April 5, 2012

It takes a village

Maybe it's because I'm super judgmental but I can't stand parents that don't actually parent their kids. The past two days I've been at the same park and had two separate "situations."

Day 1: A child about 6 years old, and dressed in a red shirt throws sand repeatedly at other kids. My kid, the tattler, told me red shirt was throwing sand. I wait, I look around for red shirt's parents. Red shirt takes the time to throw sand on a few more people.

Since no one reprimands him, I walk up to him, crouch down next to him and say "hey, there! Where is your parent?"

"I don't know," he replies.

"OK, well you need to stop throwing sand on people or I'm going to have to find your parent and let them know."

A few minutes of calm ensue and then red shirt is at it again. This time ANOTHER mother approaches him and asks him to stop. He doesn't. At this point, two women I vaguely noticed on THE OTHER SIDE of the park approach and continue their conversation, not taking any notice of red shirt.

I interrupt them and gently ask, "excuse me, does the boy in the red shirt belong to either of you?"

One of the moms answers in distressed shock that yes, he is hers. When I tell her as nicely as possible that her son has been throwing sand and that I asked him to stop, she is completely shocked and awed and apologizes profusely.

But come on, really?

Day 2: This time I cause a stink because of what's going on between Big boy and Little girl. They are not related and in all fairness, Little girl is being kind of a pest. She's antagonizing Big boy who should know better, but they're kids, right? So Big boy is responding and they are name calling and snarking at each other.

So me and a few other moms comment on where Big boy's mother is. No one answers. It's not any of us, including (we assume) a woman reading a book on a bench smack in the middle of our conversation.

The bickering continues and Little girl antagonizes Big boy some more. She calls him fat and he calls her fatter and that's when I raise my voice and call out to them both, "OK now, let's stop calling each other names! Can we all just play nicely? Don't call each other names."

Harmless, right? Well then I go further and say to Little girl, "honey, don't ever let anyone call you fat. Especially a boy. You should tell your mom if that happens."

I've got body image issues, all right?

So all is well, (I assume) until lady on the bench with a book jumps up and huffs off muttering that her son didn't do anything.

Ummmmm......really? YOU'RE Big boy's mother? You've been sitting there the entire time next to us without saying a word to shut your Big boy's snotty mouth?

So I tell her, "I'm sorry, he called her fat."

She huffs away, "It's not true. He didn't." She storms out of the park with her son, asking him along the way if he called Little girl fat to which he replied, "well, she is!"

Seriously, lady? Does the word delusional mean anything to you?

So then Little girl's mom comes over, we fill her in and she thanks me for getting involved.

It's no big deal, I think. We SHOULD get involved. I'm sorry, but I believe we are all responsible to each other here, and I'm not about to be part of ignoring future douche bags in the making. IF I ignored my child and his bad behavior, I would hope someone out there would do the same.

Believe me, I've had his negative traits pointed out to me before and OK, so maybe I got my feathers ruffled a little, but those were incidents I was not present for. At any rate, we're all in this together and kids need to be held responsible for how they treat others. They also need to know that it's not just their parents watching- it's everyone- and that not everyone is willing to just sit by and keep quiet.

So, if you need a smack down put on a kid somewhere, feel free to contact me. I charge by the hour.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I'm glad you posted this. It goes without saying that it is annoying when you're standing there planning on saying something to your own child and another mother jumps in. But, the moms who think the park, bouncy place, mall play area, etc...is time off for them seriously bug me because it's their kids who are the brats. Saying something to someone else's child is hard, but it also gives our own children a good example of how to stick up for themselves.