Hey, Parents! What the Hell?!

I have a bone to pick, so here goes…

What is going on, parents?  When did some of us become so lazy with our parenting and why are we letting our children run the show?  Here’s what happened…

Every year, I go to the nationwide event called Just Between Friends.  It’s a massive consignment sale that sets up shop a few times a year in various Denver locations.  {There’s probably one in your area too.}  When I went to last year’s Fall sale, I vowed to never go again.  I decided to be a consignor this year and today is the 50% off sale, so I sucked it up and went anyway.  I kind of wanted to spy on my stuff and see what was still sitting and not selling.  I also wanted to cash in on some deals.  Well, once again… never again.  I will sell my shit, but I won’t be shopping for shit.  The reasons why are a whole other blog post, but one of the reasons is:  parents.  They suck. Plain and simple.

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert.  I have only been a parent for a little over two years.  However, I did teach in a pretty rough school for nearly 4 years and I know kids.  I know kids and I know that 99.9987% of the time, they suck because their parents do.  They don’t just get that way on their own.  Children are products of their environments.  It’s a simple equation.  Ass hole parents make ass hole children.  Sorry to be so graphic, but it’s the truth and I’m annoyed.  And I’ve seen that phrase on a bumper sticker, so it must be true.

So, how do you not have a child that is disrespectful and who teachers and society don’t loathe?  Be a parent to them and don’t be lazy.

As I was walking through the aisles of clothes at the sale today, I saw a little girl who was lost.  She was maybe 3.  The sale was in a conference room, so it was a small space.  The girl had dark brown hair and big brown eyes.  Naturally, I wanted to take over because the lady who was helping her was kind of slow.  I decided not to because I thought that would be rude.  Instead, I immediately scanned the room for anyone that might be similarly complected.  No one.  Someone actually shouted out, “Did anyone lose their kid?”  Not one person responded.  Wow.  That broke my heart.  Hang on to your kids, people!!  That’s how kids get kidnapped or worse.  This world is not a safe place anymore.  And really?  How do you get so wrapped up in this tiny room that you lose your child?  I can see it happening at Disney or Safeway, but a square conference room?  I don’t know–I know how judgmental I sound, but it makes me mad.

After that was over, I got a little more in depth with my shopping and was looking through some clothes on hangers.  If you’ve never been, they are make-shift racks with 2 bars–one at eye height and one lower towards the ground.  There were 2 little boys running and dodging and hiding within the racks of clothes.  I was looking at the upper rack and didn’t even seen them.  If their mom hadn’t have yelled at them –FROM 2 AISLES AWAY–I would have stepped on these little kids’ hands.  And I had on my big snow boots today.  I would have stepped on them and then gotten sued!  The mom shouts to me, “Sorry.”  Really?  I just sighed and completely ignored her.  How ’bout you don’t apologize to me and get control of your kids? Put your shopping aside for just one damn second and give your kids the what for.

Again, I know kids are kids, and this was kind of an extreme situation.  I don’t feel this way when kids are playing or getting restless when they’re forced to sit still in a restaurant or something.  I remember playing in clothes racks as a kid at a department store.  My mom walked me out to the car, opened the door, put me in the car, and I had to stay there while she shopped.  She locked me in the car–alone!  Now, I’m not suggesting that parents do that–that is illegal now and probably was then too.  But my point is that there were consequences.  When you threaten your kid with some kind of consequence, you have to follow through.  If you don’t follow through, well, you’re just being a lazy parent.

What is it about consequences that parents have such a hard time with?  Are they afraid that their kids won’t like them?  News flash:  your children adore you.  You could hit them (and some do), and they would still love you.  They worship the ground you walk on.  It’s nature.  My mom hit the crap out of me and I still had her back.  But when parents get lazy and decide to skip the punishment/consequences, they send a very clear message to their children.  What I say doesn’t really matter and you just controlled the situation, child.  Yeah…no good.

When I was teaching, I had a student who rarely came to school.  I asked his brother what was going on and he said that his brother would rather play video games than come to school.  Of course most kids would rather play games than sit in class all day!  He went on to say that his mother didn’t know what to do and all they did was fight.  I butted in and suggested his mother throw away the video game console and/or all of his games.  The boy looked at me like I was turning purple. Apparently, taking stuff away is a foreign concept to some parents.

I get that we live in a very fast-paced society.  Both parents may work long hours and are dog tired when they get home.  Or one parent may stay at home with the kids and could be on the verge of insanity from being around their children all day long.  Or you could be a single parent juggling everything with no breaks and no help.  And we’re ALL stressed about money.  No excuses, my friends.  Our children see EVERYTHING we do and say, even when it seems like they aren’t watching.  And they learn through example.  “Do as I say and not as I do.”  Yeah, that one is bogus too.  Whether you like it or not, your kids will behave just. like. you.  Good and bad.

I’ve lived it and I’ve studied it.  I’ve seen many teens–criminal and so-called “normal.”  I see what lazy parenting does to children.  It creates disrespectful, entitled and self-indulged children.  Yes, it is exhausting to always be on their backs about please and thank you’s.  It’s way easier to plunk them in front of the TV instead of  taking them to the park.  It’s mind numbing to read the same books over and over again.  You know how embarrassing it is to leave a store mid tantrum?  We’ve been there.  And I hate having to deny Ella her dessert when she won’t eat any of the food we give her for dinner.  It sucks to watch her cry and carry on when her actions are unacceptable and I have to take something away.  I hate it.  But, it’s what parents do.  How else will they ever learn?

At her 2 year wellness visit, our pediatrician told me to let Ella win some battles every now and again.  And we do.  Sometimes we let her watch 2 Dora shows instead of 1 before bedtime.  Sometimes I’ll let her have a lolli at ten o’clock in the morning.  But the big stuff?  She never wins those.  Sorry.  Her parents are the bosses.  She WILL have respect and she WILL have consequences.  Even if it’s hard and painful for us, we will never throw her a chocolate bar and tell her to stop crying.  Not in this lifetime.

Thank you.  Rant over.  AHHHHHHH, I feel so much better now.

xoxo ~Marisa

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