

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 24) I feel so happy. I feel so fulfilled. Tom has seemed to be the cause of this. I prayed for a guy who would really care for me and I for him. I can’t stop thanking you, Bishop, and the Lord and all my heavenly friends. Help always to act like a lady and preserve my virginity until I fall in true and lasting love with a man and get married. Then, I pray that I shall be able to bear him healthy children. I want to give love, and that is the most important thing in my life.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 24) Tom wrote me a little note. He signed it “Love, Tom.” I know he only means good, clean, Christian teenage fondness love for a girl. I like it. He is nice, and he treats me respectfully. I try to act like a lady at all times. Please help me. Thank you. I care for him very much. Some of the qualities he possesses I want my husband in later (I do mean later) years to have.

Reflections: Whew! I shared many various aspects or angles of my teen years. There was the budding love life, participating in a civic organization, and excitement of being accepted into the university I wanted to so badly be accepted; I was! 

Why put all of these different aspects in this installment? This truly demonstrates the complexity of one’s life, especially that of a teen in the latter part of those years. S/he has so much bombarding that special life. In my case, I was heavily involved in a metropolitan human relations organization. And I learned early that I would not always win a contest. I had to learn to accept not be chosen as “numero uno” and not to pout about it but move on and plan to try again. With the support of my parents, I could share my disappointment. Yet, at the same time, I had their praise and their encouragement to try again the next year.

Sometimes, the poor behavior of parents I witness on TV news shows is quite discouraging. A child learns how to accept defeat gracefully or not-so-gracefully by the words and behavior of the parent/s. A mother spewing out profanities to a referee when a call goes against her child or a father confronting the referee with not only profanities but fisticuffs or even killing the referee by excessive battery is not how the child learns how to show graceful acceptance of a call against him/her or not winning the contest, no matter how well the child and/or parent thought the performance was. Yup, it goes back to the parents. Of course, such behavior may have been learned by the child’s parents’ parents. Good Grief!

And, still in the midst of my civic involvement, there was that romantic side. I was navigating through this new maze of being liked by someone other than just a friend. And it did add to my development and feeling of self-worth. I was quite blessed. I had a boyfriend in my teen years who was a first-class gentleman. And since the first man in my life, my Dad, had made me feel special first, I did not feel the need to totally lose my mind and focus totally on the guy. I knew that, if this guy would ever leave my life, I would always have the special bond with my Dad.

Now, I recognize why that unconditional love from a Dad for his daughter is so very important. Without even knowing it, I made choices in my behavior with my boyfriend based on the constant stability provided by my Dad. Yes, hormones were quite alive. However, I never felt any pressure to engage in activity that I knew I was nowhere ready to get involved. I knew I did not have to “prove my love” to my boyfriend or any guy by doing something that deep down I knew would not be good for me or I did not really want to do. Of course, I was raised in the day when there was no Internet and no really racy TV shows except for some “juicy” soaps. Still, I would hope to believe that, still, the fact that I was blessed with a stable and loving relationship with my Dad would still have kept “my head screwed on.”

And, yes, there was my Mummy. She had established when I “was knee-high to a duck” that I could talk to her about anything. I just knew she would be there for me and ready to listen and ready to give sound advice.

And my parents made it possible for me to see going to college as a realistic goal. No, my parents were nowhere wealthy. Still, my parents made it clear that they would make any sacrifice for me to attend college. And so, I knew I would not engage in any behavior that might thwart that goal.

And I chose a guy who had similar goals. 

At a very young age, I learned that I should choose a guy with whom I would be “evenly yoked.” My guy was from a loving home; I was from a loving home. My guy, although he was not raised with a Dad, only his Mom and Grandmom, still it was very obvious he had gained a lot of solid advice and care from both. My guy’s family expected him to go to college; my family expected the same. My guy’s Mom was whom he could go to and talk; I, too, had the same. By having the same common, solid base, I have no doubt that guided us in our behaviors. And as can be read, we both were accepted into the colleges we wanted to go.

In this day and age, I am most certain couples, young and old, should follow an “evenly yoked” philosophy. This would be one that, still, should be applied when talking about entering a relationship with a possible spouse. No, I am not talking about financial similarity; I am talking about similarities in ethics. Hopefully, many parents of 2017 are establishing this in the home. I am hoping that the norm is not those parents who are acting like spoiled and uncontrolled children themselves. Kudos to those parents who act as the adults they need to be in order to give to the world community young people who will be able to enter into wholesome relationships. When this occurs the results may not go so “haywire” and so much hurt be experienced.

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