Daily Archives: November 2, 2012


Definition of DISCIPLINE

1: to punish or penalize for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character

2: to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control

3 a : to bring (a group) under control <discipline troops>
b : to impose order upon <serious writers discipline and refine their writing styles>

Today I wish to concentrate on the second definition above.

To train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.’

A tweet from my good friend ‏@paddyanglican on 27th October following success for a local sports team, set me thinking:

‘Watching idiotic & irresponsible parents driving kids hanging out windows & sunroofs celebrating match in Nenagh #accidentwaitingtohappen’

When I was a young child growing up in the 50s and 60s, we were fortunate to have a car. My father was the only driver, my mother was never given the opportunity to learn how to drive. We children – six in total when the family was complete – scrambled into the back seat (seat belts were unheard of never mind compulsory), for Sunday afternoon outings, trips to visit relatives or longer journeys to holiday destinations. If mammy was not with us then there was a race for the front seat. We never heard of age restrictions for front seat passengers and we all looked on sitting beside the driver as a privilege.

There may well have been grumbles from the back seat of “Ouch! You are sitting on me.” Or “Move over, you are squashing me!” Mammy might chastise whoever she thought to be a culprit, while Daddy’s answer was to intone the rosary, at times on a long journey it would be all fifteen decades plus a litany of saints! That sure quietened us down!!

The older or quieter children were instructed to sit closest to the doors and to make sure that fidgeting hands did not touch the handles that opened the windows or doors.

To this day when any of our siblings travel in the same car, one or other can be heard intoning a typical stream of chants from those far off days.

“Are we nearly there yet?”
“Why did we come this way?”
“Are there no shops?”

Boredom was kept at bay by games of ‘I spy’ or ‘guessing the colour of the next car to come round a corner’ and singing. Singing kept us happy on many a long journey.

In the hottest weather we were allowed to open the windows about an inch to let air circulate. Putting a hand through the gap was considered an offence and as for sticking a head out of an open window…..

Once and only once, do I remember such a thing happening. It was on a quiet country road in early summer.  Daddy pulled over to the side of the road and offloaded the offender telling them they would have to walk home. He resumed his seat at the wheel, started the car and drove about 100 yards before stopping once more.  The offender ran tearfully to the car, where a door opened and Daddy’s sharp tone said “Get in!”

It was enough. A lesson for all of us, and we never attempted to put heads, hands or anything else out through an open window again.

Today, child safety protection laws make it compulsory for all children to use the correct child seat, booster seat or booster cushion. Smaller children – under 150 centimetres and less than 36 kilograms – must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system when travelling in a passenger car or goods vehicle.
Source: Road Safety Authority

So not alone were the parents of those children mentioned by @paddyanglican, not teaching their offspring the proper discipline of how to behave in a moving vehicle, they were actually breaking the law.

If there was an accident, I wonder who the parents would blame?

The topic of Discipline was chosen by Delirious, so why not drive on over to China and see what road she takes us down before checking out the other active members: Anu, Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.