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Friday, October 07, 2005 

The Wrath of Mom

I wonder what he's like outside the honeycomb?

Children are our future. Children are a blessing. Children seem to be many things these days except disciplined. When I use the word 'disciplined', I don't mean spanking them if they so much look at you the wrong way. In fact, I don't even mean spanking at all.

I'm talking about the original sense of the word. Websters defines discipline as 'the training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement." The key words being moral and mental improvement.

It seems that everywhere I go these days, I see badly behaved children. Maybe I'm just getting old and what little patience I have is nearly depleted but I'm sure everyone knows someone who has kids who make you re-examine any thoughts you ever had of becoming a parent yourself. If you do have kids then you are probably thanking your lucky stars that you didn't have more.

Being a parent myself, I really do understand the 'terrible twos' or the 'troublesome threes' or even teenage angst. But just because I understand all the stages a child can go through on his or her way to becoming an adult doesn't mean I'm not bothered when I see 7 year olds throwing temper tantrums in my house. Or 5 year olds slapping and evenbiting their parents when they can't have the entire set of the Barbie Fairytopia collection. I can't understand how the parents allow such behaviour. What's more, I am baffled by the fact that parents don't seem to mind when such behaviour occurs in someone else's house.

I've had children come to my house, make a mess of it, break things and have fits while their parents do one of three things: stare vacantly at me while I clean up the broken glass from the floor; tell their child that destroying my son's toys wasn't nice and continue their conversation; or ignore the behaviour completely. Whatever happened to "get over here now and apologize" or "as soon as you clean that mess up, we're leaving because if you can't behave properly outside the house, you will not go anywhere" type of firmness? A lot of the time, parents have said "Billy, you've upset our hostess and now she's going to get angry with you".

This is even worse. Then I become that "mean woman who hates kids" just because a parent is too cowardly to discipline their child themselves.

Has discipline become such a dirty word that it can no longer be used in parenting? My conclusion is that it's a combination of many things. Parents equate discipline with spanking and truly believe that a screaming banshee 2 year-old will respond to reason in the middle of a tantrum. Many parents now work full-time and feel guilty reprimanding their children in the little time that they do see them. A lot just find it's just easier to cave to the child's petulant demands and deplorable behaviour than it is to spend extra time and patience to discipline them.

I know that kids don't come with an instruction manual at birth and that God gave them faces of angels so we wouldn't send them back but I refuse to believe that children can't be trained manners and good behaviour at an early age.

I won't know if I've done a good job raising my son until he's well into adulthood but I do know that no one else will ever feel the need to discipline my child for me. Some people considered it cruel and unusual punishment when I made my son clean his purple ink artwork off my white walls when he was three, but he's never even attempted to write on anything but paper since then. So if people call me Captain Von Trapp, I am not the least bit bothered. At least they know that my son won't be walking over their furniture, breaking their vases or giving them any flippant remarks without incurring the Wrath of Mom.

Great blogg... Like youre articles

Well, it is hard for me to have a credible comment on this issue considering I don't have any children, but I do take special notice of ill-behaved children. I felt like this was more prominent in America, actually, but then again, I don't have children visiting my home here.

I always had a saying, "that child is being raised on a frat boy mentality", which meant, ultimately, that the kid would end up behaving like a jackass when they got older, because they were undisciplined and got everything they wanted. Parents just don't have any gumption these days. Somewhere along the way, some generation lost the touch for parenting.

The thing is, you can be a kind parent and still raise a disciplined child. Why anyone would think differently, well, that just goes to show they lack true parenting skills.

My neighbor's 2 year old is the most perfectly behaved child I have ever seen. I'm trying to figure out their secret. Both parents are low-key (they don't scream or get overly excited if he falls down) and very involved with their son. He's a very happy, well-adjusted, social child. And cuter than hell. The father tells me how when they are out, his son winds up with all these "older women" around him (i.e., 4 year olds).

It's possible to raise such a child, but it takes work with the child and with oneself.

HSM: Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad you like it!

Mel: Just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you don't have credible comments about them. I always thought that when I became a mother, I would "know" stuff. Important stuff. You know...sort of like the Oracle. LOL I always thought mothers had the inside track on important issues. Now, I know we're just people who often get outsmarted by 4 foot extortionists half the time. I totally agree with you that parents don't need to hit and scream at their children to make them behave. They don't even need to medicate them as is so prevalent in North America. Most children do wonders on love and firmness.

Ball: Tell your neighbours they can visit me any day of the week. I'll even babysit! LOL

On the subject of ill-mannered street urchins. Here are my experiences:

1. I was on a train once when this loud-mouthed brat of a kid was stuffing his face with Cheesies. He got his fat head stuck between the seats and wailed for at least 15 minutes--spewing cheesie dust everywhere. (Reminded me of the Family Guy episode where Stewie grabs the guy in front of him on a plane and sneers, "For the next two hours...you're my bitch".

2. While waiting in a line up to pay for something at a store, this little kid was busy kicking me in the shins and laughing. I waited for the mother to say something. She didn't. So I said loud enough for the everyone to hear: "Do that one more time and I'll kick your mother." The kid's mother then took the child and put him in FRONT of her (away from me). Mission accomplished.

3. A friend of mine has two horribly behaved little girls. I made the mistake of going to Christmas mass with them. They stood on their heads (dresses in the air) in the pews. Ran up and down the aisles DURING mass. Finally, I chased them out of the main church to the back where the Nativity scene was. The youngest one jumped INTO the manger, picked up the baby Jesus and started to run back to her seat. The other one hopped on the back of the camel and proceeded to "ride" it--complete with air lasso!! I was mortified. I spent the next 30 minutes trying to get the Baby Jesus back in his manger and the kids back to their mother. Then I spent two hours praying for their souls. LOL

HRH Queen Bee (who loves her perfectly behaved nephews)

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