The Underparented Child
I don't blame the children, but their "parents." Tell me your experiences with people's devilspawn.
Not terrible, but we wouldn't have gotten away with it.
I was at a burrito place. I had ordered & was waiting to take it to go.
2 parents & a daughter come in. The parents start staring at the menu & ignoring the kid. She's singing loudly some song she must have heard at school that day, enjoying the echo. And no one cares.
Then she takes one of the little 4 oz. cups for salsa & goes to the soda machine, fill it, drink it, fill it, drink it ... so the *click* *shooose* is now echoing too.
I try to move away from all this. So I'm standing over by a booth, and the Dad comes to sit right in that booth. Really? All the other booths in the entire place are free, no one else is here. And you need to sit in this one.
Posted by: MeganNJ
at August 31, 2010 3:00 PM
Favorite story *ever*. [Sorry for the length, but this is a priceless story.]
Preface: I work in the children's department of a library. We have a very strict rule regarding children under 8. They must be with a parent at all times. Signs are posted in several spots.
For one whole week, we have a young blonde-haired girl (whom I'll call Blondie) who keeps coming back to the children's room by herself. She's very clearly under 8. And she's wild. So even though she tries to "sneak" in (attempting to go behind the bookshelves), she's impossible to ignore. Running, being loud, and trying to convince other kids to let her on their computers. So every day, I have to go get her and say "Sweetie, you can't be back here by yourself, you have to go get mom or dad". I walk her up to make sure she gets to mom okay, and then I stroll back to the children's room. On Day Four of this pattern, I walk Blondie back up to her mother, a woman with a cane and another, teenaged daughter. "Miss, I don't know if Blondie's told you, but children under 8 have to be with an adult at all times. Thanks."
I've done this speech a hundred times, so it's practiced and professional. Met with the usual look of mild confusion on a parent's face (you mean I have to watch my child?), I walk back to the children's room.
A few minutes later, the woman comes storming back. "I don't appreciate you discriminating against my child like this!"
"Blondie has ADHD and that is a *legal* disability! This entire week you've been embarrassing me and discriminating against my child by not letting her back here by herself when I said it was okay for her to do so!"
"I'm sorry, ma'am. But I assure you, the rule applies to all children under 8, and I haven't been singling your child out. It's just because there's so much that can happen back here, and this area is secluded from the rest of the library, we want your child to be within eyesight."
"Well, I'm disabled and I need to use the disabled computers in the adult room! And I can't do that if you want me to stay back here with Blondie!"
"Well, I'm sorry, ma'am, but Blondie needs to be within your eyesight at all times."
"I can see her from the computer!"
[That is physically impossible, by the way. The children's room is a completely separated section, that you cannot see from anywhere in the adult library. You have to see through a wall *and* around a corner to do it].
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but that is the policy and -"
"Well! This is discrimination! ADHD is a legal disability and you can't treat her this way!"
My coworker pipes in and points to a sign behind us that says:Children under 8 must be attended at all times in huge block letters. "Ma'am, can you read that sign?"
"No, I can't!"
At this point, I lost it. I sent my coworker to go find the supervisor, and let her handle it from there. They went back and forth for about ten minutes and the boss claimed she couldn't get a word in edgewise. At one point when the woman finally took a break for air, boss tried to explain the reasoning behind the policy and was hit with this woman going "I have Tourette's - don't you interrupt me!". It wound up that we said the teenaged daughter could watch Blondie as long as she actually *watched* her. That lasted one day, because the teenager didn't want to do it. We didn't have another big, huge blowup over it again (there would be other issues with this family, however). But about once a month, we'd catch her trying to sneak in without an adult. And when we'd catch her, she'd say "But my mom says it's okay". And then I'd have to explain that the library says it's not okay. But no giant confrontations.
I never understood the woman's reasoning. If you're child is disabled, shouldn't that mean they need *more* supervision and not less? Can you truly see around corners and through walls to make sure that your wild youngster doesn't try and go out the fire exit? Does Tourette's really cause people to never be interrupted? Does the fact that you're disabled have any bearing on the question of *watching your child* at all? What the hell is a *legal* disability and what does it have to do with a blanket policy that applies to all children? Why do you feel the need to be such a bitch when all I'm asking is that you watch your kid?
Posted by: cornerdemon
at August 31, 2010 3:08 PM
Oh, once I get started on this topic...
I have a bar about three blocks from my house. It's really nice when you just want to go sit and have a beer at the end of the day and maybe get a burger or something. It's full of people from all walks of life, blue collar, white collar, you name it.
And it's often filled with the demon spawn from hell.
Here's a few highlights:
A great one was the two women with 5 children under the age of 10 between them, who allowed these kids to play tag and hide and seek all over the bar. Seriously, they did not look up ONCE to see where any of these kids were, and I know this because I was sitting at the bar attempting to give them the Death Glare.
I also saw a mother with two girls under the age of 9 who sat in the back of the bar apparently trying to pick up some guy while these two kids ran around screeching, dancing on the stage (the bar has bands on the weekend) and peeling the fake bamboo off the walls (it's an island themed bar). Mommy didn't get off her ass until one of the kids CLIMBED UP INTO THE BAY WINDOW AND STARTED TURNING OFF AND ON THE NEON LIGHTS. Then, all she did is tell the kid to stop, and go back to her beer. I think my head exploded...
What's worse is, this is a bar with both a restaurant side and a bar side. WHY these people can't sit on the restaurant side and leave the bar for the rest of us is beyond me.
At a different bar, about 7pm on a Friday night, two women brought their 9 or 10 year old girls in and let them SIT AT THE BAR AND COLOR. WTF? Do you really need to get out that badly? This is a bar that is typically PACKED from 5pm on on weekends, too.
One of my all-time favorites, though, was the woman who had two boys with her, about 10 and 12 (and so old enough to know better) at our tiny independent theater (seriously, it's the size of a closet and has old sofas and reclaimed theater seats in it - you get the picture). Anyway, she lets them sit in the front row, and I CLEARLY hear her say "I'll come back and sit with you" and then we NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. She was apparently in the back of said theater with her friends. Now, like I said, this theater is SMALL, so there is NO WAY she did not see these kids fidget, screw around, and go in and out of the theater to get multiple drinks of water. At the end of the movie she FINALLY decides to grace them with her presence, and I leaned over to my boyfriend and said, "Oh look, someone finally decided to parent".
Apparently my voice carries more than I think it does, because, although I didn't see it, my boyfriend told me later, "Oh yeah, you got a look for that."
I wish I'd known. I would have let her have it. I was that pissed.
Okay, I'll stop now, or you'll run out of bandwidth. :D
Posted by: Ann
at August 31, 2010 3:41 PM
Waiting at Urgent Care for your turn and someone's little darling has a cough and runs around coughing wet droplets all over the place, and has to touch everything. Mom doesn't do a thing, and if you cringe away from the kid because you don't want to add his illness to your personal woes, you get the evil mommy eye. This happens nearly every time I have to go to Urgent Care or the emergency room.
Your kid and his germs aren't cute. I understand that he is sick and that's why you all are there. So keep him close by, and gently ask him not to cough on the nice lady with the weak immune system.
Posted by: DragonHawk
at September 1, 2010 3:27 AM
I was touring an historic site about six years ago and you had to walk about three miles up a mountainside (on a well paved path) to reach the building. During the tour I noted a family with 3 children all younger than five. Later as I was walking back down the mountain I saw their middle child, who was about 3 years old, walking alone. It wasn't a safe place for a child of that age and so I went over and asked him where his parents were. He didn't know and so I took his hand a started looking for an employee or his parents. We got all the way back up to the castle (about a 1.5 mile hike) before encountering his parents. They hadn't even noticed he was missing. When I handed him over to the mother she actually accused me of trying to kidnap him and called over security. Luckily her husband didn't go along with her and so she ended up looking like the biggest jerk.
Posted by: Katebo
at September 1, 2010 5:00 AM
This is probably in the wrong place, but involves rudeness and children in a tangential sort of way.
My husband and I are not planning on having children for years, if ever. We just don't have the motivation or the interest, and never have. In addition to this, I'm finishing up a fairly long stint of chemo. When people ask how I'm doing, and I reply that I'm just finished up the treatments, the immediate response (100% of the time) is "So are you guys going to try for kids now?"
Hey, it's really great you feel like you know me well enough to ask such a personal question... oh wait, you don't! Because if you did, you would already know the answer to that!
When did people stop understanding that it's rude to ask personal questions?
Posted by: threephoe
at September 1, 2010 3:07 PM
This actually happened this past weekend.
