Thinking about my childhood, I remember that my parents were authoritative when it came to instilling manners in me and my siblings. My earliest memories of the many confrontational experiences I had with my mother were when she ordered us to switch the television off and do our homework or wash go to the kitchen and wash the dishes after dinner. Knowing that she was a little lenient than my father, and that she would not beat me anyway, I used to stay put on the sofa enjoying my favorite TV program, CNN’s Cartoons Time. Of course I knew, and she knew that I knew, that her say was final. She always threatened to keep the TV locked away for a week if I did not do as she said. Strangely now that I think about it, I dreaded the prospect of going for a week without watching cartoons than I dreaded a beating. So my only option was to make a whole act of standing up in slow motion, releasing a long yawn and stretching my arms the longest time possible. This tactic was intended to buy me extra time of watching TV.
My father was stricter than my mother. Whenever he ordered me to do something that I did not feel like doing, such as going to answer a knock on the door when Cartoon Time was going on, I willl look at my mother with pleading eyes to intervene on my behalf. As always, she would assume and go on with her chores. At this point my father’s face would be as hard as a rock, daring me to take a moment longer. I would sulk all the way to the door and back, and find that he had changed the channel. He would look at me, smile and say, “You never learn, do you?”
I believe that my parents’ authoritative but gentle way of dealing with me and my siblings instilled in us a sense of obedience, responsibility, and respect for authority. Initially I thought that they just enjoyed disrupting my happy times. As I grew up, however, I realized that they wanted us to understand that there was time for everything, such as watching TV, doing homework and helping our mum with domestic chores. They also wanted to teach us the importance of obeying seniors at all times.