[rant] / [soapbox]

Coming through the museum just now was a large group of 15 individuals from ages 6 months to grandparenthood. A lovely family outing, I'm sure.

Those children
were hellions.

Their parents
did nothing.

They chased
and cajoled
and ignored
the incredibly poor behaviour of their children.

I recognize that I am not a parent,
and I won't really know my parenting style
until I become one.

I also recognize that I was once a child,
and several of the foundational building blocks of my habits and character
were formed at that time.

I hated my mother on multiple occasions growing up.
No parent is perfect, and mine are far from any hint of perfection...

BUT

At restaurants, I sat quietly. I did not shout at, or act up in front of, a server because I had no desire to feel her wrath.

 
In the store, I asked for nothing, because she told me in the parking lot that I wouldn't be asking for anything.

At birthday parties, when other kids were screaming and fighting and
running obnoxiously past the adults trying to have a conversation,
I was given "the look" and I knew I would be doing no such thing.

If there was only one cupcake left at the pitch in,
or one free pencil left in the jar, it did not belong to me.
I "put it back because I didn't really need it."
I "had a million pencils at home and Nanna could make me some cupcakes."

My mom has her faults, and I am probably one of the first to offer a running list.
However, I am so thankful that when I was a child, she made me behave.
I'm sure I stepped out of line here and there (and I have the switch memories to prove it).
And I know I'm naturally interested in pleasing people, so I wasn't really one to try to get on a person's last nerve anyway.

Learning manners, and how to be polite, and to respect the conversations and personal space of others - these are skills that I am so glad to possess.
I do not claim to put these skills into practice at all times, so don't mistake me.
I've got a bit of brat in me, just like the next kid.
Rather, I hope that I recognize the line that these children I saw today don't even know exists.

Someday, I will be a parent.
Someday, I will have to put all of my intellectualizations of parenting to the test.
Someday, I will prove myself wrong over and over again.

Today, I felt like looking those parents in the eye and asking,
"How does pandering to temper tantrums and yelling,
allowing your child to run rampant in this preserved museum,
chasing your child down the hallway simply to let him loose and chase him again -
how do these things serve your child?"

Call me old fashioned,
but he seemed to me like he was headed the right way for a smacked bottom.

Sarah :: Plucky in Love

Sarah, aka "Plucky", blogs on the reg, unless she's on vacation or there's a Pretty Little Liars marathon or she's mulling over the implications of the phrase "on fleek." She can't live without iced coffee, a portable phone charger, or equal pay. Say hello!

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