Two girls standing outside the gas station, smoking cigarettes. Stops my husband and tells him they are selling some sort of community card for their middle school volleyball team. He shakes his head and tells them no. Their response? "Jerk."
Posted by: Cat
at September 1, 2010 4:14 PM
I have an example of parenting done right.
A few years back I was at an outdoor speech, with a few hundred people in attendance. It was in Woodstock and and the feel was pretty mellow -- kids were playing on the grass, people were sitting on blankets, etc. I got hit in the back with a soccer ball. I turned around and a kid picked up his ball and ran off. A minute later, the kid came back, accompanies by a woman. She gestured to him, and he apologized for hitting me with the ball. Then she took him over to a part of the grass that was unoccupied, so he could play without hitting anyone.
Posted by: MonicaP
at September 1, 2010 4:34 PM
I was on a 4 hour bus ride. The kid just would not shut up. If he's not screaming his lungs off he's saying "Mum Mum Mum Mum" continually. I think the mother once or twice said "Shh", but the kid kept on screaming.
About an hour until the end of the ride the kid finally went to sleep. Cue the father having a loud conversation with the guy sitting behind him.
Posted by: hadsil
at September 1, 2010 6:33 PM
I tell this story as the niece of a 55-year-old austistic savant who was and is expected to follow social norms.
Just this past weekend I was at the Apple Store. You know those little bean bag chairs and table they have set up with a few kid-friendly apps? They were all occupied. A little girl of about 5 was playing at one when an older boy, about 8, came up and told her to get out. The girl, taken aback, did as she was told. She went crying to her daddy, who immediately approached the boy. He was firmly but politely trying to ascertain what had happened when the boy's mother came over.
Mom: Can I help you?
Dad: My daughter was playing on this computer, and your son kicked her off.
Mom: HE'S AUTISTIC!
The kicker is that DAD ACTUALLY APOLOGIZED and walked away, leaving the boy to play while his little girl sniffled sadly. Apparently not only is autism a license to behave badly, but it means that nobody may call you out on it.
Posted by: Beth
at September 1, 2010 6:43 PM
This is second-hand information from a friend of mine who lives across the street from me. Plus, it's so ... perfect it sounds like it must be an urban myth, but my friend swears he saw it take place, and he's not prone to making up stories. So take that into account.
My friend was in line at the supermarket (this is in Belgium) and ahead of him was an old man. In front of the old man was a woman with a kid who was sitting in a shopping cart. The woman was in front of the shopping cart, and the kid in the cart was kicking the old man. On it went, for several minutes. Finally, the old man asked the woman to tell her child to stop kicking him because it was hurting. She flew off the handle, saying that she is teaching her child not to have any boundaries, that her child is free to do what he wants and won't have rules put on him to weigh him down, etc., etc.
A teenager in line in front of the woman then picked up a yogurt cup, opened it, and dumped its contents on the woman's head. Then he said, "My mother taught me the same thing."
The woman stormed out to much applause.
Posted by: Jim S.
at September 1, 2010 7:18 PM
>>"I have an example of parenting done right."
Good point and fair is fair. Since I ranted at length, I'll share some good stories, too.
Most of the time, when kids are misbehaving, the first thing a parent will do is threaten to leave. 95% of the time, that's all there is... a threat. Some kids take it seriously and so there's no repercussions. But I gotta say that most times, it's just a mantra that the parent doles out to keep them in line, the kids know it, and thus ignore it. My favorite time was when a mother said that, and actually followed through. When the child continued to misbehave, she made a pointed production of gathering up all the books they'd picked out and giving them to me. "I'm sorry, miss, but since we can't behave today, we're not going to be getting these books." And then she made the kid walk up to me and apologize. After that, they left. There was no "one more chance" or anything like that. It was incredible.
During summer, we set up children's programs with special guests and activities. Usually, this involves putting away a *ton* of plastic chairs on little wheelie-carts afterwards. This summer, I actually had a nanny (who had three girls with her) stay after every program they attended to help clean up. They helped pick up garbage, folded tablecloths, and the older girls even helped me put away those damned chairs. I've been doing this five years, and that is the *first time* a parent/caregiver has asked the kids to stay after to help clean. I must've thanked her a dozen times. It was a really wonderful thing to do.
Posted by: cornerdemon
at September 1, 2010 8:45 PM
I can't bear anyone who counts. As in "I'll give you to the count of 3. 1.... 2...." That's basically saying "I'll let you get away with continuing to disobey/misbehave while I stand here like an idiot counting and when I get to three maybe I'll do something but more likely I won't and you know that." Hey, if you tell your kid to stop/start doing something, why do they not have three more counts to start/stop? I say it, you do it, the end. Next time your kid is running out into the street after a ball and a car is coming, will they wait until you get to three to stop?
In general, any parent who threatens but doesn't follow through is getting stomped on by their kids. Here's the whole key to discipline: threaten and follow through starting when they are old enough to understand "No" and pretty soon you'll only have to threaten. They know you'll follow through if they disobey. And pretty soon you won't have to threaten any more, they just know that disobedience brings undesirable consequences.
I do use the countdown when my kids need to make a choice. "I'll count down from 5 and when I get to zero you have to choose which book to check out." But obedience is never optional and never delayed.
Posted by: Lesley
at September 2, 2010 6:35 PM
"Apparently not only is autism a license to behave badly, but it means that nobody may call you out on it."
Here's my experience with that:
I was standing outside the bounce house while my son was playing inside it. Also in the bounce house was a small girl, maybe 3, and an older boy, maybe 9. The older boy was playing too roughly, even dangerously, considering the size differences. He made my son and the little girl, both, cry because he was being mean.
I seemed to be the only adult paying any attention to what was going on inside the bounce house, and, since I used to be a teacher, I feel fairly okay about correcting other people's children. So I sternly told him to stop, that he was hurting them, that he should apologize. He just stared at me.
So, I told my son to get out, that we needed to leave for his own safety.
About ten minutes later, I was accosted by a wild older man, yelling and crying, and accusing me of hitting his autistic grandson. I was so completely blindsided by this unexpected and unfair attack, I froze. Fortunately, his "storm" blew itself out quickly and he walked away crying.
Eventually, I figured out he must have been referring to the incident above. While my heart goes out to the man, and while I understand wanting to give the boy "normal" childhood activities, why wasn't he supervising the boy? A child with "special needs" necessitates a caregiver with "special responsibilities!"
Whether it was right of me to say anything to the boy is something I am quite willing to discuss. But when you take a half-grown child--of any sort!--to a preschooler's special event, YOU need to make sure your child is careful around the littler ones!
Posted by: Karen
at September 2, 2010 8:48 PM
I had to call a parent to come and pick up her severely intoxicated daughter during a school canoe trip. After some time she arrived to pick her daughter up, and out from the minivan jumps a little hellion. There was a circle of about eight people talking about the incident and this little boy began to go from one individual to the next "pretending" to punch and kick them but making contact often. I watched him go around the circle...and then it was my turn. He started to take a swing at me, I caught his arm before it got to me, looked him straight in the eye and said, "Don't even think about it." He moved on without a word.
Posted by: Vic Maltby
at September 2, 2010 11:29 PM
I can't bear anyone who counts. As in "I'll give you to the count of 3. 1.... 2...."
Oh, I hate that too. There was a useless dad at the park just the other day did that, only he actually did this:
"1... 2... 2 and a half.... 2 and three quarters...." OMG! The child, of course, acted like she wasn't being addressed at all.
A lot of parents, IMO, try too hard to impress other parents with how "nice" they are, whereas I am not afraid to give a kid a deserved smack in public or to leave a place without getting whatever it was we came out for if they start acting like fools. I get some looks, but my kids know I'm not going to back down like a wuss just because we're not at home and now a threat is almost always enough to stop burgeoning obnoxious behaviour.
Posted by: Thag Jones
at September 3, 2010 12:03 AM
As a parent I am perfectly OK with others telling my kids if they are being rude. It's good for them to hear it from many sources - it's called socialization. That man should have been supervising if the kid had special needs. By the sounds of it, he had some special needs himself - like the meds he forgot to take that day.
Posted by: Thag Jones
at September 3, 2010 12:06 AM
The quotation disappeared from my comment above... I was referring to this:
"Whether it was right of me to say anything to the boy is something I am quite willing to discuss."
Apologies for the multi-posting.
Posted by: Thag Jones
at September 3, 2010 12:07 AM
Karen, I don't think you did anything wrong, but I just feel sorry for that poor grandfather - if that incident led him to tears he's dealing with a lot. Like I said, I don't think you did anything wrong at all, but this wouldn't an incident I'd file under the "people are so rude!" category. It just makes me sad.
