Chastise

Chastise: (v) to rebuke or reprimand severely.

I was thoroughly convinced that my kids were going to remember their childhood by benchmarking the exciting trips, opportunities or gifts I gave them.

But as I sit around with them now, at holidays, and they feel free to open up about their journeys of being my offspring, rarely do they refer
to a camping trip or a special dinner at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

All of them recount the moments when their errors were brought to the forefront, and it was commanded of me, as their parent, to chastise. Sometimes they do object to the severity of my application, but mostly they are extraordinarily grateful that I was able to muster the backbone to stand up against trends of the time and try to tell them the truth to the best of my ability.

It’s actually a very moving experience, when I realize they understand that it is required to chastise those you love.

So even though I have no squabble with the common thought that love, exhortation, hugs, kisses and praise are very important parts of a child’s security, I also know that there comes a moment when time stands still–and it is the mission of the parent to stop the progression of ignorance, and encourage a better solution.

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Blunder

Blunder: (n) a stupid or careless mistake.Dictionary B 

The human race is constantly coming up with more gentle terms to cushion the word “failure.”

If we think we have been outstanding, “victory” or “success” seem to cover it well. But when some error occurs, the degree of severity has to be tenderized by the selection of the appropriate word.

Sometimes we’ll start off by saying, “It was a misunderstanding.”

Or “We misspoke.”

Occasionally we work up the courage to pronounce our last effort “a mistake.”

But it’s very unusual for human beings to be so forthcoming as to admit a blunder.

Other words avoided are “fiasco, a big pile of poop, idiotic”… and of course, the more truthful and cleansing pronouncement:

I fucked up.

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