Cody and I sometimes joke that we are parents to an elderly woman in a five year old body.

She hates loud noises.

She hates candy.

She hates merriment in general.

One Year. Hated Cupcakes.

“How dare you present me with such rubbish! Don’t you know who I am?”

She always has to have a blanket on her lap.

Kids drive her crazy.

Loud music? Can’t stand it.

I gave birth to an elderly woman.

Darn you kids and your cheerful gallivanting!

I took her to the playground today where a bunch of high schoolers on spring break were running amok. Bad words, disrespect for each other and the worst, ignorance to the little kids that were there first.

I silently stewed in my brain. Considered calling their parents. Following them home. Videotaping them.

Bah. They were jerks.

And then one almost knocked my kid off a ladder because he was too busy trying to beat the tar out of another kid.

I went crazy lady loud. If I’ve ever experienced Mama Bear emotions it was in that moment.

All twenty teenagers went dead silent and still, staring open mouthed at the shouty lady poised at the side of the playground.

No one apologized, a few of the girls told the boys to watch out for the little kids.

But for the most part they could have cared less.

I think my generation was kind of the end of the whole “respect your elders” group.

I know I can’t control everything.

But I refuse to let Addie grow up to be a jerk.

She will respect herself.

She will respect others.

She will care for those smaller than her, and hold in high regard those bigger than her.

I’m hoping I’m not alone in this. That other parents out there want the same for their kids. That these “old fashioned values” will again become the norm.

That when Addie plays on a playground with her friends in 11 years she won’t be looked at like a dork for making sure the little kids are okay. That she won’t be ashamed to stand up for herself when others around begin using words that no self respecting person, especially a child, would use.

That she will make modesty cool. That she will take pride in her virtue. That others will look to her as an example.

Adelaide means “of exalted nature.”

I hope she exudes that and more.

I know I can’t keep her innocent forever. But oh, how I treasure her innocence now.

I take it as my challenge and my privilege to raise a young lady.

Even if she already acts like an old grumpy one.

Crazy hair.


  1. She sounds like my kinda girl. I think we could be really good friends, with blankets on our laps.

    She could stand in my driveway with me and tell the neighbor kids to “stay away from my car!”

  2. Oh, oh, oh. Casey, you are a treasure. I feel EXACTLY the same way. “That she will make modesty cool. That she will take pride in her virtue. That others will look to her as an example.” Absolutely glorious. Thank you for this post today.

  3. That last picture is PRICELESS!

    I know exactly what you mean about disrespectful teenagers. As a teacher, I never let go of the teacher in me. I will glare at teens, I will tell parent-less kids to stop running through store aisles, and tell loudmouths of any age to watch their language.

    Keep up the good work as a defender of respect!

  4. Not alone in your thinking AT ALL! Was just thinking about this the other day. To me teenagers seem so jaded and disrespectful. It’s nauseating.

  5. I am dying over the last picture. Too perfect.

  6. It sounds like she is learning some fabulous lessons already. She’s lucky to have such a dedicated mom!

    I was the girl who yelled at the cool kids at the park for not being nice to little kids.
    Definitely needed a bit of guidance in the modesty department though – that was certainly not my forte.

  7. You are not even close to being alone. If there were a parent rulebook these basic principles should be in the top 10.

    BTW my 6 year old daughter just said “who’s that baby” (referring to the last pic of Addie) “she’s adorable)

  8. LOL…I did that yesterday at the park. We were in the area CLEARLY marked 2-4 and my 2 year old almost got knocked off the “bridge” by these clearly 10 year old kids. After I yelled at them, I explained to my 4 year old how I hoped he behaved as he gets older.

    VALUES…am I getting old???

    Casey Reply:

    @Sarah, I told her she had every right to kick them if they backed her into a corner.
    I’m not raising a pushover.

  9. Definitely not alone. Perhaps we can bring it back – the respect, the caring.

    I adore that picture of her with her hands over her ears – so perfect.

  10. Amen!!

    My daughter’s name means “madien who is like God” and I fully intend on raising her to be a maiden who is like God.

  11. “I take it as my challenge and my privilege to raise a young lady.”… you will, you already are.

    She has the best example of a lady as her mommy. You’re so all set in this department, toots. You’ve got this in the bag!

    ps. lovely post, precious baby pics!

  12. I WANT to comment beautifully but, when you end it with that picture.

    All I can do is giggle and snort.

    (yes. just yes)

  13. She has one of my FAVORITE girl names.

  14. So not alone! When we’re in public, my 8 year old often remarks that kids much older than him “Are being very rude,” and seriously, wow, they really are.