Posted by: Sam
at September 3, 2010 9:03 AM
As a parent who actually parents, I get very upset at those who don't. You know those McDonald's with play places? I avoid those if at all possible, as my kids are too old to go in them, and the one I'm expecting will NEVER go in one due to the hellions that are allowed in there with no supervision. We had no choice but to patronize one a few weeks ago and it was terrible. A young college-age mommy was there studying and texting while her small toddler girl was dragging all the high chairs, one after another, into the play place. The kid had no socks, no shoes, and the high chairs were very loudly scraping the floor with each drag. Another lady, a very obese granny had her two toddler grandchildren there and they were running (shoeless as well) throughout the store, dusrupting everyone with their constant shrieking as they played their chase game. Granny told them about 40 times if they didn't quit they were leaving with no follow-through. She was too busy on the laptop taking advantage of the free internet. Keep in mind, there are tables and chairs in the play place for the adults to do such things. These parents will probably be the first to sue when their shoeless kids fall and knock a couple teeth out on a table or the concrete floor. Yes, toddlers will be toddlers, but mine were never insane toddlers. Children can be taught, they don't all have to be medicated to behave.
Posted by: Jessica
at September 3, 2010 1:34 PM
Yes, McDonald's playlands - I'm also glad those days are behind me! The worst bratty kid/pathetic parent combo that I've ever seen was in a McDonald's a few years ago. I was at a table with my kids, and overheard one mom confronting an older lady because the lady's grandson (about age 5-6) had brought a plastic knife into the play structure, and scraped it against another boy's arm hard enough to leave a mark. The grandmother's idea of discipline was to sit down with the boy and ask him over and over again "Why did you do that?" His response was to grow more and more agitated until he was throwing a full-blown temper tantrum. An employee finally asked them to leave, which they thankfully did, but never ONCE did the lady make her grandson apologize to the boy that he had hurt, nor did she offer an apology herself. At least it was a great example for my kids on how NOT to act.
Posted by: KarenW
at September 3, 2010 11:00 PM
Thanks, Thag and Sam, for saying I didn't do anything wrong. I really appreciate it.
Posted by: Karen
at September 4, 2010 3:38 AM
A lot of parents, IMO, try too hard to impress other parents with how "nice" they are, whereas I am not afraid to give a kid a deserved smack in public or to leave a place without getting whatever it was we came out for if they start acting like fools. I get some looks, but my kids know I'm not going to back down like a wuss just because we're not at home and now a threat is almost always enough to stop burgeoning obnoxious behaviour.
Posted by: Thag Jones
I'm with you, but just so you know, a good hard pinch will get fewer looks from strangers because it's easier for them to miss. (Yes, the kid will still yell, but as I said........)
When I was helping with my friend's 3-year-old son, I found out she was OK with spanking him, but I didn't want to open a can of worms by asking permission to do the same thing. Hence, the pinch - especially whenever he tried to pull his arm out of my grasp when we were walking on a street with heavy traffic, or when he would cry and refuse to stand and walk at all because, in his inarticulate opinion, being expected to walk for 10 or 15 minutes to get to the park instead of taking a taxi was cruel and horrible. (Had I not had Dr. Rosemond's lessons well in mind beforehand, I could easily have been brainwashed by the social ripple effect of the current psychobabble that says that all of children's feelings are valid and must be deferred to, and that crying is always a sign of terrible trauma. Lucky me. BTW, Rosemond says that the way to keep kids constantly on their toes about their behavior is NOT to warn them of what the punishment will be - just punish them out of the blue, and it doesn't even have to be the same punishment each time. That lets them know that you're in control. Also, he said, when telling them beforehand what the rules are, never repeat yourself. This forces them to listen the first time, because if they don't listen and get punished eventually, they know it was their fault for not listening.)
Posted by: lenona
at September 4, 2010 5:12 PM
I was in the grocery store yesterday and saw a young (Chanel-wearing, but that's beside the point) mother. Her young (maybe 4?) daughter was wearing a bikini (oh yes, a bikini...with "JUICY" emblazoned on the butt!!!) and absolutely running wild. She was pulling boxes of stuff off the shelves and flinging them down the aisle.
Mommy was gazing sadly at her little precious, and weeping into her cell phone. "I just *sniff* can't get her to *sniff* put on her coverup and I'm *sniff* so exhausted... *sniff*" Now, I'm not one that usually steps into parenting issues; after all, I'm not a parent, so what do I know? I did, however spend years working at Disneyland and dealing with wound-up kids, and I actually felt sorry for mom, so I thought in this case, maybe I could help.
I walked up to the little girl, smiled, and very sweetly and firmly said, "Knock it off, honey. Put your clothes on. Behave like a lady." She froze and stared at me wide-eyed for a second, then walked straight over to the cart, picked up her dress and put it on. I and another lady in the aisle were smiling at her and saying things like, "What a pretty dress! If I had a dress like that, I'd wear it all the time!"
At this point I look over at the mom. She was staring agape, cell phone still attached to her ear. I smiled, gave a little wave, and started to walk away. And then I hear her..."What a *sniff* complete BITCH!!"
LOL. Well, perhaps I shouldn't have interfered.
But for the record, the comment, "Is that how Belle would behave?" always worked WONDERS on misbehaving "princesses" at Disneyland!
Posted by: Les
at September 6, 2010 5:37 PM
Saw it again last night, at a completely different bar than I normally hang out in.
TWO separate sets of "parents" were allowing their kids to run and play upstairs of the bar area, where there are pool tables, etc. RUNNING, SCREAMING, and a constant "MOMMY, LOOK AT ME!!!"
No one stopped this.
The capper came later, though. At another table where the kids were actually behaved, they got a piece of cake for the youngest one and sang happy birthday.
You SERIOUSLY took your kid to the bar for his BIRTHDAY?
He couldn't have been more than eight.
Posted by: Ann
at September 7, 2010 4:42 PM
We had a priceless day at the airport some time back.
By "We" I mean myself and the others who worked for the car rental companies. In Canberra, they're all squashed up, so you get to know everyone and pretty much work as a team even though your employers are all in competition with each other.
One day a lady started arguing with the staff member on at Thrifty. She had a little boy with her who kept running amok. She made token efforts to keep him nearby, talking to him in adult language and generally paying little attention to him.
Until, that is, he tripped, hit his head on the metal bar along the front of the counters (for the shorter people to stand on as the counters are quite high) and began screaming.
She let out a loud shriek when she realised the kid had cut open his head on the rail, too.
Luckily for her, one of the senior staff at Hertz leapt to the child's aid (not that he needed it).
Posted by: Sonja
at September 8, 2010 9:15 AM
How old a child? I ignore/tolerate/or enjoy other kids depending on how they are acting. Which is the beauty of being childfree.
If you count a teenager of driving age but has not reached their majority, I can say I hate this kid and I did not care for its drunken dad or drunken mom.
To make a long story very short, we owned a mobile home park long time ago (my now ex & I) in Ohio. Apparently drunken mom could not handle this .. thing.. and sent him down to drunken dad. Granted, he did not have much of a chance, but he had a rotten attitude and he did not even try to hide it. We told him he wasn't going to spin his tires in the court or going out of it. Period. In retaliation he deliberate ran over my cat and threw him in the creek (ran by the edge of the property) to drown. We damn near evicted drunken dad over that but he really begged to stay. We said ok, but we do NOT want to see that piece of... scatos kid again.
I have had very few personal losses but all of them have been at the hands of a kid.
And people wonder why I don't like kids.
two cents ¢¢
Posted by: twocents
at September 8, 2010 6:51 PM
My problem is breeders bringing their brats into the workplace. My company has the world's most liberal work-at-home and flextime policies, but my cow-workers still bring their hellspawn into the worksplace. Most of the time these cunt nuggets are noisy and unsupervised. They run among the cubicles and one time a toadler opened the door to my cubicle when I was on a conference call. On top of this the company's benefits are weighted very heavily to benefit breeders. And of course, who ends up doing all the work because the breeders are too busy with their hump dumplings? The childfree, that's who.
Posted by: Does my job
at September 10, 2010 4:40 PM
WOW, does my job. Have Issues??
Posted by: ssq
at September 14, 2010 9:15 PM
I'm not sure that this would qualify as "underparented" or not, but it's a funny story, so I'm going to share:
I work in an office that deals with financial security, and it's not that big, so it's generally quiet and it's a professional atmosphere.
