My Blood Pressure is a Rising
March 2, 2009 by admncc
If there’s one thing that really gets my blood boiling, it’s bad parenting. And there’s no better place to see that than at the grocery store on a Sunday morning.
I’ve used several posts in the past to clarify my views on bad parenting. One was “Kids – A Product of their Environment” and the other one was “Ranting and Raving.” You see; I didn’t use them to discuss how good of a parent I thought I was. I used them to explain that there is a big difference between being a parent who is fair (yet stern) and one who is not. This post will be no different.
As I mentioned above, we were at the grocery store yesterday morning. It is always interesting to people-watch there. Yesterday, the issues started as soon as we walked in the door.
First, I heard a child screaming in the distance. The screaming continued as we shopped aisle to aisle. Finally, my curiosity got the best of me. So I walked ahead a few aisles to check it out. There was a very young mother not doing a very good job of attending to her child’s needs. By now, this kid had been crying for a good fifteen minutes. As I found the source of the crying, a mother was scolding her child and just kept saying, “You are just crabby and I’m not putting up with it today.” Then a woman, who appeared to be the child’s grandmother, walked over, shook the child and said, “Shut up!” Situations like this always upset me in one way or another. So I kept walking, before I embarrassed myself and made a comment I’d regret.
I eventually returned to the aisle my wife was in. Then I heard a man yell, “What do you want?” Then I hear the same man yell, “Make up your mind!” Finally I hear him yell, “I am sick of you and your sister acting like this.” The family made their way into our aisle. It was a middle-aged man and he had two little girls with him. I think they were both about five to six years old. This guy was on his cell phone and made another disparaging comment to one daughter and she started to cry. I couldn’t hear exactly what he said, because he wasn’t yelling that time. But the daughter was visibly upset. And the father went on talking on his cell phone as if nothing happened, while the girl stood there and sobbed.
Being a parent isn’t easy. You have to make tough decisions and sometimes they involve disciplining your child. But I truly believe there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. And I have never believed that screaming (in a demeaning fashion) at your child is the right way to do it. I mean; when I look at my four year old and see her cute face, I realize that sometimes she acts up and severely tries my patience. Yet knowing that I have the power to yell at her and break her down almost brings me to tears just thinking about it. Because I’ve never done it and I’ve never had to do it. My wife and I are a good team and our daughter respects us. We practice corrective action, which is – an incident happens, we discuss the incident and why it was wrong, we discipline if necessary and then we move on. It works every time.
I could go into a long side-rant about the whole “kids having kids” theory (i.e. the young mother not being able to handle her daughter acting up), but that’s a post for a different day. Frankly, this post isn’t about if you’re married, if you’re a single parent, if you’re young or if you’re old. It’s about keeping your cool and reminding your children who is in charge – especially in public. To the dad, mom and grandma I saw at the store today – I don’t respect you and you not only embarrassed yourself, but you proved that you have a lot of learning to do.
Every day I believe more and more in the theory that kids are truly a product of their environment. Therefore, the sad part is that I guess it’s fair to say that some kids never have a chance…