  15. I remember when my parents used to say “kids these days.” And now look at us. We’re all saying the same thing. But, I agree with you that there just isn’t a respect factor. Sarah and I actually get surprised when a kid says please or thank you to us (unprompted). Tyler ALWAYS says “thank you” and usually says “please”. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  16. My kids (5 and almost 7) are the same as Cordy. Hates loud noises, loud music, etc. They definitely do not like other kids, LOL.
    I’m also raising them to be a lady and a gentleman. It’s “Please, thank you, you’re welcome, and Excuse Me”. I’ve gotten quite nasty with a few kids for pushing around my daughter because they bigger (including one in Kindergarten when she’s in 1st).
    I’m constantly complaining about how kids are these days. If I acted like that when I was growing up, I’d have a switch taken to me (I’m 28, LOL). I’d never be able to get away with it. Heck, the language FOURTH GRADERS are using would get me eating soap, in high school.


  17. I’m glad you got all Mama Bear with those dumb teenagers. They needed a talking-to!

  18. I hope the same for the next generation. And while I don’t plan on having kids, I am so grateful that there are parents like you.

    We should all be so lucky to have had parents who are as conscious, loving, and committed to their children as you and Cody are.

    Oh, and Addie and I? We’d get along well. I’ve always been an old lady, too. :)

  19. I’m 20 now and I was raised the way you want to raise the Moosh. I highly recommend it. As a nanny, it’s how I’m working with the three kids trusted in my care every day.

    Yes, it’s a little bit alienating being a better human being than your peers (that sounded egotistical–I don’t mean it that way!), but I never felt like a dork. People notice when you’re mature and treat others with respect. I’ve gotten farther in life due to the way my Dad raised me. I thank him a lot–I’m sure she’ll do the same.

  20. “I think my generation was kind of the end of the whole “respect your elders” group.” That sums up exactly how I feel lately. There’s a sense of entitlement in the youth of today that I don;t feel was present when I was growing up. I’m only 35, but I feel like a crotchety old lady when I see the disrespect out there. So glad you’re teaching your daughter great values. My husband and I are trying to do the same with our son.

    Awesome post!

  21. …And this is why I love reading your blog so much! It’s sad to think that things like “manners” and “decent upbringing” are fading fast. I don’t care how it looks to others or how they are perceived — my kids will have these qualities. They’ll be better people because of it.

  22. She is awesome. And she’s going to be an amazing, mannerly but very cool lady someday, just like her mom.

    I entered Mama Bear Mode a couple times last summer, because older kids (maybe around age 8-9) thought my THREE YEAR OLD was their age (he’s tall, but not that tall!) and were picking on him because he didn’t want to play some game with them. But before I jumped in he stood there, not wanting to follow, and told them politely, “No thank you.” I was pretty darn proud.

    My husband and I are trying to raise our sons as gentlemen. My older son, who is almost 4, knows to be careful of smaller kids, and he stands back to let everyone else have a turn first. It’s hard because we only have these early years to really teach them about how to treat others and just pray that it will stick with them later. We try to live that way ourselves and teach by example–that’s how we were raised. So bravo to you… I hope more of our generation is passing on old-fashioned Respect to our kids!

  23. My daughter hates all those things too. AND she has an old lady name too (Millicent). Maybe it *is* their names!

  24. Those pictures are the awesome! And no, you are not alone!
    The Love and Logic parenting class we took last month said it was our goal to raise respectful, responsible children who were fun to be around. Yup, that pretty much sums it up!
    Oh, and my son hates loud noises too, I hope to keep it that way until he’s past being a teenager… save his hearing while I’m at it!

  25. i’m your age casey, and i work in a bar. spring break is like the 10th circle of the inferno that dante forgot to document. nobody says “please” or “thank you”, people just start sentences with “lemme get” “i NEED” or just one word orders “coors” what? i don’t even get a complete sentence!? Class and manners are on a demise in the younger generation (well, society in general, but that’s another rant) So amen to this post! and what an awesome mom you are!

  26. Spring B says:

    I sat here and was nodding while I read (which probably made me look like a freak to my coworkers). It is so true, every word of it. Parents today seem to try to hard to be their kids’ friends. And while I hope and pray to have an awesome relationship with my girl, I’m her mom; plain and simple. God gave her to me (and her Daddy) to teach her right from wrong; to be respectful of her elders & other people and to not act like a moron in public (okay, maybe God doesn’t use moron, but still). Addie will be fine, she’ll be better than fine and you, as always, are incredible! Thanks so much for this post.