One day this client comes in with her three kids, and the youngest one is about three or four and he's being a total monster, pulling on the water tap and spilling it, banging on cabinets, getting into the candy dish, etc. Finally she looks at him and says, "alright, you're being so bad I'm taking away two privileges. You're not going swimming, no candy after dinner, and no tv tonight!" The kid stops, and pauses for a beat and says, "But that's not two, that's three!" so she says "I knew you were gonna talk back, so I added a third."
Posted by: Angie
at September 15, 2010 9:25 PM
The notion of bringing a baby or a child into a bar (not a restaurant with a bar attached, but a BAR) is incomprehensible to me, but I know it's a hotly debated issue in places like Brooklyn and Portland.
Don't give me a "this is how they do it in Europe" argument; it ruins pubs over there, too. If I walked into my local bar and found babies in strollers or toddlers running around, I'd have a conversation with the manager about why I was leaving and find out if this was a new policy or some bizarre anomaly that wouldn't be repeated.
We all make choices. I know that having a child is the most fulfilling experience in the universe, but for some reason I prefer the inferior pleasure of having no kids and hanging out in bars. Frankly, it just hurts too much to hear the playful screams of joyous children in my local establishment, as it reminds me of what's missing in my life. Please don't do that to me. The existential pain is too great.
(Did that come off as sincere, Amy?)
Posted by: Kevin
at September 20, 2010 6:55 AM
I think these people's general attitude says it all. http://stfuparents.tumblr.com/post/1143611151/retail-therapy-if-you-dont-want-my-kid-around#disqus_thread
Posted by: Gretchen
at September 20, 2010 6:53 PM
My cousins, there are four 3 girls one boy, were generally decently behaved(not quite well behaved but not hell spawn either)except to each other. They were terrible, and this is coming from a girl with 2 brothers and a sister. They would bicker, bite, pinch, poke, etc. My aunt would always say things like "Now Angel don't do that", or "Sweetheart that's not how we behave." one time when I was babysitting, the 12 year old boy got his 4 year old sister to lock herself in the bathroom to distract me while he tried to sneak out. I didn't fall for it and both of them were in big trouble(with me not their parents.)
About 2 years later their Dad was interviewing to be a youth minster in Florida and it was a really good job. They sat the kids down and told them how important it was that they be on their best behavior. The went to the interview and tour and my Aunt and Uncle were so pleased at how well the children behaved. The next day he got a call telling him he wouldn't be hired when he asked why he was told if he couldn't even control his own children how could he expect to control a whole youth group. Thats when he realized he and his wife had Stockholm Syndrome and needed to buckle down on the discipline. Now their children are very well behaved.
Posted by: Katebo
at September 28, 2010 6:29 AM
Don't know if you are still collecting these stories, but saw this in the NY Times and thought you could use this story somehow... the comments are revealing...
Posted by: sheepmommy
at October 30, 2010 12:49 AM
i am a cashier at a grocery/general merchandice store (aka: toys clothes auto plant etc). a few years ago i was working late after 10 or 11 at night. it was christmas time and it was pretty much abandoned. All of a sudden this child starts banging on stuff. She was around 5 or 6 and had no parental units in sight. After a while I realized that she belonged to the order that i had SUSPENDED because the woman had gone OUTSIDE to get a flyer to pricematch a toy and had left the child in the building without supervision and without telling anyone. what was she thinking?!
another story is from a few months ago. we as employees of store X are not allowed to babysit guest's children (liability) so it was extremely odd to be yelled at; in broken english mind you' that i needed to watch her TWINS. this was while she was checking out on a USCAN. after the shock wore off she proceded to further demeen me infront of other staff (they were on break and also being yelled at by her). since when are grocery store employees trusted child sitters? apparently this clause of employment is unknown to us as well as managment (they were called to inform them of this issue and they said to call them next time, something was said about child protective services).
Posted by: rai
at November 18, 2010 6:49 PM
I find it ironic that the majority of people complaining about rude children are single and childless. Granted, some of the stories are over the top, but most of it seems like business as usual for children. I think a little less perfectionism and a little more tolerance is in order. You were children once too. And seriously, asking a child not to "cough all over the nice lady with the weakened immune system", is something akin to asking the town drunk not to breathe fumes on the recovering alcoholic. DEAL WITH IT PEOPLE!!!! Life as you know it will not end! They've already discovered the center of the universe, it isn't YOU!!!
Posted by: angie
at January 2, 2011 2:47 PM
They've already discovered the center of the universe, it isn't YOU!!!
This is what children need to learn, and fewer and fewer parents are teaching it to them.
My neighbor is a fantastic mother. Her children sometimes wake me up or are loud and annoying -- this is the state of kids. The thing is, I will sometimes hear her or or husband saying to their kids, "Play in our yard, Amy might be sleeping." The fact that they care and actually try makes all the difference.
Also, at the root of manners is empathy. These parents teach their kids kindness -- thinking of others. That's something that's missing from the narcissistic orientation of many parents -- special snowflakes themselves, in their own mind -- and in turn, their spawn.
Posted by: Amy Alkon
at January 2, 2011 3:57 PM
Hi Amy, big fan! :)
I do agree with you that parents need to take society at large into consideration-otherwise you might as well be raising a sponge. However,I think the majority of childless adults out there need to realize that sometimes it is impossible to parent your child and take others into account as well.
Case in point: When my son was small, I took him to the grocery store. When told he couldn't have a particular brand of chocolate coated sugar that passes for cereal, he took a kicking, screaming fit. Not because he'd never been told no, but because my normally well behaved boy had woken up early from his nap and was having a melt down.
(When children misbehave, there are usually extenuating circumstances. This is not a reflection on the parents but a result of the child not being able to cope with whatever has caused the misbehavior.)
At any rate, when children throw tantrums, I have found it is for one of two reasons. A)Attention. Whether positive attention in the form of reassurance and affection, or negative attention in the form of consequences, if you give your child any sort of attention during the actual tantrum, then it has accomplished it's intended result. In my sons case, if I had taken him out of the store and dealt with it elsewhere, it would have given him the attention he was looking for and rewarded the tantrum. B)Control. Children have little to no control over their own lives. Children test the boundaries and limits set for them in an attempt to control something, even if it is only the cereal they eat. By throwing the tantrum, he was essentially saying "Get me this cereal or I'll cause an unholy scene!" By removing my son from the store, I would have given him leverage, in that the next time he wanted something I wouldn't give him, he would simply cause another scene.
I simply allowed my son to scream. I began walking down the aisle. I told my son I was continuing to shop, and if he wanted to come he'd better hurry up. At first he continued to scream, confident that I would turn around and begin the standard time out with him. He was shocked that I was letting him scream his head off in a store full of people! Shocked, and embarrassed when he realized that every pair of eyes in the aisle was on him. I got quite a few evil glares from other shoppers, (not one of them had a child with them)but my son is now almost 12, and I have never had any problems with him in public since.
The point of the story is that while I do agree that children should of course be taught manners for all of the obvious reasons, sometimes children misbehave through no fault of the parent, and sometimes it is impossible to effectively parent your child and ensure the comfort of the general public at the same time. I also think that childless adults need to make allowances for those of us with children, just as parents need to do their best to ensure good behavior from their children because that is what is expected from productive members of society, not to ensure the comfort of society. As a side note, I think that just as in real estate, location is everything. If I am at a bus stop, the grocery store, or Walmart, then I really don't feel childless adults have any reason whatsoever to feel that they have been abused by my children misbehaving. If I'm at the library or a fancy French restaurant and my daughter starts screaming her head off, feel free to come up to me and complain, I would expect it! I don't bring my daughter to the art museum and let her run wild,but I don't feel complaints are warranted when she's at Mcdonald's and running around because she had too much sugar.
Happy New Year Amy!
Posted by: angie
at January 4, 2011 3:17 AM
"Also, at the root of manners is empathy. These parents teach their kids kindness -- thinking of others."
This is exactly why autistic children need more teaching and reinforcement on displaying good manners, not less. The core of autism is an innate lack of empathy, an inability to put oneseslf in another's shoes, with no instinctive sense of tact. Not only are parents who neglect this doing the public at large a disservice, they're also harming their children. How can these children ever hope to cope in the adult world or form any meaningful relationships if they're not taught what they're incapable of learning on their own? When I was a teenager somebody gave me a great piece of advice: To make friends you have to be a friend. Imparting this to an autistic child is not easy. It takes a great deal of repetition, reinforcement, explanation, but much of it can be learned and it will give them a better sense of belonging in this world.
