CONNIE’S MEMORIES, CONT’D

This will be a short memory since I need to go make 2 pies for a baked beans supper. The beans are cooking, the pies are not.

I mentioned previously that there were 3 forms of punishment in our family. Time out on a chair, going to our room, and a spanking on out bottom in extreme circumstances. In case you think spanking is awful, I can tell you it is not, if used selectively and not when angry. It impresses on a child that what they did was extremely dangerous to themselves or others. We were always spanked thru all our clothes. Truthfully it did not hurt and except for one time, I don’t even remember them.

We also had another punishment and a rewards system. I don’t remember how old I was when my mother began these 2 things. My sister was born when I was 7, so I expect it was around that time.

1. If we used bad language of any kind, name calling, swearing, and other what they called cuss words, we had to put money in a jar. Since we only got a small allowance, I remember starting at $.25, $.05 in a jar, was a big deal. Movies used to cost $.10 in the beginning, I think, and we used to go every Sat. afternoon. If we put too much in the jar, we couldn’t go to the movies. When the movies went up to $.25, our allowance went up to $.50.

Remember, we would have been considered poor, by today’s standard, even thought everyone worked and no one expected anything free from the government. Most people on the street lived the same way we did, so what did we know. We got an allowance every week because my parents thought the we should have responsibility over our own money. Also, they thought if we were part of the family and did our share of the work, we should be able to reap the benefits. The other thing was to teach us how to handle money. When it was gone, it was gone, and there was no more until the next Sun. And no, I don’t remember loans on our allowance, but maybe it did happen.

About the money jar, each month my mother would add up the money, add a little of hers and we would take turns throwing a family party once a month on Sunday night. We planned the supper and when we got big enough to cook, whoever was throwing the party did that too. After supper and cleanup, we played what ever games the person throwing the party planned, then we had the snacks paid for by the money in the jar. My favorite supper to cook was crepes with maple syrup, and I learned how to make the very young.

I remember one time doing a magic show with a magic kit I got for Christmas. Another time, someone had a shooting contest. We had the cooking utensils Hanging above the stove and I remember taking turns shooting the ping pong gun at them. Whoever did the best got a prize. A ping pong gun was and air gun made specifically to shoot ping pong balls. They went at least 20′. I wonder if they still have those, they were a lot of fun to play army, etc with and we could use them in the house.

The other reward was the chart on the refrigerator with stars when we did our assigned chores and a big 0 if we didn’t. I think we got rewarded for that also each month, but I don’t remember how.

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