  27. Amen sister!

  28. Teenagers are jerks. I hope & pray that I can raise my girls to be respectful and kind too.

  29. Amen sister! You tell’em!

  30. I love this post.. darn those stinking teenagers!
    I teach my kids the same thing, be kind, be proud of yourself and what you stand for! Not enough of that these days.
    And the highchair in the first picture is the exact same one that my parents had for me and still use to this day:) they have grandkids that can easily slide out!! lol

  31. respect! (for you, for her, we need more of it!)

  32. That last pic made me smile and I’ve had a crappy week so far so thanks!

  33. ADORABLE pictures. Also, AMEN SISTA! I will be right along with you making sure my kids (when I have kids some day) are respectful to themselves and others. Darn hooligans. ;)

  34. So the fact that I’m secretly teaching her swears is a bad thing?

  35. A-freaking-men! Seriously…if my 19 month old can say please, thank you, welcome, and excuse me then a teenager can do the same!

    I think (know?) it comes from a generation of parents wanting to be friends…sorry, but I am my child’s parent. I can be a friend to her, but you better believe that I will be disciplining her if she needs it.

    That, and entitlement. Everyone thinks they deserve everything. How about you work for what you want? I mean, seriously!

    Okay…stepping down from my soap box now. :-)

  36. LOVE that last photo of Addie!

  37. I wonder how Ivy will be. Addie is SO much like Gray. I call him my grumpy old man but I love him so.


  38. There are lots of things about life in the Deep South that are grating on me lately, but I have to give it to this region: kids here are raised to be respectful. I have never heard, “yes ma’am” so often in my life. I’m working hard to make that a rote part of my daughters’ vocabularies.

  39. I raise my kids like you are raising Addie. They might act out at home, but they *know* how to behave in public, and they DO (or they lose that privilege). I took my 5 year old son to a pool party and a classmate came up and pushed him down in the water.. my son looked at him like, “what is WRONG with you?”

  40. Go Casey! Go Addie! Put those punks in their place. I,too, wish we were still in the generation where it was acceptable to scold other kids if their parents weren’t stepping up. Come to our playground and we’ll RULE!

  41. As a high school teacher, I can tell you that this generation’s motto is, “You have to give respect to get respect.” And they always feel like they aren’t getting any respect. Their parents are even worse…always looking for someone else to blame for their child’s bad behavior. I, too, am determined that my kids will rock the “old fashioned values”!

  42. <3 this post

  43. Oh, yes, this. This, this, this. Thanks.


    As the mother of another little girl with an old lady name (Margaret! doesn’t get more old-fashioned than that!) I’m so on board with you. Respect, all around- for yourself, for others. It would eliminate so so many problems in this world.

  45. Amen sister! I get so angry when older kids “take over” areas meant for younger kids and show no regard for anyone other than themselves!

    And I love the name Adelaide, it’s on my short list if I’m ever fortunate to birth a girl.

  46. I am with you. I am constantly amazed at how people praise me for the wonderful and polite children that I have (even when I am no thinking they are so wonderful)

    Kudos to you on sticking up to those teens….I have told them on more than one occasion that they need to find some where else to hang out.

  47. You are not alone Casey. Promise.

    I get looks from people…get told by relatives that I should let my kids run amok more. They are just kids. Blah, blah, blah. Shrug. My kids won’t be the ones that people are posting about in a negative way, when they are teens. I except them to be respectful human beings.

    I get told how well behaved and sweet they are by strangers, all the time. So, I’ll add my three to the list. :)

  48. I wouldn’t worry too much about what she does in playgrounds in 11 years. I figure by that time all playgrounds will be virtual and we’ll all be lucky if the children of the world ever get out in the fresh air at all :)

  49. Hopefully – despite the lack of reaction – one or two of them may have realised that they need to be more careful.

    I intend to raise my girls with respect for others and respect for grown ups. Sometimes it feels like am nagging them more than other parents, but perhaps that is because they easily forget their manners when their peers fail to show any.

    I had a parenting moment like yours in our local post office. A young man – possibly still a teenager, or maybe slightly older – was a few people behind us in the queue. And it was a slow queue. He was huffing and sighing and grumbling aloud.

    Finally he said out loud “oh for F*&$s sake…” and complained about the wait.

    I spun on my heel and in full authorative mode admonished him with “My 5 year does NOT need to hear that kind of vulgar language in a public place, thank you very much.”

    It wasn’t until after it had burst out of me that I though “oh jeez, I hope he doesn’t retaliate!”

    But it’s not acceptable. And I am sure some of the other people in the queue with me were pleased that someone told him off. Not everyone thinks that kind of language has a place in normal conversation.

  50. Wow. I loved this. Can you come talk to my stepson? He’s 15 and although he’s generally very conscientious about those younger than him, he sometimes gets caught up in the disrespectful junk that is so prevalent among teenagers these days. I know I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you for raising your daughter in such an honorable manner!


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