The crying grandfather of the autistic child sounds overwhelmed and it will only get worse if they continue to look the other way at inappropriate behavior. My son is now 12 and while he will never be a social butterfly or the most sensitive soul in the room, he has improved so much in how he relates to others and continues to improve. Much of that can be attributed to the time and effort we've put in with him on manners and why they are important. His life is easier, our lives are easier, and people he comes into contact with enjoy him.
Posted by: Labbit
at February 28, 2011 2:11 AM
For me it is like the proverbial nails on the chalkboard to hear a parent give an instruction or directive followed by "OK?"
Early parent ed for us showed that we, as parents, had the role of educator and guide and, quite frankly, setter of limits. We don't ask the kids permission to parent, "OK?"
Posted by: Josie
at April 16, 2011 7:06 AM
I believe quite a few of the parents today do not wanted to be bothered to parent their own children. My friend would tell her child not 50 times, then give in. What does that teach a child? Nothing. If a child is having a bad day, that's one thing, but if it is a screaming mad brat, my hand itches for the child, and my foot itches for the parent, because both of them need a shot. I have watched parents buy their children goodies to make them behave..what does that teach the, Life will not be handing out treats when they graduate from high school, if they make it that far.
Posted by: sarah brown
at April 19, 2011 2:14 AM
Angie, has it ever occurred to you that the adults with or without children in public places would rather not hear your brats screaming at the top of their lungs? You are a parent. Teach your brats manners.
Posted by: marla
at May 15, 2011 3:22 AM
Hey Marla, get off the internet, get a job, pay for my BRATS education, and then you can tell me how to parent.
Stop being a morally superior bitch. You just advertised your ignorance over the internet. If my children are brats, then I would hate to see your progeny, that is if any man could stand your company long enough to get your pregnant. Doubtful.
Posted by: angie
at May 26, 2011 1:58 AM
Sorry Angie but Marla is right!
Raise your kids to use their "indoor voices" when out in public. Teach them not to run in stores and not to handle stuff they don't plan to buy and teach them how to behave while out to dinner! The world does not revolve around your kids and nobody wants to listen to them screaming and nobody including yourself I am sure would want to buy the package of hamburger meat that your child just poked holes thru the saran wrap while you were busy talking on your cell phone. Its called parenting and it means that we have to take time from the phone and teach our kids right from wrong!
Posted by: promom
at June 15, 2011 3:15 AM
I am a professional parent (foster parent) have been for over 20 years. Kids with me learn quickly that to earn the privilege of going out to dinner, they have to show they have decent table manners and can keep their voices down.
They also learn that if they tear thru Walmart and are pulling things off the shelves, the next time they will be holding my hand or staying home.
I think the start of the 2 working parents home was the downfall of the family and kids being taught manners. I realize that for some it is a necessity, but for many it is just to have that bigger house and more expensive car and its at the expense of the kids! Work from 8-5,come home at almost 6, cook dinner, do chores, give the kids dinner and a bath, tuck them in bed and you have seen them for all of 2 or 3 hours!
Posted by: promom
at June 15, 2011 3:29 AM
Yay, promom. That's how we were raised. As I write in "I SEE RUDE PEOPLE," I thought I could fly when I was eight, but the idea that I could be loud in a public place or kick the back of someone's chair in a movie theater did not exist for me in what was possible in the known universe.
Posted by: Amy Alkon
at June 15, 2011 4:02 AM
Another thing that amazes me is that I often hear from the kids that pass thru my home, stuff like "the teacher was not respecting me" WHAT!!! I remember teachers being treated with respect and Lord help the kid that dared to mouth off! But by the same token, teachers also dressed professionally. A teacher wearing jeans? Never! While I am sure that dress is not all of it, I do believe that when the teacher dresses down like the students, they have lowered themselves in the eyes of those students. I just attended a school ending picnic with a 5th grader. The teacher had invited her boyfriend to attend. I have no issue with that but was it really necessary for him to not just have his arm around her the entire time, but his hand in the back pocket of her jeans. Do her students really need to know about that part of her life?
I don't know. I just find it frustrating.
I also don't remember so many kids in need of the behavior ed room, or kids with ADHD. I could totally be wrong on this one, but I wonder again if one parent was at home and putting time and effort into raising their kids, would so many kids be so out of control? It's easier to give your kid Concerta and label them ADHD when you don't have the time to parent.
Sorry. I will wipe the froth off my mouth and calm down! This topic just has gotten me really thinking
Posted by: promom
at June 15, 2011 5:30 PM
OMG! Amy I missed your post before! Kicking the back of someone elses seat at the movies or on a plane was a big NO NO! That was ground into my head as well. And if I talked once the movie was playing, first I was hushed and if it happened a second time, I was escorted out to the car.
Another movie thing that drives me nuts is parents that take their infant or toddler into a PG 13 or R movie. If the kid cries for G-d's sweet sake take the kid out! Don't torture the rest of us who are trying to enjoy an adult night out. Ditto for eating out other than fast food places. I did not pay $25 for my dinner to listen to your kid screaming or have them running circles around my table while you send text messages to your friends. And on that note, why won't resturant staff ask such people to please be kind enough to take the kid outside until they calm down as they are disturbing all the other clients? GAAAAAAA!
Posted by: promom
at June 15, 2011 6:22 PM
Posted by: Amy Alkon
at June 15, 2011 6:42 PM
You and Marla have completely missed my point. My point was that to teach children manners, it is sometimes necessary to ignore the wants (not NEEDS, of society at large. Society NEEDS the police. It doesn't NEED a quiet trip to the mall.) If you read my previous post regarding the shopping trip, the whole point of the exercise was to point out to my child the reactions of said society to bad behaviour, as well as to negate any attention he would have gained from said behaviour.
I refuse to bow to the dictates of society when raising my child. I don't particularily wish to hear the obnoxious motor of that Harley racing down the highway. QUICK, lets ban all motorcycles!Or, should we just ignore it for the ten seconds that it takes for the motorcycle to exit our range of hearing?
The majority of posters have carped about rude children bieng underparented. Where do the parents get to carp about overly sensitive people dictating to them how to raise thier child? I do go out of my way to teach my children to function properly in society. That doesn't mean they or I am perfect, and my children will be perfectly behaved in public, AT ALL TIMES! Even were I to parent my children in the way that society at large deems fit, I would still run into behavioral issues. There are children whose parents have raised them according to all modern pediatric and psychological guidelines, and who by all accounts, have done things perfectly, and who still wind up in juvie. Is that the parents fault? Maybe they should have loved them more. Or maybe they should have spanked bare arses a couple times to get the point across. (QUICK, somebody report me!)
I find it interesting that society tells me how to raise my child, when most children today are lazy, apathetic, overwieght slobs who largely ignore if not outright defy the dictates of the parents. Were I to raise my child the way most parents are raising their children these days, my children would not be polite, respectful, academically accomplished little people. Should I follow the societal norm? Make my children gain a couple dozen pounds while relaxing to a nice game of BulletStorm, particularily while the sun is shining outside?
I raise my children the way I see fit, and my only concern is that they turn out to be independent, accomplished members of society. If that means a few aging hipsters have to listen to my daughter shriek her head off at Toy's R Us while I walk up the aisle and let her humiliate herself, so be it.
Posted by: Angie
at June 21, 2011 8:32 PM
Angie to some degree I agree with you...You and your daughter are in the toy store or Mc D's and you want to let her scream her head off...so be it. Those are places for kids although honestly my bio son was expected to have use good manners wherever we took him. As far as allowing your daughter to "humiliate" herself with her behavior, I don't believe that a child under age 5 is going to grasp that concept.
In a place where the food comes on a plate, not wrapped in paper, you do have an obligation to the rest of society. If you and your husband got a babysitter and went out for an upscale romantic dinner, would you really think it was ok that someone at the next table had brought their 3 yr old and the kid tired of sitting for an hour was screaming and throwing her food? I doubt it!
Ditto for if your child is running thru the grocery store yanking stuff off the shelves, ripping open bags of chips and squashing fruit I'm sorry, but it is indeed your obligation as a parent to rein the kid in. The squashed fruit, and opened bags of chips make the prices go up for everyone! Teach your child that behavior like that is unacceptable.
As a foster parent I realize that many of the kids that pass thru my home were not raised that way. Before we go out to dinner/to the mall/ into Walmart..etc, my foster kids are briefed on how I expect them to behave. I also stress that I want them to have fun and that while I don't expect perfection, the more I see that I can trust them to make correct choices and behave, the more privleges and freedoms they will get
By the way, teaching manners will not cause your child to gain weight, be a slob and sit around playing video games while ignoring their parents. Not setting limits will usually get those results.
