You get what you get and don’t get upset.
My young granddaughter was singing these words today on the way to school. “You get what you get and don’t get upset” “Where did you hear those words”? l asked her. Apparently it was the latest jingle her friends were singing. I discovered later that it came from a book ‘Pinkaliousious’ by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann. A story about a girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. Obviously, referring to her greediness and I would assume, the feeling of sickness she would have experienced after. It occured to me, that this was the opposite to my parents favourite warning. “If you don’t eat everything on your plate, you can go to bed hungry” although, it wouldn’t have been pink cupcakes that I was being bribed to eat.
It might have been something to do with the school sports carnival she was going to later. Maybe all the young kids who thought they weren’t going to win anything, had adopted the words as some type of mantra. That’s hardly likely of course, as losing is almost a taboo word now. I was visiting a friend of mine who has two daughters, I was admiring all the trophies they had won at school in his display cabinet. I remarked “bloody hell mate, your girls must have been super stars” “It would seem that way” he remarked. “ The truth is, they get a trophy for just turning up nowadays”
You get what you get.
I’m not suggesting that we should go back to the so called, ‘good old days’. But I’m not sure, that allowing kids not to lose, is a good idea either. Talking to my granddaughter confirmed, that young kids still want to win, but they can also accept losing. After all, it’s the adults who decide that their kids need to be protected from disappointment. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” a proverb taken from the bible, seems harsh by today’s standards. If taken literally, it could be used as justification for punishing children unnecessarily. They were “tougher” in those days of course, so consequently, there were fewer sensitive “new age” guys around.
I don’t believe the physical punishment that often happened, was ever justified. But knowing, that it could happen, enforced a mental toughness that seems to be missing now. I can remember my mother, telling me to “wait till your father gets home, he can deal with you” which was common, among many mothers in those days. Now that really was something to look forward to, especially if it happened in the morning and you had to wait all day for the inevitable punishment. “You get what you get” It was a good idea to get upset as well, as any act of defiance didn’t go down very well.
You get what you get at school.
Punishment at school was given quite liberally. There wasn’t much political correctness happening. I often imagined meeting those teachers in a dark alleyway, but those feelings are long gone now. How could l forget the teacher, who stood on a chair and jumped down with the cane in his hand to get more traction. Or a size nine plimsoll, on our wet backside, after getting out of the shower, at the end of a gym session. Being naked, certainly added to the vulnerability we all felt. Were these teachers sadistic? I’m not sure, probably it was seen as normal practice, in the toughening up process. It remained unspoken, as going home and saying anything only ensured more punishment. “You must have deserved it, so here’s some more to go with it”
Thankfully my grandchildren have been “spared the rod” but it goes without saying, that this isn’t the case in many countries around the world. I can’t remember either of my parents ever turning up to one of my sports days. In fact, it wasn’t encouraged, so I’m not sure, if it was a good or a bad idea. Although l believe it was easier to accept losing, when parents expectations and hopes weren’t on display. It’s great that parents do get more involved with their children now. But they can’t all win, if your child has a great voice in the shower, it doesn’t mean that their a certainty to win a talent show. Encourage, but don’t bring your own expectations into play. Then it will be a lot easier for them “to get what they get and not get upset”