Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parental Judgement

Is it parental judgment or parental frustration that we get so annoyed with other peoples kids?

When I came across this article this morning titled Message to Parents Getting Louder: No Screaming Babies Allowed, I was sorta flabbergasted and laughing. Yes, kids can be challenging to be around when you don't have any, but most people will one day. And I would like to see any company financially survive a ban on kids.

People in the comments section of the article were blaming parents for being too checked out and ignoring their obnoxious little people. As if these people were perfect little angels all the time when they were children. It is shocking how many people are for such things as banning kids, can't wait for them to be in the nursing home circuit while the kids they were annoyed by are running things.

Are we just getting awfully grumpy in society today? Do we have little patience for the people in our lives and especially little patience for the people not in our immediate lives?

I thought I was above these sort of judgments of course. We often all think we aren't like that.

Then I went to an party. That had lots and lots and lots of kiddos in attendance.

I got frustrated I tell you. And I might seem like an overprotective nincompoop. I am not, I will fight for your kids too if I see injustice. (Well I am overprotective, but because I love my babies and you can't fault me for loving my babies)

But here is what gets my goat, a group of kids, whether at a party a park a play date are left to their own devices. Everyone seems to stop paying attention to their kids and lets them run willy-nilly when other kids appear.

I get it. Many times on play dates I will let my kids know that I am talking to the grown up now and I will be with them in a minute. Play dates are for Mom's as much as they are for kids, no matter what anyone says otherwise. But it is usually me and one Mom. I can hear or see any crisis or extreme misbehavior as it happens.

So often at outings, or groups, kids are rude. They push in front of each other, they find one kid to pick on and start doing just that in very subtle ways, sometimes not so subtle and there is an all out fight. But there is nobody there as far as the eye can see to look at these little people and let them know that that treatment of their friends is entirely unacceptable.

Um...if we aren't letting our kids know that what they are doing is wrong...who are we hoping is going to do that?

Are we hoping that their peers will say, "Hey, don't push that kid out of the way! It is his turn!"

I may have been judging for a moment, but I am not dumb, parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done and assume that is the case with every parent. I think more it is sheer frustration. It does take a village to raise kids, and not just directly to help us raise our own kids, like a babysitter or two that you might have available, but to be examples to our kids. One kid to another.

I don't want my kids to be bullies, the world has enough grown-up bullies in it running the joint. Our kids will one day be the ones running the world. Shouldn't we help them to understand how we treat people? Or should we leave them on their own to learn from other little kids who hit and push and bully how they should behave?

The way they will run the world starts with what they learn on the playground.

Trust me, I am no way near to being a perfect Mom. I wouldn't bother making such a ludicrous and far from the truth statement. My kids annoy me some days. Mostly it is the fighting between them that really gets under my skin, which includes hitting and pushing, which for some reason they never seem to bring to play with friends. And don't get me started on the status of their room, a tornado would actually help it out a little.

Am I judgmental? Often, yet I am trying to work on that.

Am I frustrated? Yes. I am tired of being the one standing there responding to your kids behavior while you relax and enjoy yourself.

1 comment:

Kristina Lim said...

Why is it that parents go off-duty when large groups get together? I once hosted a farewell party with 24 adults and 26 kids. I was pregnant and busy hosting and assumed parents would watch their own children. I actually cried when I looked out my kitchen window and saw several kids waving branches torn off my lilac bush, once a huge tree that I had cut nearly to the ground the previous year and I'd carefully pruned and shaped the new growth just weeks before the party. All ruined, no blooms the following spring. And it's not like their parents were in the house where they couldn't see - some were sitting right there in the back yard talking and didn't even notice when I ran out scolding their kids!