Posted by: Promom
at June 22, 2011 12:59 AM
You really must not have read the original post, because you just regurgitated my original point.
And following societal norms is what turns children into fat lazy slobs, and the trend is now to set absolutely no limits for your child, lest you harm his or her self esteem.
Posted by: Angie
at June 22, 2011 6:01 PM
Reading this thread made me feel better about my own parenting.
I can't imagine what's going on in the heads of the parents letting their kids run unsupervised in public store or libraries. Do they want their kid snatched by some weirdo?
Posted by: Matt H
at June 28, 2011 3:31 AM
It’s a beautiful sunny day in Ft. Lauderdale. Along the New River across from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts lovely flower beds adorn an historic area used for intimate concerts and other municipal events. There is a family; looks like grandparents and parents and a young boy, maybe 5 or 6. He’s stomping on the flowers and I kindly call the parents attention to it. All they say is “Stop that, Joey, stop that or you’re going to get a time out.” Meanwhile, they look away in conversation and Joey does not stop. Therefore, I went over, picked Joey up by the shoulders and set him on the sidewalk. I told him firmly that he can stomp the flowers in his own yard but not here. Then I gave the parents the look that says you discipline this kid or I’ll discipline you.
Posted by: Nadine
at August 11, 2011 9:09 PM
I totally get where Angie is coming from. Furthermore, I think this latest trend of childfrees insisting that being exposed to children is worse than picking cotton or something, comes from a good fifty to hundred years of children being raised in the public school system to only be able to identify with people in their own age group, with the results we see in society now of babies sequestered in daycare and the elderly farmed out to retirement homes. And we wonder why popular media is the only thing that passes for American culture anymore.
The school system teaches us that kids one year younger are dumber, kids one year older are smarter, and you better never step out of place. Kids who skip a grade are frowned upon for "putting on airs" (my son, born in 1996, experienced this--he has an IQ of 180, what did they want?), and kids who are held back for not mastering a skill are held to be deviant and immature, and that tends to follow them through the rest of their school "career."
So we come out of that segregated environment, where different social values are attached to different ages. Most of us didn't get babysitting experience, either--the young'uns are all in daycare now, we're not expected to take care of them at home. How in the world do we believe this will turn out? Not well, I don't think.
promom, I have talked to too many adoptees and aged-out former foster kids to be capable of being impressed when someone identifies themselves publicly as a "professional parent." Kids are abused and die in foster care. Actions matter more than credentials.
My own parenting-related story to share, incidentally, along the lines of random strangers criticizing moms: For about four years I lived in a very poor neighborhood and had no car. The grocery store was within walking distance. One day I was out of milk and it was drizzling lightly outside. I put my baby in her sling and carried her next to my body and under the umbrella and we walked over to the grocery store. While we were walking through the parking lot, some random guy yelled at me from his car, "Don't you bring that baby out in this rain!"
I thought, "Sure, jackass. Just give me that nice car you're driving and I'll get right on that." Didn't dare say anything though. He'd already proven himself insane.
If you don't know what's going on, just keep it shut. If you haven't asked the parents, you DON'T know what's going on.
I once read an account from a guy who was riding the subway and sitting near a family of a dad and four small kids and they were being total hellions, running around and screaming and climbing on things. The man leaned over and asked the father if he thought maybe he should be paying closer attention to their behavior. The father kind of stirred himself out of his fugue and said, "Oh yeah... they're kind of out of sorts right now. Their mother just died this morning."
That's why they're children and we're adults. They *haven't* learned how to behave yet. Especially not when major stuff is going on. You know?
Posted by: Dana
at August 28, 2011 7:45 AM
Mostly, however, ill-behaved children you see out in public haven't suffered a death in the family; just the death of parenting.
Posted by: Amy Alkon
at August 28, 2011 8:15 AM
The worst behavior I ever witnessed in children was in a family that I invited to dinner when my own daughters were 2 1/2 and 6 months old. As soon as they arrived at the house, their four year old son began begging for grapes, which I had in a crystal bowl on the buffet in the dining room. His mom, explaining to me that they did not believe in telling their children "no", said to him, "Honey, you don't want grapes." To which he screamed, "Yes I do, yes I do, . . ." and on and on. Finally she sighed and walked away. He immediately grabbed a huge handful of grapes, almost knocking my bowl to the ground and stuffed them all in his mouth. My daughter stared at me wide-eyed, stunned by his disobedience. I grabbed the bowl to put it out of his reach and his Mom glared at me, "Leave it there, please, he needs to learn to control himself." I simply smiled and said I didn't want to risk breaking the bowl. She followed me into the kitchen, where I was tossing the salad for dinner, and her two year old walked into my pantry. I said, "I'm sorry, but I don't allow kids in the pantry." She said, "Oh, she's fine." Within seconds, the child had opened a large container of powdered chocolate, and dumped it on the floor of the pantry. I felt like telling them to go home, but restrained myself. She told her daughter, "Okay, now you need to clean it up." The two year old squatted in the chocolate powder and spread it all over the floor, licking her fingers, making the mess much worse. "Get her out of there, please," I said, "I'll clean it." "I want her to learn to clean up after herself," the Mom answered. "But she's not cleaning, I'll do it," I said firmly and pulled the girl out of the mess. After I had cleaned up the chocolate powder, we sat at the table. My daughter was quietly eating her spaghetti while their son screamed that he wanted to eat something else. "You love spaghetti," the Dad said,"you want to eat it." "Noooooooo I don't," the son wailed, "It's gross!" He took the bowl, held it out for a second (at which point I thought surely they would take it away from him), then looking straight at his Dad, dumped it on my dining room rug. The Dad sighed, knelt down and picked up the spaghetti - no apology from him or the child, no reprimand to the child. "Just eat your roll, then," the Mom said. WHAT!!!! I was stunned and super angry, I grabbed carpet cleaner and sprayed the rug while the parents watched me. Later, over dessert, which the children ate with gusto, my daughter asked if she could watch 101 Dalmations after dinner. The Mom looked at me and glared, "I can't believe you let your 2 year old watch that! It's much too scary." Really? Parenting advice from the worst parents I have ever seen? I merely said, "I guess we parent differently." My two year old asked to be excused and slipped quietly away to play in her room while the other children smeared ice cream on my dining room table. Needless to say, we never invited that family over again.
Posted by: Sara
at September 6, 2011 3:35 AM
This is sort of in line with the lady who had chemo (hope she's doing all right now): I did NOT like being a "kid". I didn't like other "kids". And I sure as hell never wanted any. Therefore, even before I "became a woman", i.e. got my period, and understood the birds and the bees, I always KNEW I didn't want to reproduce. Try telling a doctor at age 20 you don't want children - EVER - and you'd like to do a Figure Eight to your tubes - and see what happens. My response was always: "Well, Doctor, do you ask 20 year olds about their reproductive choice when they come in single, unemployed, and pregnant?" No, of course not. I was unable to get my tubes tied until the ripe old age of 32. And not without a lot of persistence. By the way, I was never 20 (or any age), single, pregnant, and unemployed, or a mixture thereof. So, rudeness and stupidity afflicts the medical community too. Which I'm sure we all knew. So, to me, the doctors were rude, because golly gee! What right minded female doesn't want children? How dare they. Well, they dare; every single day. Don't stop fighting the good fight. It's exhausting, unappreciated, and yet satisfying.
Posted by: Margaret
at September 13, 2011 5:48 AM
i like how only people with children are apparently allowed to be annoyed at misbehaving children, because those of us who don't have any just don't understand. i don't have children, but i did have parents, and i can tell you, my misbehaving in public was seriously not tolerated. my misbehaving at home was not tolerated. screaming? in a store? i threw one temper tantrum in my life. ever. it wasn't for attention or control, angie, it was because i wanted that stuffed monkey. i didn't get that stuffed monkey. i did get a spanking. and removed from the store. now whether or not you advocate spanking, i bet you don't, didn't hurt me a bit. i got a whole lotta spankin's, but never twice for the same thing. the point is, i got punished for misbehavior. it did not reward that behavior, in fact quite the opposite. anyway. you cannot discount the opinion or annoyance of a rather sizable population of childless people simply because you do not like that opinion. i don't appreciate children running wild in public. i would not appreciate it whether or not i had children. i don't object to you having children, or to being "exposed" to children, dana, i have nephews. and an impending niece. *i am very excited about this i want to buy purple baby stuff* and i certainly don't object to some small misbehaving now and then, it's going to happen. but seriously. when your kid misbehaves, do something about it. your kid can scream for a minute or two in the store. but he better not be making a mess, or running around without supervision so that i have to end up watching him instead of you, because i guarantee you won't like my discipline method. of you, not the kid.
