Parenting Done Wrong …

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I know parents are supposed to support each other (it takes a village and all that jazz), that parenting isn’t easy, and that no matter how hard you try, some days just don’t go well.  Even your normally quiet and best behaved little ones are going to have tantrums, outbursts. I get it.  I’ve been there.  I never said my kids wouldn’t do it.  But I did say my kids wouldn’t get away with doing it.  Big difference.

But the cases that really make my eyes pop out are the ones in which the PARENTS are to blame and the PARENTS are the ones you’d like to slap upside of the head because they’re not only condoning but encouraging the unacceptable behaviour either by their lack of immediate discipline or their need to make everything exactly the way their little princes and princesses want it to be, even at the expense of others.  Like, we’re all supposed to put up with your little hellion because you choose to do so?  I don’t think so, Tim.

I’m talking about parents who appear to be raising their snowflakes to grow up thinking the rest of the world will bow to them just like their parents do, and I’m especially talking about the parents who are willing to buy their way out of anything.  Can you say “teenage criminal with money bags daddy who pays off a judge to just make it go away”?  OK, call me dramatic, but that kind of crap starts somewhere and a couple of incidents I heard about this week sparked my attention.

My daughter belongs to a running group online and recently there was a big Disney marathon weekend in Florida, so people have been chatting about their experiences and she shared these two with me: (I can’t link you directly to the posts because it’s a closed group)

Please stop kicking me

One runner who was taking in some of the Disneyworld attractions while there for the weekend, was standing in line for a ride and found herself being shoved and actually kicked by some children next to her.  The parents were right there.  She asked the kids to please stop kicking her, and was told by the parents to get over it, “this place is for kids, you know”. Huh?

IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS you have just now told them IT IS OK TO KICK PEOPLE because they are standing in an amusement park themed just for them and anyone else there needs to put up with whatever they decide to do, even if it hurts.  And yes, the kids went right on shoving and kicking.  Un-freaking-believeable.

I’ve been at the Happiest Place on Earth, I’ve seen a few misbehaving children in line on occasion – most are just cute and excited to be there – but I’ve never been pushed or shoved by any of them and had I been, I’m really not sure what I would have given as a response to these absolutely rude and ineffective parents.  Those lines can get pretty crowded, you aren’t always close to a staff member to ask for help,  and you never know how someone might twist off at you if you dare suggest that their perfect little wonder child is annoying you.

No, you can’t have my medal

Another runner who had just completed a challenge – a 10K run and the marathon – was sitting in a restaurant afterward with some friends and had one of her medals sitting on the table.  A boy about five years old went over, took the medal, put it around his own neck and went back to his own table.  The runner went over to the table and asked for her medal back.  He gave it to her, but a few minutes after she got back to her own table, the boy’s mother came over to say that he really wanted her medal and she would pay $50 for it. (cough – privileged brat – cough).  The runner said no, that it wasn’t for sale, she had earned it and wasn’t giving it up.  The mother then offered $100, to which the runner again said no, and the kid came over and proceeded to throw a temper tantrum.  The runner said she was sorry that the boy couldn’t handle the disappointment of not getting what he wanted.  The mother told the runner it’s just a medal, she had ruined the boy’s day, and that perhaps she would understand if she had kids of her own.

Just take a breath and let that sink in.

The runner EARNED her medal – if you know anything about running marathons you know what that means – and because some kid’s mom can pay his way out of everything  the rest of the world is supposed to bow down, surrender their stuff, take the cash and move on.

These stories wouldn’t be so annoying if they weren’t so damn typical in today’s world of self-entitlement.  Yes, I had kids and no, they were not – nor are they now as adults – perfect.  But here’s how this would have gone down had one of my kids even tried to pull such a ridiculous stunt:

  1. My kids, at five, were not allowed to wander freely around a public place unsupervised.  Problem solved.
  2. IF by chance one got away from my table before I could stop them, I would have followed them immediately and prevented the taking of the medal.  Problem solved.
  3. IF I hadn’t made it to my child before they grabbed the medal, I would have turned them straight around to give it back with an apology FROM MY CHILD to the owner.  Problem solved.
  4. IF for some reason – like the runner’s table was right beside mine and my child was able to take two steps over without me stopping him/her – as soon as they got back to the table with the medal in hand they would have been taken to the owner to surrender the medal and give an apology.  Problem solved.
  5. If my child threw a temper tantrum over not being able to have the medal, I wouldn’t have been whipping out my wallet.  I would have been dragging my child to the car where they would have received what is now probably an illegal smack on the butt and maybe even the deprivation of further entertainment in the theme park designed for children.

I cannot fathom the arrogance and stupidity of the mother who decided that her child’s immediate desire trumped the choice of a woman to keep something significant that was her own to begin with, and that it was OK to sanction the lifting of someone else’s possession with no consequence other than having to bear the disappointment of knowing that even mommy’s money couldn’t make it all better.

As to the first situation with the kicking children, had I been the receiver of the kicks and the parental response, I think I might have spoken directly to the children and told them that “mommy and daddy say that kicking people is OK so if you want to kick someone, turn around and kick them”.  After all, they’re certainly the people who deserve to be kicked.  Hard.

I can honestly say here that I have a hard time imagining even my most active little guy thinking it was OK to kick strangers in a public place, so the behavior of these children must have been learned and tolerated long before the trip to Disneyworld! Had one of mine crossed the line though, they’d have been made to apologize – I would have also apologized for not paying close enough attention to see what happened – and if it didn’t stop, my child would have been removed from the line-up to miss going on that ride and learn a lesson in proper behaviour because the place was NOT DESIGNED JUST FOR THEM and even if it were, there’s still no excuse.

I can tolerate children who are stepping out of line; it happens.  I cannot tolerate parents who stand by and allow it, not because they didn’t see it, not because they don’t have enough hands to deal with it, but because they actually say it’s OK and are willing to reward their children for bad behaviour.  I can’t even …

 

 

 

 

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