Posted by: me
at December 28, 2011 4:23 AM
My husband and I own a wedding venue and have seen LOTS of underparented child guests. Our policy is to not interfere unless the child is in danger. Although I have LOTS of rude child stories, this one stands out... There was a little boy about 8 at a wedding. He was on the dance floor bouncing a ball and chasing it during the reception. No one corrected him or made any attempt to take the ball away UNTIL he tossed it and it landed on the bride's table, spilling a glass of red wine on her gown! There was a collective gasp in the room. THEN the boy's dad decided to "parent" and gruffly took the ball away from the child. The bride fought to keep back tears as friends tried unsuccessfully to clean up her gown, but it was ruined. She tried her best to continue with the reception, but was clearly upset. She tossed her bouquet, and left early.
Posted by: Caroline
at February 11, 2012 9:31 PM
My name is Laura and my nephew's name is Richard. His diagnosis of autism was caught on early and now he is functioning and knows right from wrong. Approproximately I moved by car 3000 miles from south florida to go live with my family finally capitulating to the entreaties of my family to come live with them so we could all be together.This was not my first time meeting with Richard but lately as he's been getting up into his teens his bad behavior has been excused by his parents as his disorder and the fact that he is a teen ager now and all teen agers act like this now at his age(he's 14.) He is continually rude to me and his neither of his parents remonstrate him for that. He is allowed to be rude to other young kids too, whether they have a disorder or not. When we were at the local public aquarium I saw him violently push another little boy about half his size away and down from him. My nephew at this pt is 13 years old and the little boy is about 4 or 5. Richard was twice his size. The little boy began crying hysterically and and his grandmother speaks sternly to Richard advising him to wait his turn at which pt my sister steps in to lecture the woman not to "yell" at her son; she had no right to speak to my nephew thusly.She tells the woman that her son, meaning Richard has a disorder. The woman still holding her grandson in her arms said that her grandson also had a disorder too and so my sister replies that she is not a good example for tolerance. No remonstration for Richard. He is continually allowed to think that he can speak to anyone anytime and anywhere he wants and in any way. Last night, I heard him crying out in pain because he had a leg cramp and neither of his parents hear from him so I rush out of my room in a hurry to see what's wrong. He has a leg cramp and I told him how to get hid of putting his instep back and that would alleviate his pain and make the cramp go away. (He saw if was me; will only speak to me nicely if he wants something), said, I've had enough of this crap, stomped into the bathroom and slammed the bathroom door. At whiich pt, y my sister wakes up, comes to the door of her room, and I tell her the situation. She tells me that I should lower my voice because I might wake up her husband who sleeps in a whole other room. (different aspect of the early uprising; she slept in the same bed until Rich was 11.) Getting back to the subject at hand, she tells me to go back to bed and shut up becuse she needs to go back to sleep. So do I because I'm exhausted and have a lot of things to accomplish. No one yells at Roachard for being horribly rude to h1 does not get any remonstration for being a snotnose kid, who's got the manipulation act down; He is always rude to me and his parents don't seem to care, and when there are no consequences for his high level of rude behavior, it only serves to encourage him to further engage in this reprhensible behaviour. What can I do to make them see they are not acting correctly?
Posted by: Laura
at February 24, 2012 4:44 PM
When you get a child then you can talk, just like when I get a license I can bitch about rush hour traffic!!!!!
Posted by: Angie
at February 24, 2012 9:51 PM
It's like this....when you get a child you can bitch and carp and moan all you like. Just like when I get a drivers license, I can bitch about rush hour traffic.
Posted by: Angie
at February 24, 2012 9:54 PM
Once Upon A Time, my husband and I had toddlers. Approximately twice a year we committed the budgetary extravagance of hiring a babysitter and going to a dimly lit restaurant with actual silverware and a reasonably lengthy wine list. These occasions were rare treats for us, and part of the treat was enjoying a couple of hours free of Tiny People And Their Energy. That's why we deliberately chose restaurants that were clearly places for adult-type conversation.
More often than not, however, another party at the restaurant would have brought along a toddler and permitted the toddler, during the meal, to alternately shriek, bang (for ten minutes or more at a time) and wail, because it was trapped in a high chair, up past its bedtime, and bored out of its mind while Mom and Dad, blithely ignoring this state, pretended that they were having a lovely dinner sans child.
Given that we paid a premium for our Brief Interval Without Toddlers, and for our choice of a place that is not designed for children's presence, is it too much to ask that we are able to enjoy an actual Brief Interval Without Toddlers?
No one is suggesting that the world be wrapped in a muffled silence, that we all be spared hearing the sounds of other people, and no one is suggesting that supermarkets, malls, fast-food restaurants, and the like should be as hushed as cathedrals. We all understand that life includes the occasional few minutes of motorcycle revving, child tantrumming, or adult being loud and profane on a cell phone in the airport waiting lounge. Most of us even understand the parental decision-making of ignoring a tantrum, at least briefly, at Toys R Us.
What those of us with children, as well as those of us without children, would like, is not to be regularly subjected to the human equivalent of a car alarm that goes on for a full five minutes. Loud, unpleasant sounds garner one's full attention and often scare the crap out of one -- that's why they're used for sirens.
Such a desire, while we understand it cannot always be fulfilled, is neither unrealistic nor a suggestion that any given parent is A Bad Person.
Yes, I have children, I have friends with children, and I have friends without children. Oddly, all of us wish to be spared The Klaxon-Horn Youngster in public places.
Posted by: Beth
at February 28, 2012 10:39 PM
Robbie and I have been dating for six months. I could not have asked for a better man. He's kind, giving, funny, honest, selfless, and we get along like we've been best friends our entire lives. There's just one problem; his children.
Robbie and I both have children. As a matter of fact, we both have two boys. My boys are 11 and 18 and Robbie's boys are 4 and 8. Now, I'm not saying that my children are perfect, but when compared to Robbie's kids, they are exceptional.
Robbie and I had been dating for four months before we decided to introduce each other to our children. Within the first four months, we realized that we do love each other and that we both wanted to see the relationship continue and grow, hoping that we found the person we were both meant to be with. All signs pointed to this being a good idea. Robbie met my children first. The meeting went well. My boys were able to ask anything they wanted, and they did so. They got a chance to get to know him on their terms, learning first and foremost what they felt was important (i.e. where he works, what he does, where he lives, if he has children, etc.) Since meeting Robbie, my boys and him have gotten along better than I could have asked for. They have begun a friendship that is sincere and growing stronger the more time they spend with him.
When it was my turn to meet Robbie's kids, the experience was similar. We sat down and talked for a bit, and the boys were able to ask me whatever they wanted. We spent the day having fun; going to the park, going to dinner, etc. I even kept the promise I made to his eldest and drove the 2 hours to where they live to make his first baseball game, supporting him loudly and proudly from the bleachers with the other parents.
Because Robbie lives 2 hours away, we alternate our visits. Sometimes he drives to where I live, and other times, I drive to where he lives. In both types of instances, we have spent time together when he has his children, as to bridge our two families into what we had hoped would be a successfully blended family. However, the more time I spend with his children, the more concerned I am about how well this plan of ours is going to work out, not for any reason other than the fact that his children are rude, have no sense of common courtesy and as far as I can tell, have never been introduced to table manners. Oh, and did I mention the little one lies? To better convey what I'm talking about, I'm going to offer some examples.
The Little One
Despite the fact that he's 4-years old, this child is a master manipulator. He lies like a rug, but gets away with it because he's chubby and has a lisp and when he gets caught in his lies, all he has to do is look up at his dad with puppy-dog eyes and say "But dad, I'm juss a wittle boy"., and instantly, Robbie chuckles at 'how cute' he is and all is forgotten. Well, that might work for Robbie, but when I found out that his son made up an entire story that included me, I wasn't about to let it go. Even after sitting his child down and telling him that lies are bad and that they hurt people, he turned right around and told two more lies about two more people in Robbie's family, looked over at me when I asked him if he was lying again, and gave me a dirty look. Let me add one more detail about the way this kid lies. He lies to an extreme that Robbie's ex-wife goes into a total bitch-fit and starts threatening to keep him from seeing the kids, and then has to pull the older of the two boys aside and ask him what the truth is. Only when Robbie is cleared of his youngest sons lies through the testimony of his older brother, does she calm down and let Robbie see the kids. However, does the little one get disciplined for telling these lies, or be made to face any sort of consequence? Not at all. Instead, the oldest is unfairly put in a position of being in the middle when the situation had absolutely nothing to do with him.
While we're on the subject of the little one, I had decided to take them all out to dinner, trying to put the instance behind us and just continue to move forward. While we are at dinner, he proceeds to remove his shoes and socks and toss them under another table at the restaurant, drop his fork on the floor and dive face first into his plate, rooting around like a pig in a trough. I was devastated and disgusted that this is how he would act in public, and his father took no action to correct this behavior until I elbowed him and gave him the "Are you F'in serious" glare.
Since then, the little one has continued to be disrespectful (talking back to me, rolling his eyes, ignoring anything I say), rude (walking up to the other kids and punching them for no reason, spitting on them, refusing to use eating utensils at any and every meal)and manipulative (flat out telling me he's going to tell a lie so someone will get in trouble).
The older son is a bit of a different story, but not too much of a variation. While his oldest knows how to use a fork and does so, he belches at the table (when he does this, he blows the belch out and then sniffs it), talks with his mouth full, rudely interrupts when other people are talking (quite frankly it's not his concern what my schedule for work is the next day)and has more phobia's than I think have been ever been clinically diagnosed since the dawn of time. Some examples of the older boy's behavior...
Robbie cannot close the bathroom door when he needs to use the restroom because then his son can't see him and he throws a tantrum. He cannot be left alone during a thunder storm, heavy rain or high winds, or he throws a tantrum. We made plans to go to the beach one weekend, which required my younger son and I driving the 2 hours to Robbie's house, spending the night so we could get up early for our blended family beach trip (by the way, my son was excited about the beach trip because it was his reward for acing a test in school - we practice the incentive program in my house)just to have to go to a kiddie water park instead because Robbie's son watch the Titanic and was now too scared to go anywhere near the water. I had to get some things out of the trunk of my car and asked Robbie to help and his son flipped out because Robbie went outside without him. Did I forget to mention how he likes to scratch his back side and then sniff his fingers?
When I asked Robbie why they are like this, he told me that the kids are not disciplined at their mother's house, and that when they are with him, he feels bad if he has to spend his weekends with them fussing all the time. That he's afraid they will not want to come and visit him any more. Therefore, there is absolutely no discipline whatsoever.
I know that they are not my children, and that disciplining them and teaching them manners is not my place, and because of that I have asked that when we have blended family time, those visits are to take place at Robbie's house, because I cannot and will not tolerate that kind of behavior in my house. Their behavior is so bad that they make my children feel uncomfortable, and when we are all together, we are segregated into two different sides of the rooms because of it.
I love Robbie with every ounce of my heart, but there comes a time when love just isn't enough anymore. It's obvious that we have two different views as to what is and isn't acceptable behavior from children, and it's causing a huge rift between us. If two people don't share the same types of family values and morals, then there is no chance of them having a strong, loving, working family, is there?
Again, my children are not perfect, but they know what manners are, and they understand consequence. So, how do we get past this?
Posted by: Amber
at May 21, 2012 5:12 PM
For two years, I worked in the toy department of a local chain store that had groceries on one side opf the store, but the general merchandise on the other side. For two years, I would see parents leave their children in the toy department, unsupervised, while the parents went on their merry way doing their grocery shopping.
A) I'm not making slightly above minimum wage to baby sit your child. It's aliability for us, and it is unsafe for the other shoppers and for the employees. B) The toy department is not a baby sitter.
In the two years that I was employed there, I have not only seen the above, I have seen bad parenting, I have evenseen adults resort to childish tactics if we had item out of stock.
On story that sits with me to this day, is this:
A family came in to the department to make a purchase. We didn't have the item in stock, so I offered to write a raincheck for the item when we had the item in stock. The mother decided to use that time to leave her child in the toy department while she went up front to the ladies room so that she could pee. The child, a boy, who was probably no more than eight or nine, was scared, and looking for his mother. I went up to him and asked him what was wrong, and he said he couldn't find his mother. I get that he was scared that his mother wasn't around, and he just wanted his mother. I took him by his hand, and we searched up and down the aisles. When we couldn't find his mother, I told him to stay with me until she comes back. When the mother finally did come back from the ladies room to claim her raincheck, I asked her where she went, her child was looking for her. She explained that she and the boys grandmother needed to go the ladies room. I gave her the raincheck, which is good at any one of the stores in that chain, and I wished her a nice day, with the most professional tone I had.
Posted by: Eva
at October 4, 2012 4:13 PM
I was in Sears yesterday, shopping for jeans. I was there with my mom, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair bound. I had gone into the fitting room to try on the jeans that I never purchased. While I was in the fitting room, there was a mother with a daughter, who must have been arund 3 or 4. While the mother thought it was a good idea to continue with her shooping while her child ran wild all over the place, the mother never once told the child to stop. The child had managed to knock over an entire rack full of clothes, missing my mother by mere inches. THe lady apparently ran to get help from the store employees, but she just ran away. Thankfully, an elderly couple and some of the store employees came to my mother's rescue, asking her if she was okay.
My mom and I agreed that she needed to keep an eye on her kid.
Posted by: Eva
at October 24, 2012 7:57 PM
You Go!! I have just recently found out the my daughter may have ADHD and the stigma attached to it is terrible thanks to heifers like that! Too bad you can't have her thrown out of the library permanently! Your story reminds me of a bumper sticker that I saw recently that i absolutely loved! It read: RESPONSIBILITY: Get Some! I want to carry around a stack of those stickers and pass them out to people like that!
Posted by: Amanda
at October 31, 2012 5:32 AM
Sorry Angie, I think you were in the wrong for just walking away and letting your child scream like a maniac until he became embarrassed enough to stop. This page is all about rudeness. Being polite is all about taking into consideration the respect of and comfort of others. Allowing your child to scream bloody murder inside (it always sounds worse indoors) a public grocery store is RUDE. The place where you teach your child manners and how to behave in public is AT HOME before he / she has the chance to embarrass not only him / herself but you as the parent - in public. Regardless of the lesson you are trying to teach your child, the proper thing to do is remove your child from the building until he/she has calmed down and is not disrupting everyone else going about their business. You take the child outside until they relax, go back inside and finish your shopping and then when you are home discuss the behavior and why it is NOT ok to act that way in the store and if need be remove a privilege to make it stick. That way the kid gets disciplined, learns a lesson, and you retained your dignity and didn't disrupt everyone else with your screaming child. Yes, you have to go out of your way to deal with the situation, but that's what being polite is - worrying about others before yourself. And yes, I have 2 children.
Also, on another note.. if your kid is acting out because he's tired & cranky because he woke up too early from a nap or being a little butt head because the weather is hot, should you really be making your kid go out in that condition? Put your kid first for crying out loud. If they aren't in a condition to go out that day, don't go out that day or get a sitter.
Posted by: Betty Marie
at December 7, 2012 5:56 PM
I remember when I was young, my family had a cat that had a litter of kittens we kept penned in the backyard. Our next door neighbors were an older retired couple, and their daughter and her two children were visiting. I caught them trying to sneak into our yard a couple of times. As a rather young kid myself, I was very protective of those kittens. I don't remember how old I was, but I was older than the visiting kids. Noticing how obsessed they were with the kittens, and concern for the animals safety, I offered to let them play with them as long as I was there to supervise them. Both kids were too young to be with the kittens and without constant supervision. The youngest was only 2 or 3. They did not even try to take me up on that offer.
One day I came back to find one of the kittens laying in a puddle of water. They neighbor kids had taken the kitten to their yard and played with it in their little kiddy pool. Apparently It had nearly drowned and had brain damaged. It would wander in a circle constantly meowing like it was begging for something, but not responding to anything. They just left the injured cat on our back porch without telling any of us. I was devastated. Worried about the other kittens, I knocked on the neighbors door to try to get them to stop the young kids from trespassing. By the way, I was very shy and polite at that age. The mother answered the door. "Well what do you want me to do about it?", was the first thing she said. I remember her saying that she can't stop kids if they wanted to play with the kittens. I sensed no concern that an animal was harmed, that a kid was hurt because his pet was harmed, or that her kids were crossing into other peoples yards without permission. I think she even told me that she let her kids grab (as it turns out) 2 kittens and bring them back. I was shocked at the mothers response and that she knew it happened. I was not confrontational, just sad. The fact that she responded defensively said to me that she was still a child herself. Even at that age (11 or so) I knew I was more mature than that mother.
The kittens were left alone after that. They didn't even ask to see them, even though I extended that offer to the mother again. I think it had more to do with the kids feeling bad about the cat than with any discipline from the mother.
Posted by: Matt
at December 22, 2012 6:46 AM
Is a stop sign red or blue? (required):